You look in the mirror and see skin that makes you look older than you are. Fatty tissue deposits have resulted in bands around your neck, making you look heavier than you are. You wish you could just look younger and slimmer. Does this sound familiar? At Sule Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic in Dallas, TX, we want each of our clients to be confident and comfortable in their own skin. That’s why we’re proud to offer anti-aging treatments and procedures. Today, we’re talking about how long a neck lift lasts and if it’s the right option for you.
What Is a Neck Lift?
A neck lift, or cervicoplasty, is a set of medical procedures and treatments that enhance the appearance of your neck. These may include removing excess skin, removing or tightening neck muscles, removing excess fat through liposuction, Botox to address “bands” or fullness, and much more.
For example, Kybella is often used to address submental fullness during this procedure. Other anti-aging techniques include dermal fillers, intense pulsed light, ultrasound or radiofrequency devices and laser therapy.
Am I a Good Candidate?
The best candidate for cervicoplasty is in good general health, can commit to not smoking for two weeks prior to the procedure, has elastic skin, and is not significantly overweight. Moreover, an ideal candidate understands what results to realistically expect.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Sule will help you determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure based on your medical history, current health status, unique aesthetic goals, and other factors.
What If I’m Not Ready to Commit?
If you know you want to look younger and slimmer, but you’re not ready to commit to cervicoplasty yet, you’re not alone. Botox doesn’t have to be a complementary treatment. It can actually replace the cervicoplasty itself.
How Long Does a Botox Neck Lift Last?
A Botox neck lift, when used to replace traditional cervicoplasty, can last between three and six months. This means you’ll only need to come in for a 15-minute treatment two to four times per year to maintain your results. Even better, the more regularly you receive Botox injections, the less frequently you’ll need them. This is because the hyperactive neck muscles causing the wrinkles “atrophy” after extended periods of less frequent use.
How Does Botox Replace Cervicoplasty?
Botox works by making the neck muscles appear tighter, so your whole neck looks younger and tauter. Dr. Sule will target the D.A.O. muscle of the jawline and platysmal bands of the neck during this treatment. The result is essentially a “pulled-up” jawline and a more attractive mouth. Relaxing the jaw and neck muscles results in a smoother, tighter jawline. The appearance of jowls and sagging in the neck and jaw is diminished, as well.
Botox is usually used to address neck bands. However, if your concern is wrinkles, dermal fillers can help without the need for cervicoplasty. Dermal fillers contain hyaluronic acid, a natural substance that loves binding with water.
Neck wrinkles are corrected by injecting hyaluronic acid into the treatment site. The hyaluronic acid then attracts water and binds with it, filling in lines and wrinkles. Radiesse has been used for the past seven years and extensive research has shown that the benefits of this treatment can last between one and three years.
How Long Does a Cervicoplasty Procedure Last?
Cervicoplasty, also known as a neck lift, lasts between two and three hours. However, if cervicoplasty is performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as a forehead lift, facelift or liposuction, you may be under anesthesia for over three hours.
First, Dr. Sule will access the platysma (neck muscle), tighten it, and remove any excess fat from the neck. Fat removal may be achieved through liposuction. Then, any excess skin will be removed, creating a younger-looking, more contoured neck and jawline.
Once the platysma has been tightened and any excess fat has been removed. Dr. Sule will re-drape the skin over your neck. The sutures used to close the incisions may dissolve on their own or they may need to be removed.
If liposuction is used to complement cervicoplasty, expect to be under anesthesia for no more than an extra hour. This will be the first procedure performed. Once all components of your neck lift are complete, make sure you understand how to adhere to Dr. Sule’s instructions on the proper care of the bandage and stitches. If anything is unclear, get clarification before you leave our office.
Excess Neck Skin
To address excess skin on your neck. Dr. Sule will trim parts of the skin away and lift the remaining skin into place. Then, he will secure it with stitches or tissue glue. Depending on how severe your case is, this may take two to four hours.
The type of anesthesia administered will depend on factors including your health, personal preference, and budget. Many clients choose local anesthesia with sedation to save a little money. However, if you don’t want to be awake during your procedure, you may opt for general anesthesia. After the procedure, Dr. Sule will fit you with a compression bandage. Wear this for at least seven days unless advised otherwise.
Cervicoplasty is performed to address problems with the platysma. Dr. Sule may choose to access the neck muscle via incisions behind the ears, under the chin or both. Thanks to advanced endoscope technology, these incisions are tiny and will not leave visible scars.
If you’re concerned that your neck looks “full” or you have “fat bands” on your neck, Botox injections can relax targeted parts of the platysma, addressing these concerns. Botox injections will only add approximately 15 minutes to your total cervicoplasty time.
How Long Do Results Last?
Nobody can stop the aging process forever. However, you can expect your neck lift to last between 10 and 15 years if you remain in good health. If you opt for this procedure in your early 40s to address problems with the muscle structure in your neck, results will last a lot longer than if you are in your 60s and addressing loose, sagging skin.
How Can I Make the Results Last Longer?
Taking care of your health is the best thing you can do to extend the length of your results. There are several factors you can manipulate to achieve this.
First, you need to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C. This essential vitamin stimulates your body’s collagen production, making your skin more elastic. The longer it takes for your skin to become lax again, the longer you can go without a follow-up treatment. Excellent sources of vitamin C include berries, citrus fruits, and tomatoes.
Moreover, you need to eat plenty of foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These include avocado, tree nuts, fatty fish and olive oil. If you have dietary restrictions and can’t stomach the taste of avocado, take fish oil supplements to keep your skin healthy and radiation from the inside out.
You moisturize your hands when they are dry and cracked in the winter. You moisturize your face. But do you remember to care for the skin on your neck? Moisturizing your neck doesn’t require any special lotion. Your daily face cream is more than adequate. Just make sure you’re applying it by moving your fingers upwards gently.
Another important skin care routine that often goes overlooked is exfoliation. Create a gentle exfoliating scrub for your neck skin with yogurt and oat flakes. This helps to remove dead skin cells, leaving your neck looking more youthful and radiant.
Consider Your Posture
Bad posture doesn’t just lead to neck pain and headaches. It can also cause wrinkles to form that require dermal fillers to get rid of. Every time you look at your cell phone, hold it at eye level. This prevents you from bending in an awkward position.
If you don’t have a cervical pillow to support your neck at work, be particularly mindful about your posture. Standing desks can help you keep your neck and head in alignment if you have an office job.
Apply Sunscreen Daily
Whether it is overcast outside or not, you should apply sunscreen down to your chest every time you leave the house for the day. This includes days you wear a turtleneck or scarf. While clothes may offer marginal protection from the sun, only broad-spectrum sunscreen rated at least SPF 30 can protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
If you’ve decided cervicoplasty is right for you, you’ll have to stop smoking for at least two weeks before your procedure. You’ll need to stop smoking for at least two weeks after your recovery. By the time your sutures are removed or absorbed into your skin, you’ll have gone four weeks without smoking.
Use this as an opportunity to never touch another cigarette again. Cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive chemical that causes the blood vessels in the superficial layers of your skin to narrow. This makes it harder for blood to flow to your skin. As a result, your skin doesn’t get enough oxygen and essential nutrients, such as vitamin A. If you smoke, your skin will sag and wrinkle, and you will need to come in for more regular anti-aging treatments.
How Long Does Recovery Last?
Recovery from cervicoplasty depends on a number of factors. If you have the ability to work from home, you may not need to miss a single day of work. If you have your neck lift performed on a Friday morning, you may feel well enough to return to the office on Tuesday morning. If your job requires a fair amount of physical activity, expect to return 10 to 14 days after your procedure.
If you participate in team sports, let your team captain know you won’t be able to play or compete for approximately three weeks. You should avoid any vigorous exercise for at least this long. However, we strongly encourage you to walk around as soon as you feel comfortable enough to do so.
Can I Have Sex?
Like vigorous exercise, sex elevates your heart rate and increases oxygenation in the blood. However, you don’t have to wait three to four weeks after your procedure to be intimate with your partner. Have sex whenever you feel comfortable enough to do so. For some people, this may be three days. For others, it may be seven to 10 days. The important thing is that you listen to your body.
Rejuvenate Your Neck Today
Are you ready to shave years off your neck? Do you wish you looked slimmer? Call the experts at Sule Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic in Dallas, TX today to schedule your initial consultation. Our dedicated medical professionals will help you determine if a neck lift is right for you.