As the face ages, we see the effects of the constant force of gravity coupled with changes in the skin and adipose (fat) tissues. In some patients, the majority of the signs of aging occur at the jawline, under the chin (submental area), or in the neck region – leaving the face looking younger and more vibrant than the neck. These patients may seek rejuvenation of the neck region alone, rather than undergoing a full facelift and neck lift. Luckily, Dr. Ransom offers a variety of approaches – from minimally invasive, non-surgical treatments to the latest in surgical rejuvenation – that are targeted specifically at the aging neck. These procedures are great for men and women!
Planning for Your Procedure
Significant amounts of drooping neck tissue (“turkey neck”, “turkey gobbler”, or “waddles”), thick neck bands (platysmal banding), and the double chin (submental fat pockets) can all be treated by Dr. Ransom using a neck lift. A neck lift is a minor surgical procedure that can be performed with local anesthesia or minimal sedation. The procedure has multiple elements, each based on the patient’s unique anatomy (degree of skin laxity, amount of fat, and position of the hyoid bone), overall skin condition, and other specific concerns.
First, gentle liposuction of the neck and under-chin (submental) area is performed. This is accomplished through tiny incisions (the size of a straw) hidden behind the earlobes and in a crease under the chin. Next, if distinct platysmal bands are visible, these are treated in one of two ways, depending on their thickness and contour. In most patients, it is possible to flatten these neck bands by releasing the muscle laterally from its tough attachment to the underlying neck muscles (sternocleidomastoid) and then redraping the platysma behind the ear. In a smaller number of patients, the bands are too heavy or too loose, and must be treated medially (under the chin); in these cases, after the platysma muscle is released, Dr. Ransom performs a corset platysmaplasty (which tightens the muscles up under the chin, like the ties on the back of a corset). Regardless of approach, the goal of these procedures is to reduce the prominence of thick or loose muscles in the neck and to provide a sharper or more acute angle between the chin and neck. The third and final component involves a small incision hidden behind the ear and in the hairline on the back of the head. This provides access for Dr. Ransom to remove redundant or loose skin.
Candidates for a neck lift include all patients with loose or sagging skin in the lower face and/or neck region, a poorly defined jawline or prominent jowls, or thick, hanging bands in the neck. The terms neck lift and facelift (or face-lift) can be used by doctors and in the media to imply a wide variety of procedures and approaches. Dr. Ransom tailors his surgical approach to each specific patient, working to achieve the desired goal, and avoiding an “operated” look. For patients with issues predominantly in the neck region, a neck lift is an excellent option. Dr. Ransom will review a variety of options during your consultation, helping you to choose the best possible plan for your unique anatomy and goals.
Please note that all patients are different and individual healing times and results may vary. The statements regarding procedures and recovery made here are general rules.
Depending on the exact surgical approach needed in your case, the down time will vary. For most patients, a week off of work is sufficient. Mild bruising and swelling will occur immediately after the surgery, and begin to resolve around the third day. The majority of this process occurs in the first week. Pain is very minimal, and any significant increase in pain or swelling should be reported immediately. Dr. Ransom works closely with you throughout the postoperative period, making sure that you are making progress toward an excellent result. Further details can be discussed with Dr. Ransom during your confidential consultation.