With apologies to Gertrude Stein: A neck lift is not a neck lift is not a neck lift. In my experience there is no standard neck lift that works well for all patients. That is why I have developed various neck lift surgery techniques, each of which is designed for a specific type of neck problem for our Chicago patients. Today’s blog will serve as an introduction to these operations. I’ll discuss each operation in greater detail in a separate blog. Also visit my website for detailed discussions.
The first option that works well for some patients is not really a neck lift, but simply liposuction of the neck. There are patients for whom a simple liposuction of the neck will produce dramatic results. These patients tend to have reasonably good skin tone, a distinct accumulation of fat beneath the skin, and decent tone of the platysma muscle of the neck (the platysma is a wide thin muscle that runs from the collar bone up to the jaw line and which provides support to the neck). If these three conditions are met, a liposuction of the neck will help to refine the jaw line and neck definition in a very pleasing way. If the tone of the skin or platysma muscle is diminished, the operation will be a disappointment.
There is a distinct group of patients who will benefit from the isolated neck lift operation. If the neck has lost its tone, but there is still reasonably good tone along the jaw line, you may be a person who will benefit from the isolated neck lift procedure. Since I don’t need to address the jaw border and cheek regions, I can keep the incisions short and inconspicuous. The main incision is behind the ear. If artistically necessary, I may carry the incision a short distance in the natural crease in front of the earlobe. In some but not all patients I will make a tiny incision under the chin. For the right patient the isolated neck lift restores neck tone in a powerful way.
For some people, the problem of tone involves not only the neck, but the jaw border as well. Where once there was a clean line of definition all along the jaw border, now there is a loose fold of skin next to the chin. This is often referred to as jowling. People often feel that the development of jowls makes a face look less dynamic. If the tone of the upper cheek is still good, the neck and jaw border lift makes good sense. In this operation I extend the incision along the contours in front of the ear so that I can properly tighten the deep structural support along the jaw line. The tightening along the jaw also adds another powerful level of support to the neck lift.
If there is significant looseness not only in the neck and jaw line regions, but also in the upper cheek, the cheek, neck, and jaw border lift makes the most sense. This allows me to maintain proper artistic balance between the key zones of the face and neck. The cheek, neck, and jaw border lift is one of the most powerful operations that I do. There are two key components to this operation. The first is a proper restoration of the structures of the cheek, neck and jaw border area to their natural location before the aging process caused them to settle. The second is the use of fat transfer to replenish the volume in areas of the face that have become hollow or thin due to the aging process. I can accomplish these techniques through incisions that follow the shadows and contours of the ears and that respect the hairline.
Cosmetic plastic surgeon, John Q. Cook, M.D., combines knowledge and skill of unsurpassed quality with a sophisticated understanding of the nuances and subtleties of the natural form. His Chicago patients enjoy aesthetic treatments personally tailored to refine and rejuvenate their appearance while preserving their unique identity. A full menu of services is offered at our state-of-the-art plastic surgery centers in Chicago and Winnetka, as well as Rush University Medical Center.