Neck Lift Surgery in Houston at Lift Plastic Surgery
As time passes, environmental factors, gravity and the natural aging process can cause a variety of changes in the lower face and neck (e.g., loose skin, neckbands, a poorly defined jawline). Each of these characteristics can cause a person to appear older than he or she actually is. Nonetheless, a plastic surgeon can address these changes with a neck lift. At Lift Plastic Surgery, Houston’s top plastic surgeon, Dr. Shitel D. Patel, performs a variety of rejuvenation procedures to help men, and women regain a more youthful appearance.
What is a Neck Lift?
A Houston neck lift is a cosmetic surgery procedure that plastic surgeons use to reduce the signs of aging along the jawline and in the neck. The technique a plastic surgeon uses (i.e., cervicoplasty, lower rhytidectomy, liposuction or platysmaplasty), depends on the patient’s specific neck rejuvenation needs.
Neck Rejuvenation Techniques in Houston — Defined
The neck characteristics a patient would like Dr. Patel to address determines which technique(s) the plastic surgeon recommends.
During a cervicoplasty, Dr. Patel removes excess skin and then tightens what skin remains.
If a patient has excess fat, manual removal is possible, however, liposuction is usually the technique of choice.
During a lower rhytidectomy, the plastic surgeon reduces the signs of aging by tightening and removing the excess fat and skin in the patient’s neck, as well as along his or her jawline.
While performing a platysmaplasty, the surgeon reconstructs the neck by tightening the neck muscles (aka platysma muscles). The platysma muscles are superficial, thin, sheet-like muscles in the neck. In addition, the surgeon may manually remove or use liposuction to address excess fat beneath the chin.
Neck rejuvenation techniques, what each technique can address:
A Platysmaplasty — A Corset Platysmaplasty –A Purse String/Hammock Platysmaplasty
A platysmaplasty addresses sagging skin on the neck as well as vertical neck banding. The issue the patient needs addressed determines which platysmaplasty technique the surgeon recommends.
What is a corset platysmaplasty?
- During a corset platysmaplasty, the surgeon eliminates the vertical banding by tightening and reconstructing the patient’s platysma muscles. In addition, the surgeon removes any excess skin. Once complete, the patient enjoys firmer skin on the neck and the vertical neck banding is no longer visible.
What is a hammock/purse string platysmaplasty?
- For the most part, plastic surgeons use the hammock/purse string platysmaplasty technique when addressing neck issues in male patients because male patients have deeper neck structures than female patients do.
- During a hammock/purse string platysmaplasty, the plastic surgeon uses mesh to keep the neck muscles tight and to secure loose skin.
- To address platysma banding, the surgeon creates an incision on each side beneath the patient’s chin. After creating the incisions, the surgeon weaves together the edges of each side of the platysma muscles. The result is a youthful-looking neckline.
A good candidate for a platysmaplasty is someone who has:
- Excess fatty tissue on the neck.
- Neck wrinkles.
- Loose, sagging skin on the neck.
- A poorly defined jawline.
When an individual has loose, sagging skin resulting from the decrease in the production of collagen and elastin that occurs naturally with age, a cervicoplasty may be able to help.
During a cervicoplasty, the surgeon removes loose, sagging skin and then tightens the skin that remains. Removing this extra skin and contouring the neck area eliminates the wrinkles that these characteristics cause.
Individuals who are good candidates for a cervicoplasty are those who have:
- Overly lax skin on the neck.
- Neck folds.
- A poorly defined neck profile.
- A double chin caused by excess skin hanging off the neck.
Individuals who have these neck characteristics as well as neckbands usually benefit from having a cervicoplasty and platysmaplasty during the same surgical session.
A Lower Rhytidectomy (aka A Lower Facelift)
Individuals who have excess skin causing wrinkles on their neck, a turkey wattle, double chin and jowl lines may be good candidates for a lower rhytidectomy. In addition, a lower rhytidectomy is a good option for people who have an upper face that still appears youthful, but a lower face that is showing the signs of aging.
During a lower rhytidectomy, the plastic surgeon can sculpt the fatty tissue present in the neck or move the excess fat that is present in the jowls and neck. In addition, the surgeon repositions the tissue beneath the skin.
Many patients also have their neck muscles tightened during a lower rhytidectomy.
Dr. Patel Removes Fatty Deposits with Liposuction
Fatty deposits in the chin can be present even if an individual is not overweight. These fat deposits can cause the jawline to appear poorly defined. In addition, these deposits may make it look like an individual has a double chin.
While performing liposuction, Dr. Patel makes several small incisions beneath the chin. Due to their experience, Dr. Patel knows where the best place is to create these incisions, which ensures that any resulting scars remain well hidden.
After creating the incisions, the surgeon inserts a cannula (i.e., a small, thin, hollow tube) through an incision. After insertion, the liposuction machine, which, in performance, can be compared to a household vacuum, suctions out the excess fat. Once the surgeon removes these deposits of fat, the body does not replace them. As such, the patient no longer accumulates fat in these treatment areas.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Houston Neck Lift?
A good neck lift candidate is someone who has relatively good skin tone, but needs a surgeon to remove excess skin and fat deposits that have accumulated in the neck.
What Benefits Does Each Houston Neck Lift Technique Provide?
Dr. Patel personalize each surgical treatment plan to meet the needs of a specific patient. Therefore, the plastic surgery technique(s) the surgeon recommends depends on the particular needs of a patient.
Benefits of a platysmaplasty include:
- Eliminating a double chin.
- Reducing the visibility of unsightly lines and vertical neckbands.
- Removing excess fat from the jowls to provide the patient with a well-defined jawline.
- Eliminating the turkey neck or turkey wattle characteristic by removing excess skin.
Benefits of a lower rhytidectomy include:
- Addressing the abnormal contours that result from muscle banding in the neck.
- Defining the patient’s jawline by removing any loose neck skin and fat deposits beneath the chin.
Benefits of a cervicoplasty:
- Eliminating a double chin.
- Tightening loose, sagging skin.
- Adding definition to the jawline and the neck.
- When warranted, the surgeon can also make changes to the size and shape of the patient’s chin.
Drs. Patel Typically Uses Neck Liposuction to Improve the Aesthetics of the Neck
A plastic surgeon can manually remove excess fat; however, Dr. Patel prefers to remove this excess fat and contour the patient’s neck using liposuction. Neck contouring includes the plastic surgeon tightening and then removing any excess tissue and skin.
An Initial Consultation at Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston
Scheduling an initial consultation with Dr. Shitel Patel is the first step on the path towards neck rejuvenation via a neck lift.
During the initial consultation, Dr. Patel evaluates the patient’s health. Patients must be prepared to discuss what they would like to accomplish with a neck lift. The surgeon can only provide the patient with the results he or she desires by knowing what the patient wants. For this reason, the plastic surgeon wants to know specifics regarding the patient’s wishes. This is the information the surgeon uses while creating the patient’s personalized surgical treatment plan.
Patients should expect their neck and face to be examined. Photographs may also be taken. These photos are helpful while creating the patient’s personalized treatment plan. In addition, they are used for comparison purposes after surgery.
After gathering all the necessary information, the surgeon can determine if a patient is a good candidate for a neck lift. If he or she is, then the surgeon must consider the patient’s desires to decide which neck lift technique(s) will serve the patient best.
To facilitate a successful recovery process and the best outcome possible, patients need to follow the pre-operative instructions they receive from their Houston plastic surgeon.
To prepare for surgery, patients may need to discontinue taking some of their medications, herbal supplements and vitamins. The products that the patient needs to stop taking are those that are known to increase bleeding.
Medications, herbal supplements and vitamins to avoid before a neck lift in Houston include:
For two weeks before and then two weeks after surgery, patients must stop taking:
- Blood thinners (e.g., Jantoven®, Coumadin®).
- Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin® IB).
- Other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- St. John’s Wort.
- Ginkgo Biloba.
- Vitamin E.
Individuals who take prescription medications must continue taking these medications as prescribed until they speak with their doctor about decreasing the dose or discontinuing its use for a short time before and after surgery.
For two weeks before and two weeks after surgery, patients need to stop using certain topical medications, including those that contain tretinoin:
During the four weeks leading up to a neck lift and the four weeks after a neck lift, patients must stop using products that contain nicotine:
- Traditional cigarettes.
- Chewing tobacco.
- Smoking cessation products.
- Any other product that contains nicotine.
Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict, which negatively affects the natural healing process.
For at least two days before surgery and two days after, patients must not consume alcoholic beverages. These kinds of beverages tend to increase swelling.
Food and Drink Restrictions on the Day of Surgery
On the day of surgery, patients must not eat or drink anything for the six hours leading up to their neck lift. However, if the patient takes medication during this timeframe, he or she needs to speak with Dr. Patel to find out if this medication is okay to take with a small sip of water.
Find a Chauffeur for the Day of Surgery
Since patients receive anesthesia during their neck lift, they are unable to drive themselves home following surgery. Therefore, patients need to ask someone they trust to drive them to and from their neck lift appointment. On the day of surgery, the patient must arrive with his or her driver. If the patient does not, he or she needs to reschedule surgery until a suitable driver is available to accompany the patient.
Since patients who have had anesthesia are somewhat off guard following their surgery, Dr. Patel does not permit their patients to use for-hire transportation (e.g., Uber, Lyft, buses, trains) services after surgery. This policy is in place to protect Lift Plastic Surgery’s patients.
For the night following surgery, patients should have someone they trust remain with them to serve as their caregiver. The caregiver may assist the patient with highly personal activities, such as getting dressed and using the washroom. Therefore, the individual that patients choose to be their caregiver must be someone they fully trust and feel completely comfortable with.
Preparing for Surgery
Make sure that the bed the patient will use throughout recovery is comfortable and has fresh linens.
Stock up on bottled water because drinking water is vital in the days leading up to the neck lift, as well as during recovery. Water helps flush out the medications used during surgery, reduces the likelihood of the patient experiencing dizziness, and decreases the likelihood of muscle fatigue following surgery.
What Happens During Neck Lift Surgery?
The surgeon wants to know that the patient has a safe way home after surgery, therefore, upon arrival; the patient must bring his or her driver inside.
Since each patient is unique, surgical treatment plans vary. Nonetheless, there is a general overview of neck lift surgery below.
While in pre-op, the plastic surgeon uses a special marker to make lines on the patient’s neck and lower chin areas. These lines serve as a guide during surgery.
The patient may receive general or twilight anesthesia. General anesthesia places the patient into a deep sleep, whereas, twilight anesthesia places the patient in a lighter sleep.
Twilight anesthesia consists of local anesthesia (just like the medicine that dentists use to numb the mouth) and IV sedation. Even if the patient only receives twilight anesthesia, he or she will not remember what happens during surgery.
The Surgical Procedure: A General Overview
Once the patient is comfortable, the plastic surgeon creates a small incision beneath the chin.
Dr. Patel gently separates the skin from the muscles.
If the muscles are loose, the surgeon uses sutures to tighten them.
When excess fat deposits are present, the plastic surgeon uses liposuction to remove them. In addition, if the patient’s neck glands are prominent, this issue may also be addressed.
Whether Dr. Shitel Patel weaves a permanent suture through the neck muscles and then secures it with the tissues located behind the patient’s ear depends on the severity of the sagging in the neck. Anchoring the muscles behind the ear ensures that they remain in place.
The surgeon re-drapes the skin and then removes the excess.
Dr. Patel closes the incisions using absorbable sutures. Since the sutures are absorbable, they will not need to be removed at Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston.
Liposuction to Remove Excess Fat: The Procedure
While performing liposuction, Dr. Shitel Patel makes several small incisions beneath the chin. Due to their experience, Dr. Patel knows where to create these incisions, which ensures that any resulting scars remain well hidden.
After creating the incisions, the surgeon inserts a cannula (i.e., a small, thin hollow tube) through one of the incisions.
Following insertion, the liposuction machine, which, in performance, can be compared to a household vacuum, suctions up the excess fat and places it into a reservoir.
While performing neck liposuction, Dr. Shitel Patel frequently uses smaller cannulas than those used while performing liposuction on other areas of the body.
Using these smaller instruments allows Dr. Patel to create highly detailed contours in the patient’s neck.
Once the plastic surgeon removes these deposits of fat in the neck, the body does not replace them. As such, the patient no longer accumulates fat in these areas. Nonetheless, areas that are not treated with liposuction will still accumulate fat.
What to Expect While Recovering from a Neck Lift
Patients receive a compression garment before they leave the recovery area on the day of surgery. Patients need to wear this garment continuously for two days. Once the two days have passed, the patient can remove the garment to shower.
The average recovery time for a neck lift in Houston is about three weeks.
Patients should expect to have bruising and inflammation. A week into recovery, patients can expect these side effects to improve significantly. Nonetheless, it will take several weeks for the swelling and bruising to resolve completely.
Following surgery, patients must minimize the amount of exercise they perform and refrain from participating in vigorous activities for at least four, but up to six weeks. Following these restrictions is vital because these restrictions are in place to keep the patient from interrupting the natural healing process. These activities can cause additional inflammation and unnecessary bleeding.
The patient wears the compression garment from four to six weeks. This garment keeps inflammation down and improves the overall results.
Patients can help speed up their healing process by following the guidelines listed below.
- Use two pillows while sleeping to ensure their head remains elevated.
- Avoid taking the medications, herbal supplements and vitamins that they were told to refrain from before surgery (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen).
- Use hydrogen peroxide and a cotton swab to clean the incision area twice a day (as directed by the plastic surgeon or medical staff).
- Refrain from turning the head from side-to-side or bending it forward.
- Take any medications prescribed by Dr. Patel as directed.
- Refrain from wearing any clothes that need to be pulled over the head and the surgical site.
If the patient notices an area of abnormal swelling that is filled with fluid, he or she needs to call to make an appointment at Lift Plastic Surgery.
It may take several months for the inflammation and bruising to dissipate altogether. In addition, during the six months following surgery, as long as they are not exposed to the sun (i.e., UV rays), the incision lines fade substantially.
A Neck Lift Offers Patients Long-Lasting Results
While the results achieved with a neck lift in Houston can last a very long time (i.e., more than a decade), the aging process does continue. Nonetheless, patients who have had neck rejuvenation surgery will still look younger than they would have if they chose not to have the procedure.
Are There Any Risks Associated with a Neck Lift?
Every procedure has risks.
Potential risks of neck lift surgery include:
- Visible scarring.
- A negative reaction to the anesthetic.
- A hematoma (i.e., bleeding beneath the skin).
- Blood clots.
- Skin loss.
- Nerve injury.
- Open wounds.
- An unsatisfactory result, which may require another surgery.
- A feeling of tightness around the neck.
- Facial aging may seem more prominent after a neck lift.
- Fluid accumulation beneath the skin.
- Visual skin abnormalities (e.g., mottling).
- Numb sensation in the incision area. This side effect is usually temporary.
- Deep vein thrombosis.
How Much Does a Neck Lift in Houston Cost?
The amount that an individual’s neck lift costs depends specifically on the issues the surgeon needs to address. Therefore, the only way to determine cost is with an initial consultation.
Will Health Insurance Cover a Neck Lift?
A neck lift is an elective, cosmetic surgery procedure; consequently, insurance will not cover it.
Questions? Book a Consultation Now.
Contact Houston / Webster, Texas Plastic Surgeon Shitel D. Patel, MD at Lift Plastic Surgery.
Serving patients in Houston Texas, Webster, League City, Pearland, Galveston, Kemah, Seabrook and all other surrounding Greater Houston, Texas communities and more.