Now that summer is unofficially over and fall weather is about to roll in, you might be taking a look at your cold weather wardrobe. Scarves and turtlenecks are a staple of many a cooler weather wardrobe. But if you’re wearing those scarves and turtlenecks not only to keep warm, but also to cover up a saggy neck, you should know that there are other options. A neck lift can help reduce the size of a double chin, loose jowls or the so-called turkey wattle. After the surgery, you might be proud to be able to wear crewneck and V-neck tops once again.
Like most plastic surgeries, neck surgery isn’t a one-size-fits-all option. You have a few choices when it comes to the right procedure, based on what’s going on with your neck. If you have extra fat in the neck area, but your skin hasn’t yet lost its elasticity or started to sag, neck liposuction might be appropriate for you.
If you do have some looseness in the skin of your neck, as well as extra fat, a neck lift may be a better option for you. When the skin laxity starts to travel up to include your chin, jaw or cheeks, a mini or full facelift might be the best option.
What Happens During Liposuction or a Neck Lift
The procedure for liposuction is different from the procedure for a neck lift. It tends to be considerably simpler. If you decide to have liposuction of the neck area, you usually will be under general anesthesia during. The surgeon typically injects the area with a solution that helps minimize pain and bleeding. He or she then makes two small incisions by the ears through which a small tube is threaded. The desired amount of fat is removed through the tubes, then they are taken out and the incisions closed.
There are two ways in which a neck lift can be performed. One method, known as the suture suspension neck lift, takes less time than the other option, which is the open platysmaplasty procedure. During a suture suspension neck lift, the surgeon makes several small incisions by the ears and under the chin. He or she then trims away extra skin and tightens the neck muscle, which is held in place by a special suture.
The open platysmaplasty surgery takes about three hours, or twice as long as the suture suspension procedure. It involves slightly more incisions, including a few in front of the ears. But, as with the suture suspension surgery, the incisions are placed in locations that make them easy to conceal. During the surgery, the doctor removes excess muscle and fat from the area and uses liposuction to remove some of the extra fat from the neck.
How Long It Takes to Recover
Most patients go home the day of their procedure. In many cases, you’ll be able to head back to work after a week after surgery, whether you’ve had liposuction or a neck lift. You may have some bruising, discomfort and swelling. The sealant used at the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute, however, helps decrease the amount of swelling and bruising patients experience, as well as the length of their recovery period.
Deciding on Surgery
As with any surgical procedure, neck liposuction or neck lift isn’t something to rush into. You may have to make some changes to your lifestyle and habits before the surgery. Depending on the degree of aging on your face and neck, your surgeon might recommend a different surgery entirely or a non-surgical procedure, such as Botox injections.
It’s usually recommended that you see your regular doctor before deciding to have plastic surgery, too, just to make sure you are in tip-top shape. You also want to quit smoking a few weeks before, and after, your neck lift or liposuction, to reduce the risk of complications.
If you’re looking forward to a turtleneck-free fall, Dr. George Bitar can help you decide if a neck lift or neck liposuction is the right pick for you. To schedule an appointment at the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute, near Washington, DC, call (703) 206-0506 today.
George Bitar, MD, FACS is an award-winning, board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, the Founder and Medical Director of Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Virginia. He specializes in the latest surgical and minimally invasive techniques to scar management and reduction. Dr. Bitar is involved in groundbreaking research and education in plastic surgery and has authored numerous articles, abstracts, and chapters.