The neckline is one of the most defining characteristics of a youthful appearance. Neck liposuction contributes definition to the jaw line resulting in a younger look. By defining the neckline, a clearly outlined profile can often be restored. An added benefit of neck liposuction is the redistribution of fat through fat injections to other facial areas such as lips and smile lines. A less invasive procedure, neck liposuction can be a most rewarding facial plastic surgery.
“Do I need a facelift or neck liposuction?” “Is neck liposuction painful?” In our Neck Liposuction FAQs you will find answers to many of the most commonly asked questions.
When discussing rejuvenating procedures the best place to start is by looking at before and after photos to see just what can be accomplished. As you will see in our photographs, many patients combine neck liposuction with the contouring of a chin implant or with a facial rejuvenation procedure such as a facelift to eliminate a “saggy neck” or “turkey wattle” to tightening of the jowl area. Others come to discuss fat injections, which can easily be performed with submental (under the chin) liposuction. Fat injections can be used in many areas of the face including the smile lines and for lip augmentation.
Sometimes men ask for a more clearly defined neckline. Once thought a beauty procedure sought by only wealthy women, men in today’s competitive corporate workplace are increasingly seeking plastic surgery to restore a younger look that more typifies their energy level. Men also frequently ask about brow lifts for correction of frown lines between the eyes and blepharoplasty for improvements in a tired look or “bags” under the eyes. Patients also learn about neck liposuction when they seek information about improving superficial skin wrinkles in the neck area with a chemical peel, laser surgery or similar skin resurfacing procedure.
An experienced surgeon, knows that his responsibility is to evaluate not only the areas of concern but also the motivation behind the requests. It goes without saying, a cosmetic surgery won’t save a failing marriage. Similarly some patients not ready for cosmetic surgery are better served with conservative measures, such as Botox for fine lines and wrinkles or Collagen for crows feet. Patients who educate themselves about facial rejuvenation know when and if the time is right to proceed.
An important first step toward any cosmetic surgery is to have a facial plastic surgeon assess the entire picture before making specific recommendations. At an initial consultation, we will evaluate the bony and soft tissue architecture of the face, including the proportion and balance of the face, nose and chin. We evaluate the amount of fat in the neck area, the elasticity of the skin and the textural qualities of the skin. Skin type, ethnic background and age are important factors influencing the outcome of surgery. Together we may discuss many alternatives before determining if a neck liposuction is right for you.
Neck liposuction is a safe, effective procedure performed to restore balance, proportion and a younger appearance. As with all facial plastic surgery, a thorough health assessment and realistic expectations are prerequisites. Your understanding of instructions and routines is essential to a successful final result.
At your preoperative appointment our nurse will provide all the instructions for you to follow before and after surgery. On the business day prior to the operation we ask you to call to confirm your arrival time for surgery. Upon arrival for your surgery, you will talk with a nurse (who will start an IV), discuss anesthesia (with local anesthesia and IV sedation you are asleep and comfortable) and meet with your doctor before going to the operating room. Neck liposuction takes about one hour depending on the anatomy and structure present prior to surgery. If you are having a combination of procedures your surgery will take longer. Recovery time from the anesthetic takes about an hour and you will be discharged about four hours from the time of arrival for your cosmetic surgery.
When you wake up from surgery you will notice a chinstrap dressing that may feel a bit tight because of the swelling. This dressing helps minimize swelling and promotes the skin to adhere securely to the underlying architecture. Following your neck liposuction, the nurses will ask assist you to meet the discharge criteria: to drink liquids, walk with a steady gait, void, manage your discomfort, and have a responsible adult at home following the procedure. The nurses will review all instructions you will need for care following neck liposuction.
The chin dressing must be kept dry and in place for 24 hours following surgery. You will be asked to come to our office (not the Surgery Center) the next day after surgery for dressing change. The next appointment is postoperative day four or five for suture removal. The morning of the suture removal, we ask you to shower and wash your hair (it’s OK to get the sutures wet), prior to your suture removal appointment.
Although most patients describe suture removal as discomfort rather than pain, you are encouraged to take your pain medication about an hour prior to suture removal. When sutures are removed, small steristrips will be placed to reinforce the incision. These steristrips must remain dry and in place for four days.
Keep dressing dry and intact the evening after surgery until your appointment the next morning. Notify your doctor if the dressings become loose or fall off.
Most patients complain of discomfort more than pain. Use pain medication as directed/as needed. Taking pain medication with food helps minimize nausea sometimes associated with pain medications.
Start your antibiotic (Keflex/cephalexin) when you get home and one at bedtime. It is not uncommon to have a low-grade fever for 24 to 48 hours following surgery.
Start swelling medication when you arrive home. Take with food.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 3000 mg. daily for two weeks helps promote healing.
Advance diet from liquids to soft food to your regular diet as tolerated. There are no dietary restrictions for neck liposuction patients postoperatively.
Rest for entire day after surgery. Sleep with head of the bed elevated or use two to three pillows for one week after surgery. Absolutely no bending, lifting or straining. If you have little children, bend at the knees or sit on the floor and let them climb on to your lap. No driving for one week following surgery. One week off work is recommended; two weeks off is ideal.
Always protect your face from the sun. At this point, a hat and sunglasses are a good idea. Following surgery, our staff will tell you when it is ok to apply sunscreen, cosmetics or facial creams. Avoid unprotected prolonged sun exposure for three months following neck liposuction to prevent pigmentation of incision lines.
Swelling, bruising and disrupted sleep are very normal postoperative symptoms and will decrease as the healing process occurs. Assistance with daily activities the first two to three days after surgery is recommended.
Following neck liposuction, it takes time for the swelling to subside and for the skin to heal. Most patients return to work one week following surgery, however patients occasionally will remain out of work two weeks, depending on the degree of privacy one is trying to maintain. At two weeks postoperatively, swelling and bruising may be apparent to you but not to many of your coworkers and closest friends.
Final results following neck liposuction are not apparent for one full year following surgery. After three months, the changes are ever so subtle, although still important. Being perfectionists about our work, you may tell us you are pleased long before the one-year anniversary. However, we request that you follow-up with us at that time for postoperative photographs and so that we can enjoy your final result.