The skin, though elastic in nature, can sometimes stretch beyond self-repair. When a heavy person drops a lot of weight, loose skin can be noticed throughout the face and body. Skin may also become weakened over time due to gravity, age, and environmental factors. Often times, loose skin shows other signs of maturity such as wrinkles and brown spots.
Extra skin and tissue within the neck can cause a person to appear heavier than they actually are, and detract and distort the structures of the face. The neck lift procedure works to tighten the muscles of the neck and may include minor neck liposuction or surgical excision to remove or redistribute fat. In addition to altering the internal components of the neck, extra skin is surgically removed to produce a wrinkle-free overlay.
There are a number of different techniques that can employed during neck lift surgery, and the purpose of this article is to acquaint potential neck lift patients with them.
Neck Lift Incision
Most neck lifts require incisions to be created on the face side of the earlobe, and run to the back of the neck. The surgical cuts are hidden on the scalp by the patient’s hair. If the doctor opts to tighten the platysma muscles (some neck lift surgeries are referred to as platysmaplasty for this very reason), which is located below the chin and on either side of the neck ending at the collarbone, another incision may be created. The doctor can access the muscles from underneath the chin, an area that will conceal any marks or minor scars. The suture suspension neck lift technique will require the same incisions behind the ears and under the chin, and the muscles will be lifted into the desired position through the use of a suture.
During a posterior neck lift, an incision can be concealed within the hairline at the back of the neck. Typically, a posterior neck lift is performed only for skin removal.
Tightening of Muscles During a Neck Lift
If laxity within the platysma muscles contributed to the appearance of the neck prior to surgery, the doctor will discuss tightening them during surgery. This technique produces long-term results as they increase the strength of the structure.
Neck Lift Fat Removal
In some patients, extra fat has accumulated in regions of the neck, adding extra bulk to the delicate structure. A minor liposuction procedure can remove or redistribute unwanted fat. A microcannula, or the thin tube that targets the adipose tissue, is a great option as the doctor is able to target small locations of fatty deposits. The microcannula will not disturb the important and sensitive areas of the neck to the extent that a regular-sized cannula would. The fat may also be cut away with a scalpel or laser.
Neck Lift Skin Removal
Once the muscles and fat have been surgically altered, the skin can be re-draped over the neck. It may be trimmed by the use of a surgical scalpel or laser. This eliminates both wrinkles and neck banding. It also refines the jawline and the overall appearance of the neck. The skin removal portion of the surgery is referred to as a cervicoplasty.
A recently employed technique calls for the resurfacing of the underside of the skin to promote a tight, aesthetically pleasing appearance. If this method is utilized, the other areas of surgery may not be as extensive in order to promote a natural outcome.
There are a number of variations possible during each step of neck lift surgery, and Dr. Rubinstein can explain his techniques in-depth to interested potential patients. The doctor specializes in facial plastic surgery, both cosmetic and functional, as well as nasal and sinus disorders. He has been practicing in the area for over 14 years and is an Assistant Professor at New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Dual board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Dr. Rubinstein is dedicated to helping patients look and feel better by combining his medical and surgical expertise. Call the Hudson Valley surgeon at (845) 863-1772.