Adrian Richards explains what a Neck Lift is
Thinking about Neck Lift surgery? Below is a guest post on the procedure, written by Aurora Plastic Surgeon Adrian Richards.
Hello, my name’s Adrian Richards. I’m a Plastic Surgeon and the Surgical Director of Aurora Clinics.
Many people find it very difficult to tell the difference between short scar, long scar, traditional facelifts, neck lifts, SMAS lifts, S lifts, deep plane facelifts, etc so I thought I’d try and help to make it clearer.
What I’m going to talk about today is a Neck Lift.
Normally, when people talk about a facelift, there is some elevation of the neck and this should really be called a face and neck lift. So if you lift the neck, you don’t want to leave a pleat here, you have to lift the face a certain amount so maybe a better term is a lower facelift which includes the neck.
What problems do you get with the neck? Well as you get older, with gravity, the tissues of the neck tend to loosen, you develop jowls along the jawline and loosening in the skin, particularly in the central part of the neck.
You tend to lose your definition in the chin-neck (mental-cervical) angle. This angle should be nice and tight but with time as the skin loosens, it loses its angle.
You can also get what we call prominences of the platysma. The platysma is the muscle of the neck – when you contract it, you get visible veins in the neck.
If you’re concerned about your neck, you need to consider the only real way of tightening it up is via some form of surgery, which is normally performed by an operation principally designed to help tighten up the skin of the neck.
Most techniques involve an incision in front of the ear and then we extend it in the fold behind the ear and then back in the hairline. That allows us access to the neck so we can tighten up the muscles and tighten up the skin. Normally two to three centimetres of skin is removed in that area to tighten up the skin of the neck.
In some cases, some surgeons would also do what’s called a sub-mental incision which is an incision in the fold underneath the chin. You’ve got a natural fold there, and an incision is made in it which allows us to access the platysma muscle.
The surgeon would visualise that, remove bits of it or we could sew the muscles together. So by a dual access from the sides, you can see the whole neck, tighten up the muscles, tighten up the skin and that gives us much better control of the neck, rather than just a lateral incision.
Really with any form of facial surgery, the best technique needs to be tailored to the individual. For a younger patient without neck laxity, midface descent, often the MACS facelift is suitable.
With a neck problem, really depending on what the issue is, if we have got platysmal bands, if we have got a lot of loose skin in the central area, we need to consider a lateral lift and possibly a sub-mental incision, which is normally very well hidden, to give us direct access to the muscle so we can deal with that.
I hope that’s clarified some of the issues. If you have any questions or queries, please contact us either by ringing us on 01324 578290 or by emailing us via our contact form.