One of the very first signs of aging is the effect of gravity on our skin, pulling the skin down as skin laxity increases with age and making us look much older than we feel. For many people, one of the first areas that show signs of age is the neck, particularly the area beneath the chin where the skin becomes thinner and looser much more quickly than other areas of the body. Fortunately, at Reflections Skin & Laser Center in Cartersville, GA, we know the key to appearing more youthful is a Mini Neck Lift, a specialized miniature surgery.
What Is a Mini Neck Lift?
A Mini Neck Lift Procedure, sometimes called a Micro Neck Lift, is a miniature cosmetic surgical procedure that lifts and tightens the skin on the neck to create a more youthful-looking appearance. This miniature lift is ideal for patients who are first noticing troubling signs of aging on the neck that either has not responded to other cosmetic treatments or to skincare products. This procedure can treat many age-related signs of aging, including:
- Sagging or loose skin
- Redundant skin beneath the chin
- Laxity in the jowls and jawline
- Submental fat beneath the chin
- Loose muscles in the neck
- Wrinkles and fine lines on the neck
How Does a Mini Neck Lift Work?
A miniature neck lift has a similar approach as other surgeries for the neck, however the techniques themselves are streamlined to be less invasive. Part of this treatment involves the removal of excess fat and skin from the neck area. The treatment is performed by making small incisions behind the ear, under the chin, or both; with these incisions, your surgeon is able to correct skin laxity, excess skin and fat, and loose neck muscles.
What’s the Difference Between a Traditional Neck Lift and a Mini Neck Lift?
On the surface, a traditional neck lift and a miniature neck lift look the same. However, there are stark differences between the two. For one thing, the miniature surgery requires fewer incisions than a traditional neck lift, which reduces the possibility of scaring and also means less recovery time. For another, a traditional neck lift requires a more invasive approach and is generally only used for individuals who have severe age-related appearance concerns.
Which Is Better?
The type of neck lift surgery that is right for you will depend on your exact needs. However, for the most part, many patients prefer the miniature neck lift to handle mild and moderate age-related appearance concerns, largely because the procedure itself is less painful and more effective. A miniature neck lift can do everything a traditional neck lift does, but the methods involved are subtle and easier to recover from, making it the preferred treatment overall.
What Can You Expect Before, During, and After Treatment?
You will need to attend a consultation appointment to determine if a miniature neck lift is a better treatment option for you than a traditional neck lift. This will involve examining the condition of your neck, particularly the amount of skin laxity, submental fat, and the looseness of the neck muscles.
We will ask you several questions during your consultation, including about your medical history, drug allergies you have, and any cosmetic treatments for the neck that you have tried in the past. We will also go over reasonable expectations for treatment and your appearance-related goals.
Because this is a surgical procedure, there are certain instructions you will need to follow to prepare for your appointment. We will provide you with pre-treatment instructions that should be observed for at least one to three days before your surgery. Some pre-treatment instructions will include:
- Discontinue taking blood-thinning medications
- Avoid certain supplements and vitamins
- Do not drink alcohol 24 hours before surgery
- Do not use tobacco products
We may provide you with other instructions to prepare for surgery, such as instructions to fast the morning of your appointment. As this is a surgical procedure, we recommend patients arrange for transportation after the treatment is complete.
Mini Neck Lift Surgery
Your surgery will take about three hours to complete. We will first administer a mild sedative and local anesthesia so you are comfortable for the duration of your surgery.
Your surgeon will then make a few small incisions to correct the tightness of neck bands (neck muscles beneath the chin), remove excess submental fat with miniature liposuction, and remove excess skin on the neck while also pulling that skin upward so it is taut. After the corrective portions are complete, your incisions will be closed with stitches or sutures.
You will be given instructions to follow after your surgery that will help you through your recovery period. Many of these post-treatment instructions are meant to be followed during the seven to 10 days immediately following your surgery. Some post-treatment instructions will include:
- Avoid blood-thinning medications, supplements, and vitamins
- Do not drink alcohol
- Avoid excessive heat, sweating, and strenuous movement
- Sleep with your head elevated
- Minimize movements of the head
We may provide you with additional instructions, such as how to use ice to minimize swelling, foods that you can eat without excessive chewing, and prescription medications to use after surgery. We will also instruct you to attend a follow-up appointment to assess your healing within the weeks following your treatment.
The recovery time for this treatment is about 10 days, which is when most of the healing is occurs; after 10 days, you may require additional time to heal from the incisions, which may take several more weeks to fade from view. Your recovery may involve wearing a strap beneath your chin, called a “chin bra”, that will limit the movement of your jaw and enable you to heal more quickly.
How Soon Can You See Results?
Many patients can see results within the first week or two following the treatment. Results will be a younger-looking neck with tighter skin, reduced fat, and stronger neck muscles. Results will continue to improve as you heal, which means your final results may not be visible until at least three weeks after your surgery. If you are having this treatment to prepare for a special life event, we recommend scheduling your appointment at least four to six weeks before your event to give enough time for adequate healing.
How Long Do Results Last?
Results for this treatment last for about 10 years, which rivals the results of a traditional neck lift. Many patients can expect to enjoy the results of this treatment for longer than 10 years, depending on their lifestyle habits and any anti-aging skincare products or treatments they have used since the time of the surgery.
What Are the Benefits?
Increased skin laxity on the neck invariably leads to sagging, thin, and loose skin that prematurely ages many people. Frustratingly, there doesn’t seem to be much you can do to correct this by yourself as many skincare products are less than effective. However, with this procedure, there is the hope of restoring a youthful appearance. In addition to being a better alternative than a traditional neck lift, this treatment has many other benefits, including:
Less Invasive and Quicker Recovery Time
The primary benefits of this treatment are the fact that it is less invasive and has a quicker recovery time. The fact that the procedure is less invasive means that it has fewer risks of scarring, as the incisions are smaller and are more easily hidden behind the ear or beneath the chin. The smaller incisions are also quicker to heal.
Better for Contouring
This treatment is often used as a contouring treatment in addition to being an anti-aging treatment. This is because the procedure lifts and tightens the skin on the neck, which can reduce skin laxity on the jowls and redefine the jawline and the chin.
Ideal for Younger Patients
This treatment is ideal for younger patients who have mild or moderate appearance-related concerns. Younger patients may prefer this treatment to others because the results are not as drastic and appear more natural-looking.
No General Anesthesia
There is no general anesthesia required for this procedure, which means there are fewer risks associated with the treatment itself. General anesthesia is sometimes not compatible with the health of some patients, so the fact that this treatment only requires local anesthesia and sedation is attractive to patients who are otherwise not qualified for other surgeries.
Reduce Unwanted Fat
If you have submental fat that has not been eliminated through diet, exercise, or other cosmetic treatments to reduce chin fat such as Kybella, then this treatment can be used to remove unwanted fat. It’s very easy for your surgeon to use a small millimeter-wide cannula for liposuction beneath the chin and around the jawline during your treatment. There is no need for additional incisions to be made.
Tone Neck Muscles
The neck muscles beneath the chin, also called neckbands, often become loose as a result of aging, which can loosen the skin on your neck, as well. This surgery helps tighten and tone these muscles, bringing them closer to the chin and elevating your overall appearance.
This treatment produces long-lasting results that rival traditional neck lifts. The results for this treatment last a significantly longer time than other non-surgical cosmetic treatments, including non-invasive radiofrequency treatments and injectable treatments. The long-lasting results mean you can enjoy the results of the treatment without additional thought for 10 years or more.
Compatible With Other Surgeries
A miniature neck lift is also compatible with other surgeries. In fact, it’s common for patients to request miniature facelifts or full facelifts in addition to this surgery. Completing multiple surgeries at once ultimately cuts down on your recovery time and can create a more cohesive anti-aging result. If you would like to combine this procedure with other cosmetic surgeries, please feel free to discuss your options during your consultation.
Are You a Good Candidate?
There are many good candidates for this procedure, particularly younger patients or patients who have mild-to-moderate appearance-related concerns. This surgery can be performed on any adult, female or male, who is interested in restoring a more youthful appearance by tightening the skin on the neck. You may be a good candidate for this treatment if you are interested in:
- Contouring chin and jaw
- Lifting and tightening skin on the neck
- Toning neck muscles
- Eliminating unwanted fat beneath the chin
Uplift Your Appearance With a Mini Neck Lift
A mini neck lift is an ideal alternate procedure for prospective patients who have age-related concerns about the appearance of the neck. This procedure can address multiple appearance concerns with one surgery that involves only a few small incisions that heal without obvious scarring. The recovery for this minimally invasive surgical procedure is fast and patients can expect to enjoy results for 10 years or more.