TLKM plastic surgery

Is Your Face Looking Older? Blame Your Neck

Many people who are concerned with visible signs of aging are surprised to learn that the right solution is a neck lift. In Chicago, I take a customized approach to creating a smooth, sleek neck contour that complements a patient’s natural characteristics. Often, this effective procedure is the only step necessary in rejuvenating a person’s overall appearance.

What is the best procedure for a neck lift?

During neck lift procedures, I create a discreet incision either under the chin or more commonly behind the ear. In some patients with good skin elasticity and some excess submental fat, a submental (under the chin) incision with liposuction, and central tightening of the platysma muscle combined with undermining can yield a nice result.

However, for most patients with more advanced laxity and skin changes, the lateral approach gives a better result. I use a deep-plane approach to improve the condition of deeper tissues and muscles for a natural-looking result if I use a lateral approach.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons offers additional information about the steps involved in neck lift surgery.

Can you tighten loose neck skin without making it look unnatural?

One of the most important components of a neck lift is ensuring that skin doesn’t look “pulled” or “worked on.” I remove excess skin that contributes to an aged appearance, and I make sure I redrape the remaining skin to accentuate a person’s natural neck and lower facial contours. To see the results of these procedures for yourself, take a look at our neck lift patients’ before-and-after photos.

Can you just have a neck lift, or can you combine it with other procedures?

The procedure can be combined with a midface lift, or the major focus can be on the neck. A preauricular incision that is well hidden at the edge of the anterior ear (retrotragal) is necessary in some of these cases to ensure smooth redraping and a natural appearance, but the approach is individualized to the patient. Sometimes, patients decide to undergo complementary procedures such as a cheek lift, a brow lift, or an extension of the neck lift known as a lower facelift for a more comprehensive result. You can learn more about the combination of procedures that can redefine your jawline and neck in this related blog post.

What is neck lift recovery like?

One of the largest benefits of using advanced techniques is improved recovery. Patients typically get back to work within 10 days of surgery, and they can resume normal activities in 3 days, including exercising. Most people feel comfortable shopping or going to eat at a restaurant in 5 days or less. Their incisions fade to faint, barely noticeable scars over the course of a few months.

To learn about your facial rejuvenation options, including neck lifts and facelift surgery, at my Chicago practice, contact us to discuss a treatment plan based on your exact needs.

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