As you age and lose the stores of the structural proteins collagen and elastin that shore up your skin, the skin first becomes riddled with fine lines and wrinkles. As the proteins decrease even more, and with the constant pull of gravity, the skin around your jawline and neck starts to sag, hanging in loose folds that you may find quite unflattering.
In the early stages, Botox® and dermal fillers may help you maintain your youthful appearance, but they’re not enough to overcome lax skin and fat stores. For those, you may need a neck lift.
Oculofacial plastic surgeon Dr. Dustin Heringer at Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery understands how self-conscious lax skin can make you feel, which is why he provides neck lifts for his patients in the Scottsdale and Peoria, Arizona, areas. Here’s how a neck lift can take care of your sagging jowls — and more.
Neck lifts address several different issues:
A surgical technique doesn’t define neck contouring; instead, it’s based on the patient’s aesthetic goals. Dr. Heringer uses a completely different surgical approach for someone who wants to reshape a double chin versus someone who wants to lose a turkey wattle.
The contouring can be performed as a single procedure or be combined with other procedures, such as a face-lift, brow lift, rhinoplasty, and/or chin augmentation, to provide more comprehensive and complementary de-aging.
If you’re bothered by excess fat under your chin and loose skin, Dr. Heringer may start with liposuction. Your skin must have good elasticity to contract evenly following the procedure. Liposuction can’t significantly improve sagging skin so the typical neck liposuction patient will be no older than their early 50s.
For most patients, liposuction is a fairly quick procedure. Dr. Heringer makes one or two tiny incisions, either beneath the chin or behind the ears, to hide the scars, through which he inserts a small cannula to suck out the excess fat and naturally sculpt the chin and neck.
If you also want to address sagging jowls and loose neck skin, Dr. Heringer performs a cervicoplasty (to remove excess skin) and a platysmaplasty (to tighten loose neck muscles), restoring a smoother and better-defined neck appearance.
The neck lift is generally performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. Dr. Heringer makes a small incision behind each ear and may also make a small incision underneath the chin. He then tightens the neck muscles and/or underlying tissues and removes excess, sagging skin before suturing the wounds closed.
Recovery time depends on the individual and the number of procedures performed. Most patients are sufficiently recovered after two weeks to return to daily activities. You can initially expect bruising and swelling, and your neck will probably feel tight for a few weeks. Dr. Heringer provides you with detailed aftercare instructions.
If you’re bothered by the visible signs of aging, including loose skin and fat deposits, it’s time to come into Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery for a consultation with Dr. Heringer to determine if a neck lift is the right option for you. Give us a call at either of our locations or book online with us today.