Aging comes with a lot of challenges, many of which we can anticipate and try to prevent. But for all the anti-aging serums and creams in the world, there doesn’t seem to be a way to put a stop to sagging skin on the jaw and neck. Many of us try to draw attention away from lax skin with turtlenecks, statement necklaces, and artful haircuts. Unfortunately, these attempts only cover up the problem. At Chernoff Cosmetic Surgery in Santa Rosa, CA, we are happy to perform a neck lift as a long-lasting solution for your sagging neck woes.
What Is a Neck Lift?
A neck lift is a common cosmetic plastic surgery that tightens and lifts lax skin on the lower jaw, lower chin, and upper neck. This procedure works the same as many other lift-type treatments in the sense that it pulls the skin taut to create a more youthful appearance. This procedure is used to remove excess skin and excess fat.
This procedure is usually a combination of treatments: often liposuction and surgery that trims excess skin away from the neck. You can sometimes achieve similar results with the use of other non-invasive or minimally invasive treatments. We will help you determine which combination of treatments or procedures will help you reach your ideal appearance goals.
What Causes Sagging Neck?
Skin laxity in the jaw and neck area of the body is common for many aging adults. There are a few causes of sagging or loose skin on the neck, such as weight loss or aging. For most people, aging is the common culprit for sagging skin on the neck.
When we age, the production of proteins like collagen and elastin in the dermal layers of the skin begins to slow, which leads to a loss of skin volume. Over time, the loss of skin volume becomes obvious in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, and varying levels of skin laxity. We can see evidence of skin laxity all over the body, but it is usually more obvious in the face, neck, and collarbone regions.
What Causes Excess Neck Fat?
Excess fat in the neck is often caused by a genetic predisposition to collect and store more body fat than is useful. As a genetic predisposition, there is not much that diet or exercise can do to remove that fat from the body.
For many people, this often means that the only way to achieve their ideal appearance is to seek intervention, either from surgical or cosmetic treatments that can sculpt or remove the fat.
Benefits of Neck Lifts
There are many benefits to this procedure. Aside from an immediate boost to your confidence and finally being happy with the way you look, there are other benefits for this procedure that you might want to consider:
An Anti-Aging Solution
Like many other lift treatments for various parts of the body, this procedure is an anti-aging solution. It is often the case that the first indicators of aging are a less defined jaw or thinner skin on the neck.
These early indicators are common contributors to looking and feeling older than we are. This procedure helps turn back the clock and produce a much younger and healthier looking visage.
An Ideal Solution
For many people with mild, moderate, and even severe skin laxity on the neck, this procedure is the only ideal, long-lasting solution. Other skin lifting treatments for the neck use the body’s own regenerative abilities to tighten skin, which can last for several months at a time.
However, for some patients, these treatments are not effective enough to produce the desired results. This procedure is an ideal solution for those who want longer lasting results or for those who have not responded to other treatments.
The truth of the matter is that a healthy lifestyle will take a long time to produce the same results as this procedure. Diet and regular exercise can only do so much, even for people who do not have a genetic predisposition to store excess fat.
Lift surgery or other treatments to contour the neck are the only quick and effective ways to achieve your appearance goals. Additionally, this procedure and others like it often have quick recovery times, which means you can go back to living your life looking the way you want.
What to Expect Before Procedure
There are a few steps you will need to take before you have this procedure. The steps taken before the procedure ensure that you are a good candidate for the treatment and help us determine the best course for your treatment plan.
Your first appointment with us will be a consultation with our skilled staff and Dr. Chernoff. We will discuss your appearance goals and examine the condition of the skin on your neck. We may take photographs for your medical file that will be used as a reference for your surgery and for your treatment plan.
Because this procedure is considered a medical surgery, there is a lot of information we will need to gather about you for your health and safety. We ask about your general medical history, including any previous cosmetic treatments or other surgeries you have had in the past.
We will also ask for your current medical issues, the medications or supplements you may be currently taking, and if you have any drug allergies.
This procedure requires the use of a general anesthetic, which may mean that you will be asked to complete certain lab tests or exams so we can determine if general anesthesia is a safe option for you.
You will be provided with pre-treatment guidelines to follow in the days before your procedure. It is important to follow these guidelines so that your planned surgery can go smoothly. Your pre-treatment guidelines may include:
- Avoid the use of certain medications or supplements, unless otherwise directed by a doctor
- Avoiding the use of alcohol or tobacco
- Avoiding certain products or foods
You will likely be asked to arrange for transportation on the day of your appointment. It is possible you will be scheduled as an in-patient at the hospital, which may require an overnight stay.
What to Expect During Procedure
There are several steps involved in the completion of your procedure. From start to finish, Dr. Chernoff will be in charge of performing your procedure and overseeing your preparation for the procedure.
Step One: Anesthesia
We will administer anesthesia to you for your comfort for the duration of the procedure. Most patients are offered a choice between sedation and general anesthesia. We will help you determine the best option for you as part of your treatment plan.
Step Two: Incision
The type of incision that is made for your procedure depends on the exact treatments in your treatment plan. Typically for liposuction, only a small incision is required in one location.
For surgery that will also lift the skin, we usually need to make two incisions on either side of the jaw near the ears. It is possible your treatment plan will include a combination of liposuction and skin trimming. We will talk about the planned incisions when we create your treatment plan.
Step Three: Procedure
For liposuction, we remove the excess fat from between layers of your skin with a small device. For trimming excess skin, we will gently lift skin into the desired position to create a tighter appearance, and then we trim the skin away and stitch the joining closed.
The time it takes to complete this procedure is usually around 3 hours, depending on the extent of the work that needs to be completed.
Step Four: Closing
We will close the incision sites using stitches, or even dissolving sutures. The method we use to close your incision depends on your healing rate, how large the incisions are, where the incisions are located, and your estimated recovery. Dr. Chernoff uses a meticulous technique so scars are barely visible.
What to Expect After Procedure
After your procedure is complete, there are several steps that are part of your recovery. Most patients who have this procedure have the same recovery time and expected results.
We will give you post-treatment guidelines after your procedure is complete. These guidelines are meant to help ease you through a quick recovery. Some of these post-treatment guidelines include:
- Following care instructions for your incision sites
- Using the prescriptions we give you
- Avoiding certain medications or supplements
- Avoiding tobacco or alcohol for a time
- Avoiding strenuous activity
It is possible we will give you additional guidelines to follow for your recovery, such as instructions on how to sleep or when you are allowed to shower.
The first 3 days following your procedure will see some swelling or bruising at the treatment site. These side effects are expected and will heal within 7 days following your procedure. You will be advised to keep your head elevated at all times and to avoid any unnecessary movement in your neck, such as bending or turning.
You will also be advised to take time off work for at least 2 weeks. Most patients are fully recovered between 2 to 3 weeks following the procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions About Neck Lifts
How Long Does a Neck Lift Last?
You can expect the results from your treatment to last for several years. Most patients of this procedure enjoy results for 10 to 15 years before they notice a return of the early signs of aging.
Does Neck Fat or Sagging Neck Come Back?
While the results of this procedure can last for a decade, it is possible that weight gain will make neck fat return. Sagging skin on the neck will return after 10 or so years because of the natural aging process. Overall, this procedure is semi-permanent.
Can I Combine This Procedure?
Many patients combine this procedure with other treatments, such as facelifts or lifts on other areas of the body. It is also common to combine this procedure into a one-stage surgery where all lift procedures are completed at one time.
Am I an Ideal Candidate?
Ideal candidates for this procedure include women and men who are not satisfied by their appearance. This procedure is ideal for patients who are interested in removing neck fat or excess skin from the neck to appear younger and healthier. This procedure can be done on patients of many ages but is usually performed on patients 40 and older.
Treat a Sagging Neck With a Neck Lift Today!
It’s time to stop hiding behind your neck behind clothing and jewelry. You deserve to be happy with every aspect of your appearance. If you think a neck lift may be the perfect permanent solution to treating the sagging skin on your neck, contact Chernoff Cosmetic Surgery in Santa Rosa, CA to schedule your initial consultation today! Dr. Gregg Chernoff and our compassionate staff are eager to welcome you as a patient at our practice.