Is this a cobra deformity? (Photos)

had a lower face and neck lift. incisions behind the ears and under chin. been about ten months. can this be fixed ?

Doctor Answers 4

Cobra deformity?

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The submental area is one of the most challenging areas of the face to totally correct with a cheek and neck lift. It almost always has to be addressed directly to remove any fatty tissue that is almost universally present, and to tighten the muscles under the chin to give you a nice sharp shelf that starts under the chin and extends down the anterior neck like an inverted "L". Only a small amount of skin can be removed directly from under the chin due to the need to elevate the chin when you "look at the stars in the sky". Most of the skin has to be removed laterally during the neck skin elevation. Unfortunately, due to elasticity issues, everyone relaxes the neck skin some after the neck lift and this relaxation causes a gathering effect under the chin. Patients with very thick skin and heavy necks preoperatively, have more issues than thinner patients with less adipose tissue preoperatively. When the tissues laterally gather lateral to the midline and the midline is relatively elevated, it can result in a "cobra deformity". A revision of the area under the chin should give you a nice improvement by removing any remaining fatty tissue and re-tightening the muscles under the chin.John Standefer MD

Neck Banding and Crepe Skin

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I suggest seeing a neck lift surgeon this can be improved with a revision procedure. Sometimes skin tightening procedures like Ultherapy or thermage with botox also help.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews


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1234ugly, yes this can be fixed but you need an experienced expert. See someone that has been doing "only faces" for decades not years. Search the Internet. See the video and good luck!

M. Sean Freeman, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Is this a cobra deformity?

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Thanks for your question. I can appreciate your concern. The only way to definitively determine what is going on and what can be done is with a thourough history, physical examination and likely a review of the operative note. The best person to do this is your surgeon who will have the most intimate understanding of what was performed. If you have returned to the surgeon and desire another opinion then a second opinion from a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is your best approach. Most surgeons are not opposed to second opinions as they lead to the best outcome for our patients which is obviously the ultimate goal. The old adage, two heads are better than one is definitely at play. Treatment, if any, will depend on what is causing the changes you see. Thank you

Bram Kaufman, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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