The procedure I had was a neck lift with lipo- a...
The procedure I had was a neck lift with lipo- a small incision under the chin, all fat removed from the neck area, then the muscle bands tightened, then the excess skin pulled back from behind the ears. There is a small incision of about a half an inch under my chin and incisions running from the bottom of my earlobe to my hairline, behind the ear. I am only on day recovery and back at work for the first time. My neck looked better to me as soon as the bandages came off for the first time (that was day 2). I have been icing and wearing the compression garment as much as possible. Today I had to go back to work so no compression or ice for the day- as soon as I get home the ice and compression garment will come out. The swelling is going down more every day. At this point, aside from the stitches that have not been taken out yet, I don't look much different than I did before the procedure, but I'm still swollen. I'm seeing what I hope is not crepey skin under the incision on my chin, I think this is just some temporary lumpiness due to swelling. There are no hard lumps under the skin which would indicate scarring. I have to wait and see what happens after another week or so. So far I'm pleased. The procedure was done in office with local anesthesia and valium, and it was relatively easy. Pain has not been terrible, just soreness around the incisions and a little soreness on the neck. Bruising was below the neck underneath the bandages. Bruises are almost gone. I will post more updates and pictures when I can.
My neck is still swollen. I don't think I have...
My neck is still swollen. I don't think I have been wearing the compression garment enough, and I think I'm probably being too active. I'm not going to freak out about it yet, although the picture I took of my neck at 13 days looks pretty bad. According to my doctor:
"Things that can make the swelling worse, is being too active, working out, and not wearing the compression enough. Things that can cause more swelling, are foods that you eat which are high in sodium. This will cause water retention and for someone who just had surgery, you will see the swelling more in the operated area.
The main reason we don't have patients workout during the initial month after the procedure is more to keep any swelling that can accumulate while working out. As the weeks pass, the swelling naturally comes down, and working out no longer makes the area swell. Rest assured, this is temporary swelling, and the fat is not reaccumulating.
It can take up to 6 or more months for all of the swelling to go away completely. In the initial weeks to months, a majority of this swelling will dissipate, but the last 10-20% may linger for the remaining months. You will feel this as the firmness of the tissue under the chin. When all of the firmness is gone, then the swelling will be considered resolved.
As for the redness of the incision under the chin, we recommend using a silicone scar gel such as Kelocote. We don't recommend starting the scar gel, for at least 1 week after the stitches come out, so you could potentially start this week. I don't want you to massage anything yet. The skin is newly adhered to the underlying platysma muscle and fat. Massaging too early may cause some shearing forces which may weaken the bond between the skin and underlying tissues. This will also cause more swelling."
I am still recovering. I want to say that my...
I am still recovering. I want to say that my doctor is very accessible, I have been sending him pictures and he asked to see me today to check the incision under the chin. He injected it with some saline solution to break up the clotted blood that was making it look darker than he thought it should. I've started using Kelocote on the incisions and they are healing seamlessly.
As far as the crepey skin issue goes, this is LESS visible when the area is more swollen (in the morning) and more obvious when the swelling subsides a bit. The doctor explained that while this would hopefully resolve itself, there were measures he would take to correct it if it didn't. I trust the doctor and know he takes pride in his work. I wish I had better pictures to post, but the ones I'm putting up today are of swelling that you should expect if you are considering a neck lift. Today is exactly 2 weeks since the procedure, so I am still in the early stages.
I'm adding a couple more of my 'mirror' photos....
I'm adding a couple more of my 'mirror' photos. The pictures taken by the doctor are very controlled and good for comparison purposes over time. The pictures I'm taking of myself are more like what you should expect to see in the mirror from day to day as you recover. More swollen one day, a bit crepey looking or lumpy the next, but the last picture shows that my neck has smoothed out quite a bit. My doctor took one more set of photos which I'm waiting to receive and will post them when I do. The profile view of my neck is unquestionably a vast improvement. I really can't take that kind of photo of myself. But I went out without a scarf for the first time in ages yesterday!
Today I'm posting the pictures my doctor took 14...
Today I'm posting the pictures my doctor took 14 days after the procedure. I am very happy with the difference. Note that if you are going to have this procedure the look of these photos is different than the 'underbelly' photos of my neck that I took myself. The crepey skin/vertical lines issue is going away a little every day. Ultimately, after a couple of months, I may need to smooth it out with Restalyne. But overall I think it's a big improvement.
7 weeks post op
13 Jun 2013
2 months post
I'm posting a photo that was taken a couple of days ago, 7 weeks post op, as well as a comparison of all the photos the doctor took, from before the procedure to now. You can see that the angle of the neck from the side has softened a bit since the last time he photographed me. This made me a bit nervous that my neck was 'falling' already, but the doctor explained to me that slight relaxation is unavoidable and that he did not expect much more relaxation to occur. The upside of the slight relaxation is that the vertical lines (crepey looking skin) seen from under the neck have softened and are not as visible. I am going to see him again in another 4 weeks and we will evaluate whether or not restalyne will be needed to correct the crepey lines. According to the doctor it may not be necessary.
my neck is falling already
26 Jun 2013
2 months post
I'm very disappointed with how things are progressing. The sides of my neck are sagging already. It appears that instead of the neck lift I should have opted for the 'neck lift plus' which involves additional incisions in front of the ears. I did not think that I needed this, as my face itself is not sagging (jowls), and the doctor did not advise me to opt for that procedure over the neck lift. Since my skin has very good elasticity, we both thought the neck lift would turn out well. Unfortunately it didn't. When I last spoke to the doctor of my concerns he advised me that incisions in front of the ear (as is done in 'neck lift plus') would be needed to correct the sagging on the sides and achieve the results that I wanted. At the present time I have a dent in the middle of the underside of the neck and crepey skin. My neck looks worse from underneath than it did before the procedure. I have an appointment to see him next week and I will schedule a correction as soon as possible. I am somewhat hopeful that he will be able to achieve satisfactory results, as the doctor takes pride in his work. In the meantime I am depressed and embarrassed. It will be very difficult to manage the additional time off work and other disruptive elements of getting a second procedure. I wish I had gotten the correct procedure to begin with.
Neck lift must be re-done
After discussing several options to deal with the unsatisfactory results of my neck lift, the doctor convinced me that the best course of action was to wait until 6 months after the date of the original procedure and re-do the entire thing, this time including a mini face lift. Not enough skin was taken off in the original procedure and quite a bit of lipo was done, which has left me with the sagging on the sides and crepey skin in the middle. However, my profile is still much improved. I'm not thrilled about having to do it over, but I am happy that my doctor is thorough and takes pride in his work. I'm getting it re-done in January.
nothing changed yet
I had three laser skin tightening sessions which didn't really make a noticeable difference in the sides of my neck. I'm scheduled to have the surgery re-done in January and I hope to have good results then. But as of now, nothing has changed.