When you’re focusing on the full effect of aging, it can be hard to pinpoint what the biggest problem is. While the signs of aging can appear in multiple areas of the face, there is one area that people often overlook when considering facial rejuvenation: the neck. Often, the neck is one of the first areas of the face to show signs of aging, and it can have a big impact on the overall youth of the face (or lack thereof!).

If you’ve been considering facial rejuvenation to turn back the clock, you might want to think about a necklift, either on its own or with another procedure to get the whole new look you want.

The Aging Neck

Aging in the neck is influenced by three main factors: excess skin, poor fat distribution, and loose muscles. The skin of the neck takes a beating on a daily basis, just as the face does, but curiously, most people do not give the neck the same attention as the facial skin. The aging process often begins with “banding”, horizontal wrinkles that appear on the neck from muscle movement and loss of skin elasticity. As time goes on, the neck and chin skin begin to sag, muscles loosen, and the neck can eventually take on a “turkey wattle” appearance that can make the sufferer look much older than they actually are.

The Procedure and Recovery

Necklift surgery is highly customizable and is tailored to suit each patient’s individual needs, when performed by a board certified facial plastic surgeon. For example, while patients with loose skin may require a more extensive procedure and additional incisions than patients who are only concerned with excess fat and muscle looseness, great care is taken in every procedure to minimize visible scarring.

Common techniques used in necklift surgery include tightening of the muscles of the neck, gentle liposuction methods, and the removal of excess skin. Remaining skin is re-draped for optimal contour and the incisions are closed.

Patients should arrange to take a week to ten days for the initial healing period after a necklift, though this will depend on the patient and the procedure. Strenuous activity will need to be put on hold until the surgeon lifts activity restrictions, and swelling and bruising is expected following the procedure, gradually fading over time.

Combining Treatments

Necklift surgery is often performed alongside another surgical procedure, such as some type of facelift, forehead lift, or eyelid surgery for comprehensive rejuvenation. Surgical procedures can also pair well with non-invasive rejuvenation techniques such as injectable fillers or skin treatments. It all depends on the patient’s individual needs.

Prevention and Preservation 

Whether you’re worried about your neck’s appearance, or you’re wondering how long the results of a necklift will last, it’s important to think about prevention of aging and preservation of results before you move forward. The best ways to help keep your neck looking young are actually pretty simple, and involve protecting the sensitive skin from the sun and paying close attention to your skincare routine for your neck.

Is a Necklift Right for You?

If prevention isn’t enough and you’re considering moving forward with a necklift, then it’s time to meet with a skilled facial plastic surgeon and get an assessment of your needs and candidacy for the procedure. You will be able to get personalized advice, ask specific questions, and get to know potential surgeons, all important aspects of setting yourself up for a successful procedure.

Looking for an expert opinion in the Austin area? Come to Buckingham Center and meet with board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Buckingham. Dr. Buckingham is an acclaimed and reputable surgeon who emphasizes natural-looking results and gentle techniques. Call Buckingham Center today at 512.401.2500 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Buckingham.

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