Aging Neck: Is Surgery Your Only Option?
Do you feel bad about the way your neck looks? You're not alone. Growing numbers of women and men are opting for neck lifts to address sagging and laxity in this highly visible area.
The late playwright and author Nora Ephron put it like this in her aptly titled bestseller, I Feel Bad About My Neck: "Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn't if it had a neck."
And she was right for many reasons. For starters, we slather sunscreen and take all sorts of other pains to prevent sun damage and mask the signs of aging on our faces, but what about our necks? We forget about them until it's too late. As a result, the area from the chin to the chest is exposed to the decades of damage from the sun's ultraviolet A and B rays. We also start with Botox, soft tissue fillers, lasers and peels on our faces early on so we look younger than we really are, but this makes our necks look that much older. Factor in the pull of gravity, and the skin in this area loses its elasticity and tone. Necks also are impossible to hide unless you resort to wearing turtle necks year-round. Yes, our necklines or lack thereof are often a dead giveaway of our real age.
The first signs of an aging neck usually show up when we hit 40, and it all tends to snowball from there.
Treating Your Aging Neck
Unlike fine lines and wrinkles, you can't just inject away a neck waddle, and neck-firming dream creams and potions rarely affect more than our wallets. The only way to really address the aging neck is with a neck lift. This surgery used to be included as part of a full facelift, but today it is frequently done as a standalone procedure.
A neck lift includes liposuction to remove excess fat under the chin and/or surgery to trim excess neck skin (cervicoplasty). Neck bands may appear when the platysma muscle which is found in the chest, neck and face grows thick and cord-like. As a result, stripes may appear across the front of the neck. These can be tightened or removed during surgery (platysmaplasty). Botox injections may also help relax the parts of the muscle that drive the band-like appearance.
Do Neck Lifts Hurt?
Neck lifts are primarily done on an outpatient basis. Your surgeon makes incisions under your chin or behind your ears depending on the degree of laxity. There is often some pain or discomfort in the hours and days following the surgery. The best way to reduce swelling after a neck lift is to apply an elastic chin wrap or to massage the area, experts say.
Neck Lift Cost and Risks
What don't you like about your neck? Discuss it with a facial plastic surgeon and see if a neck lift is right for you. A neck lift surgery does involve its share of risks, including problems with anesthesia, infection and neck tightness. The risks, as well as your expectations, should be discussed during the consultation.
Neck lift cost varies based on the extent of the surgery, what your doctor charges and often where the practice is based. It typically ranges from $2,500 to $6,000. This includes the surgeon fee, facility fee and anesthesia fee. Insurance does not cover the cost of purely aesthetic procedures.
Annapolis Aesthetic Surgery, Inc.
116 Defense Hwy.,
Annapolis, MD 21401
10807 Falls Road, #100
Baltimore, MD 21093
Buinewicz Plastic Surgery & Medspa
3655 Route 202
Suites 225 and 230
Doylestown, PA 18902