I had a Necklift and Lower Facelift and Could Not Be Happier!
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
I'm 46 years old. For the past decade, I was not happy with the appearance of my neck area. The excess skin that hung down from my neck gave me a turkey wattle, which was certainly not the look I wanted. The hardest part of aging was thinking about what my face used to look like and what it currently looked like. While I didn't want to look 21 again, I wanted to look good for my age. I wanted to feel confident about my appearance like I used to when I was younger. Realizing that there was no neck exercise that would ever get rid of my turkey neck, I began looking into both invasive and non-invasive treatments.
As I began researching treatments, I came across three popular non-invasive treatments: Coolsculpting Mini, Kybella, fillers and two invasive treatments: neck lift surgery and NovaThreads. With Coolsculpting and Kybella, most of the before and after photos I saw did not show dramatic results. I could not find a patient with a before neckline like I had and it became pretty apparent that these procedures worked much better for people with a little bit of excess fat and skin, but not to the degree I had it. Fillers didn't seem to offer much better results and the results that patients had were only temporary (need to get fillers every 9-12 months). Then I looked into NovaThreads, which utilize dissolvable sutures inserted in a mesh-like pattern with a hypodermic needle that is supposed to stimulate collagen growth. After watching a bunch of videos on Youtube, I quickly realized that while this procedure appeared to give people's lower faces a more youthful appearance, it did not really help with the loose skin on their neck. Since this was the exact issue I wanted fixed, NovaThreads did not seem to be an option for me.
With all other options ruled out, I started heavily researching neck lift procedures and plastic surgeons who performed this procedure online. I learned that lower face/neck lifts could be performed with or without altering the platysma muscle, which are the small neck muscles that help prevent skin laxity. As these muscles sag, people's neck skin starts to hang down and they start to get a double chin and/or a turkey neck. I definitely wanted to get rid of my turkey neck, so I knew I needed a lower face/neck lift with a platysmaplasty. I also came across an excellent doctor in my area online, who had great before and after photos, top notch reviews and was a double board-certified plastic surgeon (Otolaryngology and AAFPS)
When I met with the surgeon I had found for my initial consultation, he told me that the key to a good result was fixing the underlying muscles of my neck and he recommended I have a lower facelift with neck lift and plastysmaplasty. He told me I was a good candidate for these procedures and would see a significant difference in the appearance of my neck. My doctor told me my procedure could be done with IV sedation or oral sedation and local anesthesia. Alternatively, he gave me the option of being completely knocked out with general anesthesia. I ended up choosing the latter, as I did not want to be awake at all for this procedure. I knew if god forbid I somehow woke up, I would be extremely queasy at the sight of my face being cut in to. At my consultation, I was also told I would have a small incision(submental) across the bottom of my chin and another one on front of and behind both ears (preauricular and auricular). The doctor promised both scars would be hidden very well once they healed. Since I came to his office knowing I wanted this procedure, I decided to book the it that day. The cost of my surgery was $17,500.
Prior to having my surgery, I needed to be cleared for the procedure. Despite not having any previous medical conditions and living a very healthy lifestyle, the doctor told me I needed undergo some basic medical tests to make sure I was ok for surgery. I went to my primary care physician and was cleared shortly after.
On the day of my surgery, I showed up at my doctor's surgical facility, which was in the basement of his office building. When I arrived, I had to sign some consent forms and was then taken in to a room to get changed into a hospital gown. Once I was changed, I was hooked up to an IV and heart/blood pressure monitor. My doctor then came in, made some drawings on my face and then it was off to the operating room. Once in the operating room, I was quickly knocked out by the general anesthesia I received. When I woke up, my head was wrapped in gauze and I had a drain under it. I felt a bit sore, but was not in any pain. This was likely due to the fact that I was heavily medicated when I awoke. Since this procedure is done on an outpatient basis, I went home shortly after the procedure was over.
The night after surgery, I felt tired but otherwise ok. I was still sore but my pain level was not bad. When I looked in the mirror, I could already tell my turkey neck was gone but I was still very bruised and swollen, which made it difficult to tell how tight my neck was. My cheeks also felt very tight and my whole lower jaw/neck area felt pretty numb. I was already excited that my neck looked better, although I knew I still had many weeks of recovery left before I saw my final result. Exhausted from the day's events, I fell asleep pretty early.
The following day after my surgery, I was even more bruised and swollen. I had some dried blood in my ears that needed to be swabbed out with a q-tip. It was also a bit difficult to smile due to the swelling and soreness of my underlying facial muscles. I had pain but it was controlled with the Percocets I was given. I started icing my face very gently, applying arnica gel and taking Bromelain pills, which helped with the swelling.
On my third day of recovery, I had a follow-up appointment and my drains and some sutures were removed. My bruising and swelling remained the same as the day before. I was also only eating soft foods, as I felt more pain/soreness when I ate something.
After a week of recovering, little had changed. I had diminished bruising and swelling but still felt sore and had some pain. I was still wearing makeup every time I left the house, which I didn't feel like doing very often. I was embarrassed to have others see me so bruised.
A month in to my recovery most of my bruising was gone and I had a little bit of swelling. My neck looks so much more contoured than it did before and I am very glad I opted to get this procedure. My jawline looks like it did when I was younger and I no longer have a turkey wattle. I would recommend this procedure for any one looking to tighten the loose skin on their neck. It was not that bad of a procedure for the results I got and I'll have even better results as the months go by!