The more times a plastic surgeon performs a particular procedure, the better we get at it. We’ve performed hundreds of neck and facelifts, and one refinement we’ve made to neck lift procedures is very effective.
The lower face and neck are the most common area addressed with facelift patients. Some facelift patients have a large amount of loose skin (band), jowls or a “wattle” under their chin. The traditional solution to address this area has involved dissecting down the center of the neck and addressing the tissues directly. This approach may be necessary for select patients with heavy laxity in the neck tissues.
For patients with a moderate amount of laxity, we have been able to access the neck area from two incisions concealed at the hairline, near the ears. From this point of entry we access the connective tissues and muscle groups of the neck, pulling them upward and backward, providing lift and tightening to the entire area. These tissues bond to their new positions with the body’s natural healing process. This is what makes the procedure so long-lasting.
For those patients that require even more change in this area, we have come up with a very elegant solution. Without ever having to cut into the front of the neck, we simply enlarge the incisions at the hairline behind the ears. This allows us to access the tissues even lower on the front of the neck, closer to the collar bone, as well as the tissues above. By adjusting the positioning of these tissues from further below, we are able to increase the overall amount of tightening and lift in the area, without increasing risk or healing time. The results of this technique tend to look more natural than other approaches, the amount of visible scarring is minimized—the overall result can be quite good.
This reinforces one of our surgical philosophies: A surgeon must not take large risks with a patient, or try radically new techniques haphazardly. Having a moderately aggressive approach and making small refinements in our techniques over time is the most reliable and mature approach to developing as a surgeon. This approach allows us to grow and improve while maintaining a good track record of consistency and patient safety. We perform surgery here in Santa Fe at our private operating room under general anesthesia.
The recovery time is typically between two to three weeks. Patients cannot drive themselves home after the procedure, and should plan to be out of work for a few days. Oral pain medication is usually prescribed to ease any discomfort.
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