What’s making you look older? Is it your laugh lines, the circles under your eyes or the lines on your forehead? What if the answer was none of the above? People often think that the signs of aging are most likely to appear on their face first. For that reason, they tend to neglect other areas that also reveal their age, like their hands and their neck.
While a lot of facial plastic surgery or non-invasive treatments focus on easing lines and sagging on the face, for some people, the better option might be to focus on signs of aging that appear on the neck. As you age, the skin in the neck area becomes thinner, taking on a crepe-like texture. Extra fat in the area can make it look as though you have two chins while loose, excess skin can give you what’s commonly known as a "turkey’s wattle."
A neck lift procedure, particularly the weekend neck lift developed by facial specialist Dr. Ross Clevens, can help your neck look smoother and help you look younger overall.
What Happens During a Neck Lift
The weekend neck lift is actually a three-step procedure that improves the texture of the skin, the amount of skin laxity and the amount of fat in the neck area.
Step one is liposuction, or liposculpture of the neck. During this step, small incisions are made in the neck area and the extra fat is vacuumed out.
After the liposuction, the next step is to tighten the skin and muscle, and to actually lift the neck area. During the neck lift, the surgeon will usually trim away the extra muscle and skin. The main muscle of the neck, the platysma muscles, might be stitched together after the trimming, to create a smooth, lean neck area. Any incisions made during the procedure are usually small and located under the chin, so that they are not very noticeable.
While many neck lift surgeries involve just the surgery, the weekend neck lift adds a third step that focuses on improving the texture of skin. Laser skin resurfacing exfoliates the skin, removing the top layer of dead cells and encouraging new skin cells to grow. The treatment is a must if skin texture or hyperpigmentation, such as age spots, is a concern.
It might seem that a weekend neck lift is a long and involved procedure. But, usually, the whole thing is over in about 45 minutes.
Recovering From the Procedure
As its name might suggest, one of the more appealing features of the weekend neck lift is the limited amount of time needed for recovery. In general, it’s recommended that people take about a week to recover. But, some people feel ready to get back to their regular lives after just a few days. No matter how well you feel, it’s important to get the surgeon’s OK before you go back to any activities.
Any discomfort, swelling and bruising after the surgery is usually minimal, due to the small incisions and the location of the incisions. In many cases, you can hide any incisions with your hair. Discomfort can be managed with pain relievers.
Although a weekend neck lift is a quick procedure with limited recovery time, some patients might not want to undergo surgery on their neck. Or, they might have textural problems, but no excess fat or skin looseness. In that case, there are some other options for fighting the signs of aging on the neck.
Injections such as Botox, Xeomin, or Dysport are commonly used by surgeons to help reduce the appearance of bands on the neck. While the results don’t last nearly as long as the results from a surgical neck lift, injections can be an appropriate solution for certain patients.
Another option is to simply have laser skin resurfacing on the neck, without the surgery. A laser treatment won’t reduce fat or tighten the skin. But, for people who are just beginning to have signs of aging, the results it provides can be sufficient.
If you’ve been focusing on your face and not your neck, it might be time to take a look below the chin. If what you see alarms you, consider scheduling a consultation with Dr. Ross Clevens, a double-board certified, Ivy League-trained facial plastic surgeon who’s been voted "Best of Brevard." Learn more about your neck options by calling (321) 727-3223 today.