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Cleveland, Ohio – Do you have what you refer to as a “turkey waddle” or sagging skin at your neck that you feel is prematurely aging you? A neck lift can offer a smooth and toned look to a neck that may be starting to lose its elasticity. You’ll feel younger and your friends will swear you not only look younger, but have also lost weight.

“A platysmaplasty, or neck lift, can give you a more youthful appearance,” says Dr. Rodney Green, an Ohio plastic surgeon. “Over time, the skin and muscles in our neck become loose, and we can also build excess fat under the chin. This results in the turkey look some may describe. Neck lifts are the perfect solution to tighten the skin to improve the contour of our look.”

During a neck lift procedure, the patient will be placed under general anesthesia. Small incisions will be made at the hairline and behind the ears. The skin will then be stretched along the jaw line and neck to make it tighter. Some patients may opt to combine their lift with a facelift, in which case the surgeon will also make incisions at the hairline around the face before stretching the skin. After two to three hours, the result will be a smoother, tighter neck and more youthful appearance.

Some plastic surgeons may try to recommend liposuction as another way to remove the pesky fat in your neck. Dr. Green advises against that, however. The fat could be deep or superficial, and if too much fat is removed from under the skin when the excess fat is actually found deeper, there will be an irregularity in the patient’s look. And the actual problem won’t be solved.

“Many plastic surgeons mistakenly offer liposuction as a solution for their patients,” says Dr. Green. “While the results can sometimes be acceptable, it is unpredictable. Additionally, liposuction does not allow for tightening of the platysma to reconstitute the youthful neckline the patient was hoping for. Liposuction can, however, be used in conjunction with a standard neck lift to feather the edges.”

So how do you know if you’re a proper candidate for this cosmetic surgery?

“This procedure can be performed on patients of most ages, but the typical patient is between the ages of 30 and 70,” says Dr. Green. “Patients exhibit excess skin that has lost its elasticity or excess fat under the chin and neck. Patients must be in good overall health, with no medical conditions that could impede their healing or increase the risk of surgery.”

Before proceeding with any procedure, be sure you understand everything that goes into the actual procedure and its recovery. Discuss any concerns you have with your doctor, and always tell your surgeon any health issues you may have. Disclose any drugs or herbal supplements you may be taking. Some medications and supplements can interfere with healing, so be sure to disclose everything to your surgeon.

Following surgery, you may experience swelling or bruising for several days. Tightness, tingling or a burning sensation may also occur. Some patients experience short term numbness. These are all normal reactions and not cause for concern. Should you have questions or concerns following surgery, always consult with your surgeon.

Patients can typically return to work within two weeks of surgery. Physical activities, such as exercise or sports, can typically be resumed within three weeks. Always allow yourself ample time to properly heal so you will gain the most benefit from surgery. Follow all after-care instructions provided by your physician.

Your neck may be lying about your age. If you feel you have a prematurely aged look due to loose skin or excess fat in your neck, consult a plastic surgeon today. You can be on the road to a younger looking and feeling you in no time. Dr. Rodney Green and his staff are waiting to help you achieve the look you thought was lost.

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