How Long Does a Neck Lift Last?
What is a neck lift?
A neck lift is a procedure generally done with an incision under the chin. With aging, the muscle that is held firmly in place against the bones tends to sag and under the muscle fat also accumulates. The tongue and floor of the mouth contents tend to sink and the neck loses its sharp definition.
A neck lift addresses the falling neck and redefines and refines the neck angles to make the neck look more youthful. Under local anesthesia with sedation, an incision is made under the chin – and in older individuals also behind the ear – fat, muscle and excess fibrous tissue excess are removed.
If skin is in excess, it can be removed either from behind the ear. If skin is in huge excess or is very wrinkly, we utilize a radiofrequency device (Renuvion ® ) to tighten and recondition the skin.
How long does a neck lift last?
The results of the neck lift are long-lasting, especially if the deeper structures in the neck are addressed. If you had a twin sister or brother who didn’t have the surgery, you would look better than she or he did for the rest of your life.
However, after surgery, at some point, the skin continues to age and some of the amazing benefits are lost.
What is recuperation after neck lift like?
Patients leave the recovery room often with dressings and a drain. The dressing serves primarily to keep the head in a neutral position. The drains are removed when little excess fluid is noted, usually 1-3 days following surgery.
The neck feels tight for a few days, and rarely, for up to two weeks. Very little pain is noted, in face, most people are numb in the areas where the skin has been tightened. Pain, if present, should be discussed with your doctor.
It’s important after a neck lift to keep the neck in a relatively neutral position so the tightened skin can contract and settle into its newly created position with developing any areas of adherence. If the neck is too flexed (i.e. like when looking at your cell phone), wrinkles and creases can occur that form lines that are deeper.
What are some common complaints following a neck lift?
We found that many patients after a neck lift complain of neck tightness. That is because we have restored the muscles that hang in the neck back to their normal locations and tighten the attachments of the muscles to the tissues from which they have loosened. It takes around two weeks for the sensation of tightness to disappear, and it does in most patients.
Another complaint of patients who have had a neck lift is that the wrinkles and necklace lines have not been completely removed. In these situations, we recommend either adding radiofrequency skin tightening by an external or internal approach and occasionally will inject fillers or dilute Radiesse ® to re-establish or even laser the skin to improve its health.
What can I do to preserve the results of a neck lift?
Most of it is the usual advice—do things to stay healthy. But below we’ve put together a few specific guidelines to follow that will help to ensure you make the results of your neck life last longer.
Keep a Healthy Diet
Avoid creating AGES. It has been shown that the refined sugars in our diet combine with lipids and proteins in our body to create what are termed Advanced Glycosylation End products (AGES)—essentially waste products.
When we are younger and the toxic effects have not yet accumulated, we degrade these AGES. With time and excess, they accumulate and form irreversible deposits. They deposit in our organs and our skin. They are also created by smoking and by eating fried, grilled, and broiled foods. AGES accumulate in skin unprotected from the sun—sunscreen inhibits their formation.
AGES bind to the collagen in the skin—the main structural component of the matrix of tissue that makes it appear youthful– and make it brittle and inelastic. They may also interfere with the cells that repair damaged skin—dermal fibroblasts. Free radicals form that can cause inflammation and further damage skin collagen. Some research suggests that boiling or steaming meats may produces less AGES than other methods of cooking.
Take Your Vitamins
Vitamins and cofactors necessary to the processing and removal of AGES also may be beneficial. These include: Vitamins B, C, and E, and selenium (all of which you get in a multivitamin), n-acetyl carnitine, glutathione, and alpha lipoic acid among others.
Using moisturizers that have hyaluronic acid and vitamin C and Retin-A help address some of the changes that occur in the fragile neck skin with aging.
Wear Sunscreen Everyday
Daily sunscreen use is important to prevent the fragile skin of the neck from developing associated changes such as sun spots, thinning, abnormal blood vessels and a “red neck.” (And don’t forget to reapply throughout the day!)
Pay Attention to Your Posture
Think of your neck as being suspended upwards on a string. It is taught to ballet dancers at a younger age. It helps to sleep in a position where your neck is not curled up because this can create horizontal necklace lines. Pillows exist to maximize a relaxed head position and allow the neck to be posturally correct so that these crinkles don’t occur from flexing the neck with sleeping.
- Eat clean—less chemicals, preservatives, red meat, etc..
- Steam it.
- Wear sunscreen.
- Stop smoking.
Similar general health advice probably applies:
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Reduce stress.
- Drink plenty of water
- Get lots of exercise.
Schedule a Consultation for a Neck Lift Today
If you’re thinking of getting a neck lift and are here doing research, keep us in mind. Our surgeon, Dr. Allan Wulc, has more than 20 years of experience as a cosmetic surgeon. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help rejuvenate your neck, schedule a consultation today so we can create a customized plan for you.