Gravity, yielding support structures and the tissue itself change the neck in the course of its life:
Facial fat, which was on the cheeks at a young age, sinks and it arrives at the lower jaw line and causes the typical cheeks, the “jowls”.
The holding structures of the most important neck muscle, the platysm, give way and change the juvenile lower jaw – neck – angle from 90 degrees in the direction of 45 degrees.
Fat deposits can make the neck look fuller.
When is it Time for a Neck Lift?
When the above symptoms have developed: cheeks, changes in the lower jaw – neck angle and increased fat on the neck itself, the time for a neck lift, or lifting of this region, is often the right choice.
The Aim of the Treatment is a Clearly Rejuvenated Appearance
The aim of the treatment is to restore the condition of the neck as it once was:
A clearly defined and clean mandibular line
A lower jaw – neck – angle of 90 degrees
An optical separation, a clear distinction from the face to the neck
However, there are people who have never had a lower jaw – neck – angle of 90 degrees, not even at a young age. This is due to the fact that their salivary glands, the glandulae submandibulares, are prominent. This cannot be changed with a neck lift and should be left as it was. This can always be restored with a lifting.
Procedure of the Treatment
Our patients are operated on through an incision that is predominantly behind the ear and in the hair which makes the scarring hardly visible, then tightening process begins.
The skin is detached during lifting, the neck muscle, the platysm, is exposed and correctly tightened thus reversing the signs (the tightening of the muscle must be maximum), the excess skin is removed and the neck fat is sucked off. If the changes are not very pronounced, the operation can take the form of a mini neck lift instead of a complete neck lift.
A compression bandage for one night minimizes bruising and swelling. The day after the operation (at the mini-lift directly after the operation), our patients leave the clinic and receive what they need: painkillers, tips on how to treat the area, my mobile number and a check-up appointment.
Regular wound checks take place after the neck lift, the skin is cared for by us and stitches are removed at our clinic in Germany after 14 days.
The last visit is after three months, then the final result is achieved after the neck lift, the scars are hardly visible, the internal healing is almost complete.
The main risk with a neck lift is to injure the facial nerve that leads to the muscles of the mouth and to the platysma though this is minimal.
If it does happen, the following must be done: The severed nerve must be found and sutured under the microscope. It then slowly grows forward again and supplies the affected muscles again, but not completely and post-operative corrections minimize asymmetry.
Wound healing disorders and secondary bleeding in the neck area occur, but are very rare in our practice.
When is it not Advisable to Undergo Surgery?
Heavy smokers may not be operated, because then complications, particularly healing disorders, are not foreseeable.
Costs/Reimbursement by the Health Insurance Company
The costs have to be paid by yourself.
The following authors have dealt with the topic in detail: S. Aston