Along with facial aging, various signs of aging are seen in the neck area over time. However, the aging of this region shows some differences according to the facial region. The neck skin is a thin skin and is located on a very thin muscle called the platysma. Over the years, this muscle can form longitudinal and transverse wrinkles on the skin. Likewise, signs of aging can be observed in the neck region due to other reasons such as decreased skin elasticity and fat accumulation in the jowl region. Neck lift surgery is a general name given to the treatment of all these causes.
How is a Neck Lift Performed?
First of all, it is necessary to determine the reasons that create the need for neck lift by examination. The skin, muscles, adipose tissue and even salivary glands, which are the cause of the signs of aging in the neck area, should be evaluated separately and added to the treatment plan if necessary. Surgical methods used for the neck area can be listed as neck skin stretching, repair of the platysma muscle in the midline, separation of the bands that cause wrinkles, removal of sub-chin fat tissue by liposuction or direct excision methods, and treatment of sagging salivary glands. In neck lift surgery, it is usually started with an incision placed behind the ear (also in front of the ear if combined with a lower face lift). Since this incision scar is just under the scalp and is in a very good area in terms of skin quality, it gives good results in most of the patients. The same is true for incision marks when the ear is removed. An important point here is the presence of patient-dependent factors in the form and amount of scar development. On the other hand, while very good scars can be obtained in almost all patients, the amount of scarring will be different, as everyone’s wound healing is different. Factors affecting this include a person’s genetics, dietary habits, regularly used drugs, and even smoking. Since we do not have the chance to change the genetics of the person, various precautions are taken before the surgery regarding other factors. For example, he gives some nutritional advice to patients before and after the surgery, and smokers may be asked to completely stop smoking at least 1 month before the surgery.
After the incision made behind the ear, the neck skin is lifted from both sides until the midline. During this procedure, there is no visible scar on the neck, except for the incisions behind (and sometimes in front) of the ear. However, in some cases, if there is excess fat accumulation and muscle laxity under the chin, 4 cm transversely under the chin is applied for the repair of the jowl area. A long incision may be required. During the procedure, first of all, fat in the midline, deep plane that causes jowl formation, is removed in suitable patients. If a muscle repair will not be performed in this area, these fats can be removed with liposuction instead of making a transverse incision here. Simultaneously, the salivary glands that cause protrusion under the chin can be partially removed or suspended in the chin. Along with the muscle repair under the chin, the separation of the bands that cause transverse wrinkles in the neck area can also be done through the same incisions. Following all these procedures, the excess skin is collected behind the ear and removed from this area.