There are a number of specific plastic surgery techniques that can be used to give the face a younger and refreshed appearance, and one of the most effective is the neck lift. More than 50,000 neck lift procedures were performed in 2014, making it one of the ten most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in the United States. Also known as a platysmaplasty or lower rhytidectomy, the neck lift is often sought out by both men and women who are interested in lifting and tightening sagging skin below the chin and around the neck. Here are answers to some of the questions I am most frequently asked about those interested in neck left procedures.
Am I a good candidate for a neck lift?
A neck lift can be performed at almost any age, but most seeking it out are between the ages of 30 and 70 and experiencing excess wrinkling of the neck skin, a double chin, or jowl lines. Optimal candidates are healthy individuals who do not smoke and who do not have any medical conditions that would impair healing. During our initial plastic surgery consultation we can discuss what you want to change and then formulate a realistic surgical plan to address your concerns.
What specifically does a neck lift treat?
As we age, the platysma muscle, which creates the neck contour, gradually separates into two parts, one on either side of the midline. As the skin of the neck loses volume and elasticity, the free edge of the muscle can take on a much more pronounced appearance, creating what is known as a “turkey neck.” A neck lift not only re-tightens this underlying muscle, but also removes excess, sagging skin and in some cases fat, giving the entire area a smoother look.
What can I expect after a neck lift procedure?
Every person heals at a different rate, but you will most likely experience some minor swelling and bruising of the lower face and neck that will gradually dissipate over the course of the first week or so. Most of my patients are able to return to work within one to two weeks of the surgery, but those with more active jobs or who participate in athletics may need to wait at least three weeks before returning to more strenuous activity. Be careful to follow all of the post-operative instructions to help ensure that your recovery goes smoothly and that you achieve optimal neck lift results.
Are the results of a neck lift permanent?
Although a neck lift, like many other facial plastic surgery procedures, can minimize or even alleviate signs of facial aging, nothing can stop the passage of time altogether. A neck lift can effectively “turn back the clock,” making the entire area look smoother and more rejuvenated for years, but over time the effects of gravity or significant weight gain may cause the skin to sag once more.
Facial aging can vary dramatically from person to person, and the different areas of the face usually do not age at precisely the same rate. Contact my office and schedule a personalized consultation to find out how you can achieve optimal results with the minimum amount of surgical downtime and discomfort.
About Dr. Fernando D. Burstein, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.P.
Dr. Fernando Burstein is a well-respected Atlanta facial plastic surgeon with board certifications in both plastic and reconstructive surgery and otolaryngology (head and neck surgery.) With nearly thirty years of experience specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery procedures, Dr. Burstein has served as both the chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery and the director of the Center of Craniofacial Disorders at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as well as a clinical professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Emory University. He has authored and published more than 100 articles and book chapters on facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and has been honored as one of Atlanta Magazine’s Top Doctors, a peer-nominated award in the field of plastic surgery, for the past seven consecutive years.