Neck Lift

This procedure is helpful in treatment of laxity of skin of the neck, prominent muscle bands (platysma bands), and fatty deposits under the chin.

Non-smokers in good general health who believe their necks give them a tired or aged appearance are generally good candidates for this procedure. Both men and women may be good candidates for necklift surgery. Incision lines are carefully planned with patients to avoid visibility of scars or objectionable hairline distortions.

A significant history of smoking often results in harm to the microcirculation (blood flow mediated by very small blood vessels). As excellent circulation is required for optimal wound healing following this procedure, patients with a history of substantial smoking over many years are discouraged from having this procedure. Patients with more moderate exposure are admonished to avoid any contact with nicotine for several weeks prior to surgery. Even so, they remain at somewhat increased risk for wound healing complications.

Patients with good skin tone who have excessive fatty deposits under the chin may benefit from a simpler procedure (submental liposuction), which involves a small incision under the chin which is used to remove excess fat. This procedure is often performed by Dr. Casso in his office with oral sedation and local anesthesia.

Neck Lift Surgery Process

Patients who have skin laxity in the neck, or prominent muscle bands in the front of the neck (platysma bands), undergo neck lift surgery, with incisions which extend behind the ears, and either into the scalp, or along the hairline, depending on the patient’s hairstyle.

In the consultation, Dr. Casso assesses the problems to be addressed and confers with the patient regarding the surgical options and proposed incision lines, to make sure that the patient’s concerns are addressed, and that the scars may be inconspicuous.

This procedure is performed under general anesthesia at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital. While this procedure is sometimes performed under local anesthesia in outpatient facilities, Dr. Casso recommends general anesthesia at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital, which provides the patient with a comfortable surgical experience, and close, expert nursing attention, treatment of postoperative nausea, if present, and immediate medical attention in the event of any unforeseen emergency. The option for surgery in a full-service, state-of-the-art facility such as Houston Methodist St. John provides patients with a measure of safety and security which is unmatched. An overnight stay is optional.

Incisions are made at the base of the earlobe, extending into the crease behind the ear, and into or along the scalp. If necessary, neck muscles may be tightened and fat removed through a short incision placed under the chin. Excess skin is removed behind the ears and small drains are inserted. The wounds are carefully sutured.

Neck Lift Recovery

Pain after this procedure is generally moderate, and controlled with oral pain medication.

Most patients go home the day of surgery. Patients are counseled to avoid bending, stooping, straining or exertion. Small drain tubes are typically removed the next day in the office, after which patients may shower and shampoo daily. Sutures are removed within ten days. For some patients, a compression garment is recommended. Bruising and swelling resolve within 2 to 3 weeks. Most patients may return to light activities within 1-2 weeks; vigorous exercise is deferred for 4-6 weeks.

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