At Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery & MedSpa in Vero Beach, FL, we see a lot of clients dismayed because their neck sags. They feel they look older or heavier than they are. We firmly believe that everyone should feel comfortable in his or her own skin. That’s why we are proud to offer a neck lift and excited to talk about this procedure.
16 FAQs About a Neck Lift Answered
1. How Does a Neck Lift Work?
A neck lift, also known as cervicoplasty (to remove excess skin) or platysmaplasty (to tighten loose neck muscles), is a procedure designed to tighten loose, sagging skin. Most often, only cervicoplasty is performed. However, we occasionally perform platysmaplasty, as well. It all depends on your desired aesthetic.
This procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure. It starts with a tiny incision made behind each ear. Depending on your aesthetic goals, you may also receive a third tiny incision placed just beneath your chin. These incisions allow your surgeon to tighten the tissues in the neck, remove excess skin, and tighten sagging skin.
2. Will I Be Awake During This Procedure?
During your initial consultation, we will review your medical history and discuss your personal preferences to determine if we should use intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Either way, you will be asleep during the procedure and will feel no pain or discomfort whatsoever.
3. How Does Recovery Work?
The recovery time required after a neck lift depends on several factors. These include how many procedures are performed, the extent of the procedures, your health and how well you follow aftercare instructions.
For instance, if you receive both platysmaplasty and cervicoplasty, your recovery period may be two weeks. However, if you only undergo one procedure or the other, your recovery time may be only a week.
4. How Can I Make My Recovery Smoother?
To make your recovery as smooth as possible, it is crucial that you stay hydrated. This means drinking between 64 and 128 ounces of water daily. You should also eat plenty of healthy foods that are rich in soluble fiber, insoluble fiber, protein, and micronutrients. We strongly recommend freezing these meals before your procedure.
Arrange for someone to drive you home after your procedure and stay with you for 24 hours. When you wake up after anesthesia or intravenous sedation, you will be drowsy and groggy. You may not drive within 24 hours of receiving intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. The first 24 hours after your procedure should be dedicated completely to rest.
5. Can I Smoke After My Procedure?
Unfortunately, you cannot do anything for the first couple of weeks after your procedure that can elevate your blood pressure. This includes consuming any product that contains nicotine, such as cigarettes, cigars, e-liquid, nicotine gum, nicotine patches, or chewing tobacco.
Similarly, you should avoid saunas, vigorous exercise, sodium in excess of three grams per day, over 200 mg of caffeine in a day, and alcohol. During your initial consultation, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of everything you need to avoid during your recovery and for how long you should avoid each one.
6. How Can I Prepare for My Procedure?
During your initial consultation, we will provide you with a personalized list for how to prepare for your procedure, but some things are universally recommended. For instance, you should stop consuming nicotine six weeks before your procedure. You should also stop taking medications and supplements that can prevent blood clotting for two weeks pre-op.
Fill all prescriptions, including antibiotics and analgesics, before you come in for your procedure. The night before your procedure, lay out clothes for your big day. With one less thing to worry about in the morning, you are more likely to sleep better. We strongly recommend clothes you don’t have to pull over your head to put on.
7. How Can I Prepare a Recovery Room in My Home?
Your recovery room should be the room in your home you feel most comfortable in. Ideally, this room will offer easy access to the restroom. If you don’t have an elevator in your home, we recommend that you choose a room on the ground floor of your home. You will be able to walk up stairs on the same day as your procedure, but you may not want to.
Your recovery room should include plenty of water, comfortable seating, a source or two of entertainment, and your prescription medications. Your recovery phone should also provide you with easy access to a phone so you can call someone if you need assistance. We also recommend your most comfortable blanket and at least two or three pillows.
8. How Can I Prepare for My Initial Consultation?
To prepare for your initial consultation, make a comprehensive list of all medications and supplements you are currently taking. Include the doses of these medications and how often you take them. Some of our clients find it easier to just bring in the bottles. We also need to know about any medications and supplements you have taken recently.
Be prepared for a physical examination. We will examine the structure of your neck and face. Depending on your medical history, we may require the results of a physical examination performed by your primary care physician. You should also be ready to articulate your aesthetic goals and expectations clearly.
9. How Long Will I Have to Wait to See the Results of My Procedure?
It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to six months to see the results of your procedure. This is because it takes time for your incision lines to mature and skin to settle into its more youthful position. The more diligently you follow the aftercare guidelines, the faster you will see the results of your procedure.
For instance, you should not apply excessive force to the incision sites. Do your best to not wear clothing that has to go over your head. We strongly recommend wearing a bathrobe, dresses that zip up your back, or shirts that button all the way down.
10. How Long Will the Results Last?
The durability of results depends on several factors, including your age, your general health, and the lifestyle choices that you make. For instance, the consumption of nicotine or alcohol will age you much faster than people who do not engage in such activities regularly. On average, the results of this procedure last between 10 and 15 years.
11. What Can I Do to Extend the Results of My Procedure?
To extend the results of your procedure, be diligent in keeping your skin healthy. You may need to drink around a gallon of water per day during your recovery. However, you should never drink fewer than 64 ounces of water daily at any time of life. Hydration is crucial for healthy skin, and healthy skin is more likely to remain tight and youthful. Another critical component of healthy skin is nutrition.
12. What Should I Avoid to Extend the Results of My Procedure?
To extend the results of your procedure, avoid any activities that can damage your skin. These include smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, and receiving unprotected UVA and UVB exposure. Consuming nicotine elevates your blood pressure by constricting your blood vessels. This makes it harder for your circulatory system to deliver essential nutrients to your skin.
Alcohol also elevates your blood pressure and, more importantly, is a diuretic. This means that you are losing nutrients through excessive urination and your body is struggling to deliver the remaining nutrients to your body. Moreover, alcohol dehydrates your skin, which makes it much more likely to age faster.
13. How Can I Protect My Skin From the Sun?
To protect your skin from the sun, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen. This type of sunscreen protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Limit your sun exposure when the sun is at its brightest, between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM. Reapply your broad-spectrum sunscreen every four hours or as recommended on the bottle. You can also limit your exposure to UV rays by not using tanning beds. If you feel the need to “bronze up,” you can get a spray tan or apply makeup to your neck.
14. Am I a Good Candidate for This Procedure?
During your initial consultation, we will review your medical history and aesthetic goals to help you determine if this is the right procedure for you. For instance, you are probably a good candidate for this procedure if you want durable results that will shave years off your neck and help you age much more gracefully.
You also may be a good candidate for this procedure if you are concerned by the appearance of a “turkey neck,” have wrinkles and creases throughout your neck, have vertical “fat” bands, or want to enhance the results of a facelift for a more comprehensive anti-aging effect.
15. What Health Factors Do You Consider?
When determining who is a good candidate for this procedure, there are several health factors we consider. For instance, to be a good candidate for general anesthesia, your heart and lungs have to be fairly healthy. Moreover, you must be healthy enough to stop taking medications that may prevent blood clotting.
Medications and supplements that can thin the blood include MAOIs, NSAIDs, vitamin E, garlic supplements, ginkgo balboa, and fish oil. Talk to your primary care physician before stopping any prescribed medications. Only he or she can determine if you are well enough to stop taking these medications.
16. Is This Procedure Safe?
We screen potential candidates for this procedure based on their medical history and current health to ensure that it is safe for them. If you do not have a history of developing keloid scars, you do not have blood disorders, and your heart and lungs are fairly healthy, this procedure is safe for you.
However, even if we clear you for this procedure during your initial consultation, we need to know if you develop an infection two weeks before your procedure. This includes skin infections at the treatment site, viral infections, and bacterial infections. When you have an infection, your body needs time and energy to deal with it.
Discover How to Perfect Your Aesthetic Today
You don’t have to let your neck expose your age to the world. A neck lift, whether combined with other cosmetic procedures or as a stand-alone procedure, may be just what the doctor ordered.
To learn more, call us today at Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery & MedSpa in Vero Beach, FL to schedule your initial consultation. We can’t wait to meet you and help you achieve your ideal aesthetic.