It is inherent in the aging process that the skin loses its elasticity, although the extent of this can vary greatly from individual to individual, as some people tend to develop wrinkles, others experience primarily skin sagging or a combination of these two phenomena. When non-invasive methods - cosmetic treatments, laser procedures - no longer help enough, the ’rejuvenation’ and tightening of the neck skin can be achieved with plastic surgery. In some cases, local liposuction is sufficient, in others it may be necessary to remove excess skin to achieve an optimal effect.
When is a neck lift warranted?
Like the face, the tightness of the skin of the neck decreases with age or, in the case of considerable weight gain or weight loss, a double chin can develop, which is nothing more than clearly visible accumulated adipose tissue under the chin. When these changes become aesthetically disturbing, a neck lift and/or double-chin surgery becomes warranted. While a neck lift restores the neck’s previous shape by removing excess adipose tissue and skin, in the case of double-chin surgery it is often sufficient to perform only liposuction to restore the contour of the neck. However, over the age of 45 the elasticity of the skin gradually decreases and therefore excess skin is already present, in which case a neck lift with skin removal becomes necessary. After a neck lift and/or double-chin surgery your appearance will be much more youthful, your neck will be tighter and you can also say goodbye to that disturbing double chin.
What happens at the first consultation?
Our plastic surgeon will examine you during a personal consultation and show you, based on their references, what your expected best outcome will be if you decide to have surgery. He will suggest the necessary correction and intervention as well as inform you of the full course of the plastic surgery.
Preparing for surgery
As with all surgeries, you will need to undergo a full examination, including laboratory tests and if necessary other tests (e.g., an ECG and x-rays) before a neck lift and/or double-chin surgery. In our private hospital, we perform all the necessary tests at the same time to save you time and make your preparations for surgery more convenient. You will then receive some lifestyle tips to help you prepare for surgery and to speed up your recovery. These include quitting smoking - at least temporarily - as nicotine slows the healing processes, consuming adequate amounts of fluids, vitamins and trace elements (vitamin C, selenium, zinc) and avoiding the use of aspirin, ginkgo biloba and other natural remedies, because these affect blood clotting.
What happens during surgery?
If the amount of excess fat is small and the skin is still firm and able to retract, neck liposuction is performed by our plastic surgeon through small incisions to remove excess adipose tissue via a thin tube. To reduce bleeding, the double chin area is filled with a hemostatic and anesthetic solution before starting liposuction. If the neck skin’s connective tissues are so weakened that it becomes necessary to remove the excess skin, a neck lift is needed. Incisions are made behind the ear and on the scalp, and our plastic surgeon pulls the skin to the side to remove the excess. If the skin sags in the middle of the neck, double-chin surgery should be performed. Following an incision under the chin, the plastic surgeon sutures the separated neck muscles and removes excess skin tissue. Depending on the needs and aims of the patient, these interventions can be performed in combination. A neck lift under anesthesia usually takes 1-1.5 hours. Our plastic surgeon uses only absorbable sutures throughout, sparing you the inconvenience of later suture removal.
After a neck lift you will need to spend one night in our private hospital, where you can relax in pleasant and comfortable surroundings. The surgical site should not be exposed to water for one week. After surgery the plastic surgeon will determine the duration that you should wear the compression bandage, which we provide for you. After a neck lift, tenderness, swelling and bruising may occur, but this will pass after a few days. During the first two weeks it is important to avoid all strenuous physical activity, then you can gradually resume your previous rhythm of life, and after three weeks light exercise is allowed. Neither the solarium, sunbathing, nor the sauna are advised for two months. Our plastic surgeon will call you back for a postoperative examination at specified intervals. If surgery has been performed, the visible scars will heal in approximately 6 months, while those under the skin heal within about 2 years. Although we try to filter out all risk factors during preoperative neck surgery examinations, unforeseen complications can occur. At the first consultation your plastic surgeon will inform you about these and how to avoid them.
The results of the intervention are visible after a few weeks, but the final form will develop after six months.