You may be one of those very fortunate individuals who, as they get older, look at themselves in the mirror and think “I look pretty good for my age… a few wrinkles around my eyes or along my forehead, skin’s not too bad…” – and then your eyes drift downward… and you think “Is that MY neck?” Sure, maybe there were some subtle signs over the years, but all of a sudden the changes just seem more dramatic, and then you start seeing it all the time. Our necks are often one of the first places where we start to show our age. Or changes may be due to losing a significant amount of weight. Either way, you’re now left with loose, sagging skin or fat, which may or may not involve your lower cheeks (creating jowls) or may be mostly in your neck (creating the classic “turkey wattle”). You may also see “cords” or “bands” in your neck, as well as horizontal creases. A neck lift can remove excess skin and fat from your lower face and neck area while lifting or tightening the underlying tissues, transforming your jawline and neck, dramatically rejuvenating your appearance and providing you with a more youthful profile.

What is a neck lift?

A neck lift is a procedure which addresses the sagging skin and underlying tissues of the neck. Dr. Moya’s approach (also called a lower facelift) usually addresses the lower cheeks as well for a much smoother and more natural-looking transition between the face and neck. His neck lift approach is part of a standard (full) facelift, but may also be performed as a stand-alone procedure if upper facial surgery is not needed or desired.

Who is a candidate for a neck lift?

A neck lift may be the right choice for you if:

  • you are still mostly happy with your upper cheeks and do not feel as if you
    need to or want to undergo a full facelift
  • you have excess wrinkling or creasing across your neck
  • you have prominent “cords” or “bands” in your neck
  • you have loose skin on your neck (creating the “turkey wattle”)
  • you have a “double chin”
  • you have jowls (loose skin along the jawline)
  • you have lost the distinct jawline that separates your neck from your face

Basically, if you feel that your neck doesn’t match your upper facial appearance, a neck lift may be a good solution. Your skin must also have good elasticity, so that it can conform to your new and improved contour.

Neck contouring options

A neck contouring procedure may vary according to your individual needs and goals. Dr. Moya offers several surgical neck rejuvenation options:

A neck lift (lower facelift) addresses both the loose skin and underlying tissues of your lower cheeks and neck, which provides more dramatic results if needed or desired. This procedure not only lifts and tightens deep tissues, but also removes excess skin. It is performed either under general anesthesia or local with mild sedation, through incisions in front of, below, and behind the ear, extending into the lower hairline behind the head, with an additional small incision below the chin.

A neck tightening procedure (platysmaplasty) addresses only the loose underlying tissues along the middle of your neck if you have isolated “cords” or “bands” with very little sagging skin. This procedure only tightens the deep tissues and does not remove any skin. It is performed comfortably under local anesthesia through a small incision below the chin.

Neck liposuction addresses only a deposit of fat beneath your chin. You must have good overall skin quality that is not loose and also have no evidence of underlying “cords” or “bands”. This procedure is performed comfortably under local anesthesia through a small skin puncture below the chin for a nice improvement in contour of that specific area of your neck.

Benefits of a HARMONIC® neck lift

Dr. Moya has had great success using HARMONIC® technology for many of his procedures, including neck lifts. Whereas the more conventional and widely-used surgical instrument (Bovie) cuts and cauterizes (seals) tissues via electrical current, HARMONIC® devices use ultrasonic vibrations to perform the same tasks. This means that instead of using heat to cut and seal tissues (which can then spread and damage the surrounding tissues not being removed from the body), there is only minimal energy (heat) transfer and thus very little damage to surrounding tissues.

“So what does all of that mean for me?” you might ask. Well, for Dr. Moya’s facelift and neck lift patients, using a HARMONIC® scalpel means that there will be very little post-operative bruising, swelling, and pain, which then results in a much quicker return to your social activities. For certain patients, depending on the degree of surgery and/or length of surgical time needed, the advanced technology allows the procedure to be more easily performed under only local anesthesia with mild sedation, since there is no electrical stimulation of the nerves and muscles (unlike traditional instruments) which could cause muscle twitching and patient discomfort.

Lewisburg Neck Lift Harmonic®

Procedure: HARMONIC® neck lift

Timeline: 1 week after surgery

HARMONIC® technology is very different from traditional surgical instruments, and because of this, specialized training and modest amount of experience are necessary in order to obtain superior results. Dr. Moya has been utilizing this technology since 2007, and will be happy to show you what it can do for you.

Recovery after a neck lift

After your surgery, your incisions will be covered with bandages that must remain in place for 24 hours. Dr. Moya will specifically use internal sutures with overlying skin glue for incisions that can more readily be seen (such as those in front of the ear and also underneath the chin); these will not require local care. Due to his use of innovative technologies, you will not require postoperative drains, making your recovery experience that much more comfortable. In order to help swelling resolve sooner, you should sleep with your head elevated on pillows for the first several days and avoid excessive activity. Although you will have some swelling and bruising after your surgery, because of the use of the HARMONIC® scalpel, this will be significantly less than that which you would see with use of traditional surgical instruments, so that you will most likely be able to return to your normal social activities after one week. Overall recovery time, of course, will vary from patient to patient, but you should expect to be fully recovered within 4 weeks, with return to exercise and more strenuous activities after 6 weeks.

Neck Lift Results

With Dr. Moya’s surgical approach you will see results almost immediately after your neck lift, with final results achieved within 4 weeks. While a neck lift will not prevent further facial aging, with proper care (including a healthy diet, hydration, sun protection, and skin care), you should be able to enjoy a more contoured and defined neck for years to come.

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Dr. Moya invited to present at The ASAPS Aesthetic Meeting 2022

Alexander P. Moya, MD has been invited to present at The Aesthetic Meeting 2022 in San Diego, CA. As a renowned body contouring specialist, Dr. Moya is regularly invited to share his expertise and techniques with colleagues at educational meetings and conferences. He will teach a course on his trademarked procedure, the Corset Body Lift®. The Aesthetic Meeting is an annual educational meeting for the members of The Aesthetic Society, an exclusive professional society for plastic surgeons. Requirements to join The Aesthetic Society go beyond board certification (which is required) and include years of experience, proof of proficiency, continuing education, and the esteem and recommendation of their colleagues. As part of the focus on education, The Aesthetic Society and the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation invite the best and brightest to share their knowledge at The Aesthetic Meeting. In 2006, Dr. Moya created the Corset Body Lift® for patients who struggled with excess skin and skin laxity after weight loss. This procedure addresses these issues while creating a beautifully contoured and sculpted waistline. The results speak for themselves, and Dr. Moya has been an in-demand speaker and instructor since, and over the last several years has developed a large following on Instagram @mdmoya.corsetbodylift. His course at The Aesthetic Meeting 2022 is entitled “The Corset Body Lift®: The Art of Waistline Shaping in the Massive Weight Loss Patient” and will be presented on Friday April 22.

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