Loose neck skin is caused by many factors. While primarily associated with aging, the process can be accelerated by genetic predisposition, sun exposure and smoking. Wrinkling and sagging are caused by excess skin, loss of support and a loss of elasticity of the neck skin. For many, such damage can result in an appearance that does not match how they feel inside. While turtle necks and high collars can help disguise the problem, a Neck Lift can provide improvement, regardless of apparel.

Neck Lift (Platysmaplasty) Before and After Pictures

The Neck Lift (Platysmaplasty) Procedure

The Neck Lift can be accomplished using a skin only lift, a deep plane technique, or a dual plane technique using a skin lift with SMAS/platysma elevation. Each method can be used alone or combined with a Platysmaplasty to address problems with platysmal banding in the front of the neck. The Neck Lift method chosen varies from neck to neck. The patient above has had a Facelift and Neck Lift using the dual plane technique with a Platysmaplasty.

The Neck Lift (Platysmaplasty) Presentation

Regardless of the cause, loose neck skin and platysmal bands can be reduced with surgery. Dr. Joseph A. Mele, MD, FACS, a San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgeon, can improve the appearance of your neck including:

A Neck Lift should provide a cosmetic improvement with a natural look. The best Neck Lifts keep both goals in mind. Because the skin loses elasticity as we age, it does not behave like the skin of our youth. There is some art involved in the correction of the aging neck. A neck lift reduces skin laxity, neck bands and jowls, while smoothing the neck and jawline. Attempting to remove every square inch of loose skin, can result in over-tightening and the dreaded wind-tunnel look. Youthful skin elasticity, and the fact that there is usually less loose neck skin, are the reasons why Neck Lifts performed at a younger age tend to look more natural and last longer.

The Neck Lift and Facelift are very similar. While the presentation below begins Your Guide to Face Lift, the information applies equally to the Neck Lift.

Neck Lift Video Presentation

At Dr. Joseph Mele’s practice, Neck Lift patients anticipate beautiful outcomes and a rewarding experience. With a balance of Art and Engineering, the goal is always to obtain the best possible results with the fastest recovery possible.

Necklift Videos

The Neck Lift Incision

In general, the Neck Lift incision is the same as that for a Facelift. The usual Facelift incision is made around ears and along the inferior hairline behind the ear. When the primary goal is limited to rejuvenating the neck, the incision is not extended as far anteriorly, and in some cases, may not need to made in front of the ear at all. Removing excess neck fat can help improve the overall contour of the neck. Sometimes, Neck Liposuction is used for this part. Liposuction can remove disproportionate neck fat via a tiny incision under the chin. When there are bands running down the front of the neck, a Platysmaplasty is indicated. For this, a short incision is made just under the chin, which is hidden by the submental crease. This allows access to both the neck fat and the platysma muscle. Tightening the platysma muscle reduces the long folds extending from the chin to the lower neck. A platysmaplasty improves and prolongs the smoothing results in cases when the muscle is separated. The incisions are closed with absorbable sutures placed beneath the skin to give the best possible closure and the thinnest possible scar.

The Direct Neck Lift Before and After Pictures

The Direct Neck Lift

The Direct Neck Lift is a Neck Lift, with an incision down the front of the neck. Placing the incision in the front of the neck has several advantages over the traditional incisions around the ears. Since loose neck skin is located under the chin, this incision allows for maximal neck tightening right where it is needed. The platysma muscle, which causes the pair of bands that run down the front of the neck, can also be more easily seen and repaired. During the Platymasplasty, the platysma muscle is closed like a corset beneath the skin. This supports the deeper neck structures and helps to prevent recurrent platysmal banding.

The Neck Lift incision around the ears is better hidden, but the loose neck skin is not at the ears. It is in front of the neck, far from the incision. This makes maintaining the desired tension more difficult, and it makes it harder for your Plastic Surgeon to see what they are doing during the procedure. The vast majority of the time, the trade-off of the hidden incisions around the ear is worthwhile; however, in some cases with severe anterior neck skin redundancy, the Direct Neck Lift is recommended.

The scar in the Direct Neck Lift Before and After Pictures above is fully healed, and can be seen in the picture on the right running down the middle of the neck. Because of the scar location, the Direct Neck Lift is not the most popular type of neck lift; however, it is the most effective technique for tightening loose neck skin and any underlying muscle laxity.

Facelift vs. Necklift

Neck Lift surgery usually incorporates a Facelift (Rhytidectomy). Since the two procedures share the same incision, and the face and neck age at similar rates, the Facelift and Neck Lift are usually merged into a single procedure. The emphasis is placed on the area that needs the most help. This allows for a balanced rejuvenation and a natural result. When combined with an open Brow Lift, the incision in front of the ear is extended up within the hair.

Mini-Facelift (Mini-Rhytidectomy) Before and After Photos

In the Mini-Facelift Before and After Photos above, the lateral facial laxity, jawline, jowls and neck are all significantly improved. The platysmal band running down the anterior neck is also improved, but not gone. A full Necklift with platysmaplasty would provide additional improvement in this area. Every patient is treated as an individual. After a careful consultation, reviewing the pros and cons for each procedure, this patient decided a shorter recovery was more important than the best possible result. She proceeded with a Mini-Rhytidectomy and was very happy with her improvement, her speedy recovery, and just a few days of downtime, something a full Facelift/Neck Lift cannot provide.

The Mini-Facelift (Mini-Rhytidectomy) and the Neck

Every neck lift is individualized. Dr. Joseph Mele is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, with years of experience. He wants to achieve great results every time, but he does not do the same operation every time. Sometimes Dr. Mele uses every technique in the book; while other times, keeping it simple will achieve excellent results.

For large amounts of excess skin and well defined platysmal bands, a full Facelift with Neck Lift is needed get the best results. When the neck has problems isolated to the lateral neck and jowls, and when the extra skin is not excessive, a Mini-Facelift may be sufficient. The benefits of Mini-Facelifts include a shorter scar and shorter recovery, but being Mini-Facelifts they cannot provide as much improvement or as long lasting a result as the traditional Face or Neck Lift.

For more information on Mini Facelift Surgery, please visit our page devoted to Mini Facelift.

Procedures Commonly Performed with a Necklift

Many patients choose to combine their Neck Lift procedure with a Brow Lift and Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) to take full advantage of their surgical time and recovery period, and to further enhance their results. Combining Facial Plastic Surgery procedures leads to more balanced facial aesthetics and an evenly youthful face. To see examples of Dr. Mele’s excellent cosmetic surgery results, please view our before and after plastic surgery photos.

Neck Lift Preparation

Preparation for a Neck Lift includes a medical history and a focused physical examination. Dr. Mele may have you visit your primary care physician before surgery to be certain that any preexisting medical conditions are well controlled and optimized. This helps assure you the most predictable and safest experience. Please provide a list of all your medications, vitamins and supplements, so that any that may interfere with surgery or healing can be identified, and the appropriate precautions taken.

Neck Lift Follow-up

Follow-up for a Neck Lift involves a series of visits to our Walnut Creek Plastic Surgery office. The stitches are all placed under the skin and are dissolvable. Instructions on incision care will be given to promote quick healing and minimal downtime, and Dr. Mele will tailor the plan to match your recovery. Most patients have minimal discomfort and are able to get to their normal activities in a few weeks, if not sooner.

Schedule a Neck Lift Procedure

Dr. Mele is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and the American Board of Surgery (ABS). He is an active member of of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). He has published articles on both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery and has presented his research at national, state, and local plastic surgery conferences. If you are interested in cosmetic surgery, our Neck Lift surgeon can help you achieve pleasing results, while providing you with excellent patient care.

If you are interested in Neck Lift Surgery in the Bay Area, please contact our practice by calling (925) 943-6353, or ask a question by filling out our contact form.

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