Neck lifts are a simple surgical procedure, often sought out by those with loose or damaged skin who are looking to regain their youthful appearance. Though modern surgeons can safely tighten up skin and remove unsightly fat, a common concern amongst patients is the worry that their lift won’t last. Is their fear justified? In order to understand the answer, we first need to know how neck lifts work.
Skin and the Aging Process
Sagging skin, jowls, wrinkles, the dreaded “turkey neck” – all of these are primarily signs of aging. As we get older, our skin loses its natural elasticity and cannot cling as tightly to the rest of our bodies. Gaining excessive amounts of fat can worsen the problem. Fortunately, a more youthful look is one simple step away.
The Neck Lift Procedure
During a neck lift, surgeons tighten the neck and jawline to grant patients a smoother, younger looking appearance. This procedure can be as simple as basic liposuction of fat deposits, or may include surgical removal of excess skin and tightening of the supporting muscular structure as well – depending on the severity of the procedure as well as the patient’s desires, neck lifts can be done with either local or general anesthesia. Facelifts may be performed simultaneously, granting the cheeks the same treatment. These operations usually take a couple of hours, and patients can go home the same day in most cases.
Maximize the Impact of Your Lift
Neck lifts are most effective in patients who take steps to maintain their own skin. Regular exercise, healthy eating, and weight control can do much to preserve skin elasticity, and we’d strongly recommend that patients avoid smoking and alcohol – especially in the weeks prior to, and after, their lift.
Short and Long Term Effects
Recovery time varies from person to person, but you should be prepared to take a week or two off from work and other obligations. The first couple of days will likely be spent in bed, with some prescription-strength painkillers – most find it helpful to have a friend or family member assisting during the beginning of recovery. Bruising and swelling are common, but should subside within a week or so.
As for whether your lift will last: the fact remains that – as neck lifts work to reverse the effects of maturation – additional aging will slowly cause sagging and wrinkled skin to reemerge. It’s the same principle that caused these issues in the first place. The good news is that while a neck lift doesn’t last forever, patients who take care to maintain their weight and overall skin health will enjoy greatly delayed signs of aging when compared to their counterparts.
If you’ve got additional questions about neck lifts, or would like to schedule a consultation, contact Riverside Oral & Facial Surgery today.