Living in Los Angeles can put a lot of pressure on you to look your very best, and while the warm weather is always nice, the blaring Los Angeles sun doesn’t do much to help keep your skin looking young and vibrant.
Most people tend to neglect the appearance of their neck, even though the neck is one of the first places that begin to show signs of aging.
If your neck skin appears to have lost its natural elasticity and sags, then you might be considering a neck lift procedure (referred to as a lower rhytidectomy in cosmetic medicine).
Here are some things that you may want to know about neck lift surgery, and a list of five questions to ask yourself before getting any type of cosmetic procedure done.
What is a Neck Lift?
A neck lift is a surgical procedure that reduces the visible signs of aging in the jawline and neck. Neck lift surgery removes excess skin and fat deposits from the neck area and sometimes restructures the underlying muscles.
This procedure is one of the safest and most reliable in plastic surgery, as modern neck lift surgery can be performed with minimal incisions and scarring while producing exceptionally natural-looking results.
This two to three-hour procedure varies according to the unique needs and goals of the individual patients. Some patients achieve their desired results through a simple liposuction procedure, which involves removal of excess fat deposits from the neck.
More dramatic results can be achieved through the removal of excess skin and fat along with tightening and restructuring the underlying muscles. Neck lift surgery is often performed in conjunction with other facial surgeries, such as facelift, brow lift, and eyelid surgery.
Modern techniques and technology allow surgeons to perform neck lift surgery using extremely small incisions. Through these incisions, excess fat is removed, either through liposuction or through surgical excision.
If desired, slack muscles can be tightened; in some cases, a small section of the platysma muscle may even be removed. Once the work involving the underlying tissues has been completed, the skin is re-draped and pulled taut, and the incisions are sutured closed. Any excess skin is removed.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Neck Lift?
Ideal candidates for a neck lift surgery are men and women, 40 to 80 years of age, who wish to correct:
- Sun or wind damaged neck skin
- Double or triple chin (fat under the chin)
- Turkey wattle neck (loose, slack neck skin)
- Jowls (fat or too much skin under the jaws)
- Excess neck fat or neck skin
5 Questions to Ask Yourself
Before fully considering getting any type of cosmetic surgery, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Do the positive benefits exceed the possible complications?
All medical procedures have the potential for complications. You should not undergo surgery unless it is very important to you to rejuvenate the appearance of your neck. Bottom line: your overall health is more important to us (and to you!) than any one bodily aesthetic feature.
However, there are various studies that point to marked improvement in a patient’s mental wellbeing after he or she has undergone cosmetic surgery. Social anxiety decreased, as did rates of depression, and their overall quality of life was reportedly higher. When weighed against the minor risks of neck lift surgery, the potential boost in self-esteem must be taken into hearty consideration (see question #3).
Have you considered alternative approaches?
For many issues with surgical solutions, there are alternatives that are less invasive. Have you exhausted all of the alternative approaches to tightening and improving your neck’s appearance – like diet and exercise – before considering cosmetic surgery?
After all, the skin of the neck is more delicate and vulnerable to dehydration than that on your face. This is due to the lack of emollients that are present in your facial flesh from the benefit of oil-producing glands. This can lead to a loss in elasticity over time, causing your neck to age seemingly faster than your face. This is yet another reason to keep all of your cosmetic options on the table when it comes to neck maintenance and beautification. So, keep your creams and lotions close, but your doctor’s phone number even closer!
Are you considering a neck lift for your self-esteem?
If you are considering a neck lift to increase your confidence, it may work if you are very self-conscious about the appearance of your neck and this distracts you from being fully present and making the most out of your social and professional interactions.
If you suffer from low self-esteem in general, however, you may be happier with how you look after a cosmetic procedure, but improving your appearance won’t solve your overall challenges with self-esteem. This is why it’s important to have an honest and open discussion with your trusted medical team before embarking on any final course of action. We support your quest to be your best, and we will ask the important questions to make sure you don’t step out of your comfort zone to achieve these goals.
What are your expectations?
What do you expect in terms of the surgery itself and the recovery period? What do you think will happen if the surgery is a success? What will change in your life? Think about the end result you desire and share your expectations openly and thoroughly with your cosmetic surgeon during your initial consultation.
Think about it in terms of redecorating your home. You don’t start moving the furniture until you have an overall idea of how the room should flow. Otherwise, you’ll have a couch blocking the door and everyone will be turned away from the TV. That’s why planning ahead is key. Your neck dictates the directionality of your look. When someone gazes upon you, their eyes trail from your hair to your face, then down your neck to your shoulders and beyond. If your expectations for a neck lift are too extreme, the new look won’t blend naturally with your face and shoulders, halting the synergy of your overall look. This is why it’s important to consult early and consult often before any procedure takes place.
Are your expectations realistic?
As mentioned above, extremes are never advisable when it comes to cosmetic surgery, not only because of aesthetics but also due to your bodily capabilities. Some skin should never be pulled tight and some necks need more tenderness than others. Be mindful of these limitations when you formulate a plan of action with your surgeon.
Ask yourself if your expectations are realistic and achievable with plastic surgery. Look at a lot of before and after photos of face and neck lifts on cosmetic surgeons’ websites to get a realistic idea of what is possible with a neck lift. You should be honest and firm with your convictions, but never too inflexible that you won’t listen to the advice of a skilled medical professional. It’s a situation similar to the skin on your neck. You must be pliable yet strong and supportive (and supported – make sure you have a friend or loved one help you with the preparation process as well as the healing period after surgery).
About Dr. William J. Binder
Dr. William J. Binder is a facial plastic surgery specialist with over three decades of experience with facial plastic surgery.
For almost three decades, his individualized philosophy and approach to facial plastic surgery has led him to pioneer new techniques for face and neck lift procedures and earned him international acclaim for his results.
If you want your neck lift performed by one of the world’s leading facial plastic surgeons, contact Dr. Binder’s office today to schedule an initial consultation.