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NECKLIFT

What is a Necklift?

A necklift is a type of facelift with specific focus on rejuvination of the neck and jawline.  The loss of youthful contours in the face can be due to a variety of factors, including heredity, gravity, environmental conditions, and stress. A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the face and neck, such as:

  • Sagging in the middle of your face

  • Deep creases extending from the base of the nose to the corner of the mouth (nasolabial fold)

  • Fat that has fallen or disappeared

  • Loss of skin tone in the lower face that creates jowls

  • Loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw can give even a person of normal weight the appearance of a double chin

In general, good candidates for a facelift include:

  • Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that impair healing

  • Non-smokers

  • Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations

Rejuvenation procedures typically performed in conjunction with a facelift are upper or lower eyelid surgery to rejuvenate aging eyes.

What it won't do:

As a restorative surgery, a facelift does not change your fundamental appearance and cannot stop the aging process. A facelift can only be performed surgically; non-surgical rejuvenation treatments can be very effective for the right patient, but they usually cannot achieve the same results regarding rejuvenation of jowls and neck skin.  Dr. Smith will advise you which option is best for you.  Non-surgical treatments may help delay the time at which a facelift becomes appropriate and complement the results of surgery.

Consultation and Preparing for Surgery

During your consultation be prepared to discuss:

  • Your surgical goals

  • Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments

  • Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use

  • Previous surgeries

Dr. Smith will also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors

  • Discuss your facelift options

  • Examine and measure your face

  • Take photographs

  • Recommend a course of treatment

  • Discuss likely outcomes of a facelift and any risks or potential complications

  • Discuss the type of anesthesia that will be used

Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:

  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation

  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications

  • Stop smoking

  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding

Special instructions you receive will cover:

  • What to do on the night before and morning of surgery

  • The use of anesthesia during your facelift

  • Post-operative care and follow-up

A facelift may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility,  licensed ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.

Be sure to ask Dr. Smith questions. It's very important to understand all aspects of your facelift. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with Dr. Smith.

The Procedure

Step 1 - Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Dr. Smith will recommend the best choice for you.

  • A variety of other procedures can further enhance the outcome of a facelift. They include:

  • Fat transfer

  • Soft tissue augmentation to recontour the facial structure

  • Wrinkle reduction by injection of fat

Step 2 - The incision

Depending on the degree of change you'd like to see, your facelift choices include a traditional facelift, limited incision facelift or a neck lift. Fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the face, jowls and neck, and underlying tissue is repositioned, commonly the deeper layers of the face and the muscles are also lifted. Skin is re-draped over the uplifted contours and excess skin is carefully trimmed away.  A second incision under the chin may be necessary to further improve an aging neck. Sutures will close the incisions.

Traditional Facelift:

A traditional facelift incision often begins in the hairline at the temples, continues around the ear and ends in the lower scalp.

Limited Incision:

An alternative to a traditional facelift uses shorter incisions at the temples, continuing around the ear and possibly within the lower eyelids or under the upper lip.

Neck Lift:

Sagging jowls, loose neck skin and fat accumulation under the chin may be corrected with a neck lift. The neck lift incision often begins in front of the ear lobe and wraps around behind the ear ending in the lower scalp.

Step 3 - Closing the incisions

Once healed, the incision lines from a facelift are well concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the face and ear. 

Step 4 - See the results

The visible improvements of a facelift appear as swelling and bruising subside.  Your final result should not only restore a more youthful and rested appearance, but also help you feel more confident about yourself. 

Risks and Safety

The decision to have a facelift is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals, and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.

The risks include:

  • Anesthesia risks

  • Bleeding

  • Infection

  • Poor wound healing and skin loss

  • Facial nerve injury with weakness

  • Temporary or permanent hair loss at the incisions

  • Fluid accumulation

  • Numbness or other changes in skin sensation

  • Persistent pain

  • Unfavorable scarring

  • Prolonged swelling

  • Skin irregularities and discoloration

  • Sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation that require removal

  • Unsatisfactory results may include: asymmetry, unsatisfactory surgical scar location and unacceptable visible deformities at the ends of the incisions. (It may be necessary to perform an additional surgery to improve your results)

  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with Dr. Smith.

Recovery After Surgery

When your procedure is completed, a bandage might be placed around your face to minimize swelling and bruising. Thin tubes may be present to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect under the skin.

You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with Dr. Smith.

Be sure to ask Dr. Smith specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

  • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?

  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?

  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?

  • When will they be removed?

  • Are stitches removed? When?

  • When can I wear make-up?

  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?

  • When can I see my stylist for hair color and cut?

Results

It may take a few months for swelling to fully dissipate and for incision lines to mature. Life-long sun protection and a healthy lifestyle will help extend the results of your rejuvenated, more youthful appearance.

As swelling and bruising subside, the visible improvements of a facelift appear. Your final result should not only provide a more youthful and rested appearance, but also help you feel more confident about yourself. 

Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

 

Following your physician's instructions is essential to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Dr. Smith will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.

Cost

Prices for facelift procedures can vary. The cost will be based on the type of procedure required to address your specific needs.  Dr. Smith does offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.  You will be charged one fee and this will include:

  • Anesthesia fees

  • Hospital or surgical facility costs

  • Medical tests

  • Post-surgery garments 

  • Surgeon's fee

Dr. Smith

Your satisfaction involves more than a fee.  When choosing a plastic surgeon for your facelift, remember that the surgeon's experience and your comfort with him or her is just as important as the final cost of the surgery.

Plastic surgery involves many choices. The first and most important is selecting a Plastic Surgeon you can trust. Plastic Surgeons such as Dr. Smith, certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada meet rigorous standards:

  • Board certification by Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada®

  • Completed five years of surgical training following medical school

  • Pass comprehensive oral and written exams

  • Complete continuing medical education, including patient safety

  • Perform surgery in accredited hospitals and surgical facilities

Following Dr. Smith’s Plastic Surgery residency, he completed an extra year of training, completing two additional clinical Fellowships to further his expertise in the field of Plastic Surgery. Please see his biography for more details.

Do not be confused by other official sounding boards and certifications.  Be sure to choose a highly trained plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

This procedural information is intended strictly for educational purposes. Only models are depicted in these procedural information pages. It is not intended to make any representations or warranties about the outcome of any procedure. It is not a substitute for a thorough, in-person consultation with Dr. Smith.