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The following is information regarding platysmaplasty (neck lift) which is important to review, understand and discuss with family or friends before choosing to proceed with the surgery.

GOALS OF NECK LIFT SURGERY:   The goal of neck lift surgery is to partially reverse the signs of aging which are due to skin laxity, fat accumulation, and sagging neck muscles.  The jaw line and neck should appear tighter.  In any given patient, these goals may be only partially met.

LIMITATIONS OF THE PROCEDURE:  The procedure cannot create younger skin nor can it alter developmental asymmetries or prevent continued aging.  It is important to realize that this procedure cannot give you a “sharp: jaw line if you never had one even when young.  The effects of the neck lift may be present for up to 5-10 years, but eventually, the aging process will cause a recurrence of the original condition.

ALTERNATIVE TO THE PROCEDURE:  Neck lift surgery is an elective procedure.  Without the surgery, the neck will continue to age normally. In some selected patients, liposuction alone may be enough to tighten the neck.

SURGICAL TECHNIQUE/ ANESTHESIA/RECOVERY:   Neck lift surgery is performed through incisions under the chin and behind the ears. Through these incisions, obvious fat pockets overlying the jaw line and underneath the chin are removed and the neck muscles tightened in the midline to sharpen the chin and jaw angle.  The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia, but in certain instances, can be performed under local anesthesia with heavy intravenous sedation.  The procedure can be combined with upper face procedures such as facelift, forehead lift, or eyelid surgery.  The procedure may be performed in the hospital or in a surgical center.  In most instances, the procedure is done as an outpatient.  The sutures are usually removed around one week after surgery.  There is considerable swelling and bruising of the neck resulting in black and blue marks.  The swelling will greatly subside within 10 days to two weeks, although, there will be some residual swelling for several months following the surgery.  A compression dressing ( Velcro) is worn after surgery for seven days to several weeks.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS:  Surgical complications accompanying this procedure include bleeding or fluid collection underneath the skin, which may necessitate a return to the operating room for removal.  Bruising and discoloration of the neck along with swelling as far down as the clavicles or upper chest is not unusual following this procedure and is not considered a complication.  However, occasionally small pockets of fluid accumulation occur for several days to several weeks following surgery, which require needle drainage in the office.  Occasionally, the scars under the chin are reddened or thickened and may require secondary procedures.  Skin dimpling, wrinkling, or permanent creases may occur. 

There is usually numbness of the skin for a period of two weeks to several months following surgery, which improves with time.  As the nerves return, it is common to experience a tingly or irritating sensation in the facial skin.  In some instances, the nerve branches, which innervate the muscles around the mouth, may be traumatized during surgery resulting in weakness of the muscles.  This is generally a temporary symptom.

Even though the risks and complications cited above occur infrequently, they are the ones that are peculiar to the operation or of the greatest concern- other complications and risks can occur, but are even more uncommon.  Any and all risks and complications can result in:  Additional Surgery, Time off Work, Hospitalization, and Expense to You.

The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science.  Although good results are expected, there can be NO guarantee nor warranty expressed or implied by anyone as to the results that may be obtained.  Many factors beyond the control of the surgeon affect both short and long-term outcomes, including but not limited to each patient’s individual tendencies toward scarring, skin quality, genetic makeup, and other health factors.  On occasion, secondary surgeries may be indicated or desired to obtain optimal results.  If such procedures are performed there may be additional charges incurred by you. 
COMMENTS:  If a smoker, you must be off cigarettes for three weeks before surgery and for three weeks after surgery.  There is a much greater risk for scarring, poor healing, hair loss, and skin loss in smokers.

You must be off all Aspirin containing products for three weeks before surgery and for three weeks after surgery.  (Check all medications with us.  Some medications such as Motrin and Advil may also affect clotting).  You must stop all herbal medications two weeks prior to surgery.

If there is any item that you do not understand, please call the office. An explanation or additional information will be provided.

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