The neck lift, also referred to as platysmaplasty and submental platysmaplasty, is a procedure designed to minimize the appearance of loose, sagging skin in the neck area and below the jaw line. Individuals with a fleshy neck, jowls, plastysma or neck banding, or a turkey waddle may seek this procedure.The neck lift is often combined with a face lift, though patients should be aware that neither procedure addressed the area above the brows or around the eyes.
Surgery: A neck lift procedure generally takes 2-3 hours to perform. A skin-only lift can be done with two incisions under or behind the ear; platysmaplasty with the additional skin lift can be accomplished with a small incision under the chin and behind or under the ear. During the procedure, sections of skin are trimmed and lifted into place and sutured or fixed with tissue glue. With the platysmaplasty, a section of fat muscle is removed, if need be, and the ends are sutured to bring them together at the mid-anterior (front) section of the neck. The skin can be brought together under of behind the ear to further firm up the appearance of the neck.
The incision is then closed. You will have a pressure dressing placed around your head. If you are not familiar with this look, it involves wrapping a dressing around the top of your head to underneath your chin, and covering your ears. Of course, there may be differences in surgical technique depending upon the preference of your surgeon. You are then gently awakened and brought into the recovery room where the recovery nurse will monitor your vital stats until you are ready to be released.
Recovery: You will have to take it easy and sleep on two pillows to keep your head elevated for about 10-14 days. A recliner is the best for this. It is important that you do not turn your head from side to side. Bruising and swelling is a normal occurrence in most surgeries and is a part of the natural healing process.
Even though you may feel better, you must take it easy for the first 3 weeks. Be careful not to bend over or lift heavy objects. You must also be careful not to raise your blood pressure for at least 3 weeks, as this could cause internal bleeding at your treatment area. Your blood vessels dilate to allow increased blood flow when you raise your heart rate. This may cause problems at internal wound sites. Do not participate in contact sports for at least 6-8 weeks, although ask your surgeon what he recommends specifically. Usually, you are instructed not to go into any steam rooms or use steam devices, saunas, face and neck masks, or products of any kind that promote major flushing of the skin. Please continue to avoid alcohol and aspirin containing products for a few days to weeks, as this has anti-platelet properties and could cause bleeding.