NECK - CERVICOPLASTY


Dr. Jorge Alberto Espinosa Reyes works in Plástica Colombia - Facial Surgery 
www.plasticacolombia.com

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Neck surgery, also called Cervicoplasty, involves all procedures that improve the neck and jaw angle appearance.

With age, the neck starts to show signs of age sooner than the rest of the face. Likewise, excess skin and fat around the neck affect appearance and self esteem.

The Cervicoplasty, also known as “neck lift”, is the surgery designed to lift and correct sagging skin under the jaw line and on the neck. The muscles are then reinforced to provide improved neck definition, giving you a younger and refreshed look. If excess fat is present in the neck, it is carefully sculpted by liposuction. Many young people undergo Cervicoplasty. Many men and women who look tired or have lost a lot of weight consider having a surgery to improve their appearance. A neck lift may be able to recreate the jaw line often associated with youth. A minimal incision is made under the chin to remove the excess fat, and adjust the muscle in the neck.

Because of the use of the endoscope, the incisions heal very well and are inconspicuous. Dr. Espinosa performs some surgical techniques which are able to correct neck problems through minimal incisions. Cervicoplasty can be done alone, in conjunction with a facelift, or with other procedures you might desire, such as endoscopic brow lift, upper and lower eyelid surgery, and cheek surgery. At your consultation, Dr. Espinosa will help you decide which option is best for you. Dr. Espinosa may recommend some injectable products for you, such as Botox and dermal fillers to improve the overall results of surgery.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Is it time for me to have neck rejuvenation?

Cervicoplasty is a facial surgery procedure typically performed on individuals above 40 years of age. However, people that have lost a lot of weight or suffer from premature aging consider having neck rejuvenation before their 40´s. Dr. Espinosa believes that it is better to have a few small procedures to look great at a younger age, versus waiting until the patient is much older and needing to have a much larger surgery. The idea is that a little work done early provides a longer-lasting effect on skin appearance. Also, the patient´s recovery from surgery is better and easier.


What kind of anesthesia will be used during the surgery?

During your initial consultation, Dr. Espinosa will carefully analyze the type of anesthesia best for your particular procedure. Most neck lift procedures are performed under general anesthesia or light sleep sedation, where you are lightly asleep and entirely unaware of the surgery. Both types of anesthesia are secure, you do not feel anything during surgery and you wake up quickly and comfortably, feeling no pain and experiencing no anxiousness.

If I have a neck lift, will I look stretched and unnatural?

Dr. Espinosa believes that “If it doesn’t look natural, it doesn’t look good.” Through a neck lift, the surgeon lifts and tightens facial skin and muscles, preserving the natural elasticity of skin. Today’s techniques for facial plastic surgery prefer “lifting” to “stretching”.

Every surgery is designed according to the needs of the patient. Neck lift surgery is performed to achieve a natural appearance and optimal rejuvenation effects.



How a neck lift is performed?

A neck lift, also called Cervicoplasty, is a procedure designed according to the patient´s characteristics.

Dr. Espinosa carefully analyzes the areas of your neck you want to correct or improve. He designs a specific treatment for you, depending on your face, age, sagging skin, and quality of the skin. Thanks to the endoscopic techniques, and through a previous computer imaging study, Dr. Espinosa performs surgical procedures to correct these problems with minimal incisions. For a neck lift, surgeon usually makes two incisions under or behind the ear, and then loosens the skin, redrapes it, and removes the excess skin.

If excess fat is present in the neck, it is sculpted by liposuction, through a minimal incision made underneath the chin. Because of the use of the endoscope, these incisions are really short. Some incisions are hidden in the crease behind each ear. When a correction of the muscle is needed, a section of the platysma muscle may be removed and the ends are sutured to bring them together at the front of the neck and throat area.

This is a procedure called platysmaplasty. The platysma is a very important facial muscle that extends from the neck to the chest and is responsible for many facial expressions. The endoscope is used to create a tunnel from behind one ear across under the jawbone to behind the other ear. A very special gentle corset-like stitch is placed from behind one ear, then down around the neck and back up behind the other ear. This helps tighten the neck, and creates a more pleasing transition from the under aspect of the chin to the upper neck. This minimally invasive procedure helps the surgeon to restore the neck appearance.

How long does a neck lift take?

Times in the operating room vary, depending on the kind of procedures to perform. A neck lift usually takes 2 hours. After surgery the patient is gently awakened and taken into the recovery room where vital signs are carefully monitored and controlled.


Will I need to stay in hospital?

Neck rejuvenation surgery is usually done on an out-patient basis. After surgery you will be carefully monitored until you completely recovery from anesthesia. Some medications are prescribed to minimize any discomfort. You will be monitored after surgery to observe any adverse side effect to anesthesia. You will stay in our medical center until
Dr. Espinosa considers you have completed your recovery phase. You will receive specific home-care instructions and prescriptions for medicine. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and to stay with you at least the first night following the surgery.


What should I expect after surgery?

After surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room to be closely watched for 1-2 hours or until your physician considers you may go home.  Any discomfort should be alleviated by your prescribed pain medication.  A comfortable bandage will be placed on your face and neck to compress the surgical area.  Dr. Espinosa will check your bandages 24 hours following surgery, and will remove them 2 days after surgery, as well as your drains.  Your sutures won’t be removed until day 7.   Your lower face and neck will get more swollen, and possibly bruised, over the first 3 days after surgery.  As time goes by, the swelling and bruises will dissipate.  You may feel some tightness or less sensibility due to swelling.  This is part of your healing.

What is the recovery time from Cervicoplasty?

Most patients are able to go back to normal activity quickly.  However, this will depend on the individual patient.  Avoid strenuous activity, including exercise and sex.

How long does it take to get back to normal activity?

This depends on the type of neck lift procedure you had. You may need more than 20 days to rest. Give yourself enough time to recuperate. This time can vary from patient to patient. Avoid strenuous activity for several weeks after surgery. Healing from surgery can take some time. Schedule your surgery, so you have proper time to recover. Odd sensations of tightness, numbness, swelling and bruising are symptoms that subside within the first few weeks. Dr. Espinosa will be in permanent contact with you to be certain you are comfortable and that all your questions are answered.


Dr. Espinosa´s special instructions:

Instructions before surgery:

  1. Avoid taking aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid) or anti-inflammatory medicines.
  2. Stop smoking at least one month before your surgery.
  3. Inform your surgeon about drug allergies, medical treatments, and current medications.
  4. Always have realistic expectations about the results of surgery.

Instructions after surgery:

  1. Before you leave the medical center, make sure you have your surgeon’s prescriptions, medical certification, and date of your first post-operative visit to the office.
  2. Avoid foods that require prolonged chewing.  Otherwise, your diet has no restrictions.
  3. Although patients report minimal pain, they are discharged with post-operative analgesia.  If you have severe pain, inform Dr. Espinosa immediately.  
  4. Avoid taking aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid).
  5. You must keep your head still as much as possible during the first 7 days.  Do not turn your head from side to side.  Move your whole body, if you must move.
  6. Avoid strenuous activity, including exercise and sex.  Do not carry or lift heavy objects for 3 weeks.  Light aerobic exercise is allowed just 3 weeks following surgery.   Return to normal aerobic exercise after 6 weeks.  However, Dr. Espinosa will observe your recovery and will let you know when you can resume your usual physical activities.
  7. You can resume gradually your normal daily activities in about 15 days, as long as, you do not expose yourselt to drastic changes in temperature.  Avoid prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures.  
  8. Keep your head elevated during your recovery.  Sleep on your back with your head elevated at least for the first 8 days.  It is necessary to sleep strictly on your back so as to prevent swelling on one side or any complication.  Sleep on two pillows to keep head elevated or use a wedge-shaped foam pillow.  You must sleep face up.
  9. Excessive exposure to sun in the first 3 weeks after surgery may result in prolonged facial swelling and injury to the skin.  Thereafter, you should always protect your skin with a strong sun-screen.  Exposure to sun should be limited for the first 2-3 months or skin discoloration may occur.  You must be protected under an umbrella or a hat.  Try to keep out of the sun as much as possible.
  10. Lifting heavy things, animals or children may affect the area of surgery.  You must avoid any activity that increases the risk of hitting.
  11. You may gently cleanse the incision lines on your neck twice daily with hydrogen peroxide applied with cotton-tipped applicators. Apply the ointment provided to avoid excessive crusting and reduce incision redness..

The information provided here is not a substitute for a consultation.  Please, do not hesitate to communicate with us if you are concerned about something you consider significant.  Your post-operative appointment is really important.  Remember, success of surgery depends very much upon post-operative care.   It is crucial that you follow your surgeon’s instructions.