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Facial aging is a unique process for each patient. The aging process often involves some degree of skin elasticity loss, a decrease in the volume of the fat under the skin, and an elongation of the ligaments that hold the deeper structures to the facial bones. Skin, as it ages, begins to lose elasticity and starts to sag. The lower part of the face and the neck are often the first places where aging skin appears.

It can manifest in several different ways, including:

  • Wattle or turkey neck.
  • Wrinkles or a series of “rings” that go from one side of the neck to the other.
  • Skin that “relaxes” downward, creating jowls.
  • A thick, heavier or double chin from excess fatty deposits.

Why a Neck Lift?

There are a variety of options available for facial rejuvenation including both surgical and non-surgical that can camouflage or restore facial aging. The neck and jawline area, however, is often an area that can only be truly corrected or rejuvenated via a neck lift. As we age the skin and soft-tissue start to droop and because of the underlying ligaments, this excess skin laxity tends to bunch up at the jawline and under the chin in the neck area. A neck lift is the only treatment that can reposition this loose soft tissue back to where it belongs and in the process cleaning up and tightening the jawline and neck area.

During your consultation for a neck lift in Scottsdale, our board-certified plastic surgeons will go over your recommended treatment plan.*

*Dr. LaBarbera is a board eligible plastic surgeon at Arizona Aesthetic Associates.

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What are my options for a neck lift?

There are several different neck lift procedures to address the degree of skin tightening that is desired. The major differences involve the size and location of the incision.

The two most common Phoenix neck lift procedures are:

  • A mini neck lift
  • A neck lift with tightening of the platysma muscle and the underlying structures

Mini Neck Lift

A small incision is made behind each ear and the sagging skin only is removed and tightened. This procedure is good for those who just have a skin laxity issue without muscle or deeper structure involvement.

Neck Lift with Tightening of the Platysma Muscle (Traditional Neck Lift)

Muscles can also become lax, as we age. Tightening the muscle under the skin helps to maintain the contour, after the excess tissue is removed.

The platysma is a broad sheet of muscle that starts in the chest (pectoral) and shoulder (deltoid) area, extends upward over the collarbone (clavicle) and continues along the sides of the neck, all the way up to the cheek area.

The incision for a traditional Scottsdale neck lift most frequently starts at the hairline about where a sideburn would be, goes down and around the ear and ends in the hair behind the ear.

After the incision is made, one of two approaches may be taken:

  • The loose muscle under the chin is tightened or cinched; this can involve tightening from the center of the neck.
  • The muscle is tightened at each side of the neck.
  • Often the deeper muscles, fat under the platysma, and salivary glands under the jaw line are also addressed for the ideal neck and jaw line contour.

Non-Surgical Neck Lift Options

Certain types of surgical cosmetic procedures can, early on, be replaced by dermal fillers (injectables) or other non-invasive treatments such as Botox or Ultherapy. This is true, for example, with filling in laugh lines or marionette lines, or filling in volume in the cheeks.

This is not the case with neck procedures, though your surgeon may recommend that fillers or Botox be added to your treatment plan to create the optimal outcome.

Recovering from Neck Lift Surgery

During your appointment for a neck lift in Phoenix, your surgeon will give you detailed instructions for your post-operative recovery but, in general, what to expect includes the following:

  • You may be given a loose bandage around your face and neck to minimize swelling a bruising.
  • A thin tube may be inserted to drain excess fluids.
  • You will most likely be given a prescription for an antibiotic to minimize the possibility of infection.

Three very important guidelines:

  • To reduce swelling, keep your head elevated above your heart while sleeping or resting.
  • Minimize twisting your neck.
  • Do not apply ice or heat packs to your neck, since this can inhibit blood flow, which is vital for healing.

It can take several weeks to several months for all the swelling to go down. Incision lines can be visible for up to six months but typically fade early to become nearly invisible.

Why choose Arizona Aesthetic Associates?

The board-certified plastic surgeons at Arizona Aesthetic Associates are expertly trained in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. The balance of communication, planning, training, and surgical expertise will allow you to obtain your facial rejuvenation goals while maintaining a natural appearance.*

*Dr. LaBarbera is a board eligible plastic surgeon at Arizona Aesthetic Associates.

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