1206 Somerville Rd
Decatur, AL 35603
Neck contour problems can be handled in three ways, from the least complicated to the most complicated. The least complicated is just doing liposuction of the fat in the neck The second most complicated is making an incision under the chin and doing some direct fat resection and some neck muscle tightening. The most complicated procedure is doing the face lift incisions to pull the loose skin toward the ears.
The basic goal of neck surgery is to improve the appearance of the neck by re-creating an angle between the jaw line and the front of the neck. This angle, called the cervicomental angle, is what makes a neck look more youthful. As necks age the excess lax skin hangs down and creates a straight line from the bottom of the chin to the lower neck. The underlying neck muscles can also contribute to the problem. Fixing the "straight neck" look is the goal.
This is never an insurance covered procedure, it is considered cosmetic surgery.
During your initial consultation we will discuss all of the aspects of the operation and how it relates to you. We will have a second visit that is the pre-operative visit where I will answer all of your final questions, write the prescriptions for the medicines you will need after the surgery and you will do your pre-operative visit at the hospital.
The neck lift operation is done as an outpatient procedure or day-surgery at Decatur Morgan Hospital using general anesthesia. It is done in the main operating rooms at Decatur Morgan Hospital and takes just under 2 hours to perform. We do the operation in the morning and you will get discharged to home late in the afternoon. You will go home wearing a neck compression garment. You will have one drainage tube in place and the nurses will teach you and your family members how to care for this tube. This is true whether you have a simple liposuction of the neck or an open sub-mental lipectomy.
It is crucial that for 10 days prior to your surgery you do not take any aspirin, arthritis or other muscle ache pain medicines. These medicines will make you bruise more and can lead to other complications. The ONLY pain or headache medicine that is safe to take is Tylenol (acetaminophen) because this does not affect blood clotting and bleeding.
All patients are unique and the response to post-operative discomfort is variable. Most patients state that neck surgery is not that uncomfortable. Patients say that the neck feels bruised and stiff. Most patients take the narcotic medicine only for a few days and then switch to Tylenol for pain. As I said, patients are all unique and their pain tolerance is very different.
I will remove the skin sutures in the office 5 to 7 days after the surgery. Removing the sutures pinches but is not that uncomfortable.
Because all of the neck lift operations require that you wear the compression neck garment 24 hours per day (except to shower) for the first seven days you should expect to be away from work for 1 week. For a job that requires physical exertion or heavy lifting you should expect to be away from work for 2 weeks. After seven days you do not have to wear the neck compression garment during the day, you only have to wear it at night.
By one week from the surgery you will have some minor residual swelling and possibly some mild bruising. The bruising is usually low on the neck and can usually be covered with clothes that have a high neck line and make up. You will wear the neck garment at night to try to keep swelling to a minimum.
You will need to come to the office the day after your surgery for a quick check. Arrange for someone to drive you to this appointment because you will be on narcotic medications and your neck will be sore and stiff so you will be unable to drive safely. At this first postoperative visit I will just do a quick check your neck and remove the drain tube that you will have in your neck. You can take a full shower the day after this check. Soapy water will not hurt your incisions.
Your next appointment will be in 5 or 6 days so that I can remove your sutures. The next appointment will be in a week and I will probably allow you to stop wearing the neck garment at night.
Then I will see you monthly for a couple of months. I will see you at approximately 6 months and 12 months after your surgery and do a final assessment of your result, assess the quality of your scars and get your final opinion on the surgery.
As discussed in the above sections, you can shower daily beginning 24 hours after your drain is removed. You take your neck garment off to shower and when you are done you immediately put the garment back on. You cannot do any strenuous work or heavy lifting for at least 2 weeks after the surgery. By 3 weeks you should be back to normal.