A few years ago, writer and humorist Nora Ephron wrote a book entitled, I Feel Bad About My Neck, in which she observed that women should begin neck coverage by age 43 because all the makeup and BOTOX COSMETIC® in the world is useless when a woman’s neck shows the signs of aging. She said, “Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn’t if it had a neck.”
The neck and the signs of aging
Ephron has a point. The neck area is often neglected in the many preventative, anti-aging creams and treatments that are liberally applied to the face. However, this area is one of the first places where signs of age start to appear. So, when it comes to cosmetic surgery, some people may feel that they are not ready for a full facelift, but want to have something done about the visible wrinkling of the neck skin, the double chin or a “turkey wattle,” or jowl lines.
A neck lift is a surgical procedure that makes the neck slimmer and younger looking. Basically, the procedure lifts sagging or loose skin, removes neck fat and double chin fat, and tightens the lax neck muscles. It is a fairly straightforward procedure that lasts somewhere between two and three hours, with either a sedative, local anesthesia, or general anesthesia, depending on the patient’s and surgeon’s preference.
Why is a neck lift usually done in conjunction with a facelift?
Usually, a neck lift is done at the same time as a facelift surgery. As the sutures in a neck lift can be placed around the ears, doing both a facelift and the neck lift at the same time does help with the healing of the skin and scarring. Still, a neck lift can be done independent of a facelift.
When this is the case, the surgeon makes an incision under the chin or an incision that runs along the lower part of the front of the ear, going behind it into the hairline, or a combination of both. Depending on which technique is used, the muscles of the neck can be tightened at either the center or at the sides.
Doing a neck lift independent of a facelift
While there are benefits in having both procedures done at the same time (i.e. saving on the overall cost of surgery and going through recovery one time), many people achieve a very youthful look with a neck lift alone. Patients that get the best results from a neck lift alone are those who have lax muscles of the neck, especially in the middle, but do not have very visible jowls.
A neck lift alone can also deliver less visible and more natural-looking results – the patient usually looks like they just lost weight or had a relaxing vacation, so it is hardly noticeable that any cosmetic work had been done.
If you’re looking for a subtle change that will greatly improve your overall appearance, talk to Dr. Fouda Neel about getting a neck lift today!