There are many reasons people see Dr. Gerstle for neck enhancement. Some men and women suffer from aging, sagging skin, others suffer from unattractive fat distribution, and others are experiencing the side effects of long-term sun exposure. Depending on your genetic makeup and lifestyle, you may be experiencing all of these issues. Fortunately, there are several procedures Dr. Gerstle can perform on your neck to help you get the look you want. They can range from simple dermabrasions and chemical peels to more complicated liposuction. Some ladies and gentlemen require a full neck lift to achieve their cosmetic goals. Dr. Theo Gerstle can help you determine what procedures might be best for you.
To find out more about Neck Enhancement at Lexington Plastic Surgery, PLLC, request a consultation or call (859) 279-2111.
Sculpting a tighter, more youthful contour
Minimizing excess neck fat or fat under the chin
At your consultation, you and Dr. Gerstle will review your medical history and he will perform a physical exam. Once that is complete, the two of you will discuss your cosmetic goals. During this discussion, you will use our state of the art imaging system called “Mirror Imaging” which will take a photograph of you and digitally enhance it to create a photographic image of the look you would like to attain. Then, Dr. Gerstle will suggest the best way for him to help you achieve the look you want.
If your concerns can be addressed with a simple chemical peel, dermabrasion or laser treatment, we will proceed with scheduling that as a simple office procedure.
If the look you want to achieve can be obtained with liposuction, Dr. Gerstle will schedule that for a separate office procedure visit. It is considered surgery, but is very minor. The procedure is completed in under an hour with either local anesthesia only, or some mild sedation in Dr. Gerstle’s private operating suite. He will make a tiny incision that is inconspicuously placed under the chin, and suctions the excess fat away with tiny liposuction cannulas. Most people leave within a half-hour after the procedure, as they feel well enough to do so. The recovery lasts a few days, with most people able to work the next day. However, Dr. Gerstle recommends wearing a chin strap for the first week and during sleep for another week afterwards. For this reason, some patients choose to take a week from work and take it easy. There may be some mild swelling which disappears within that first week.
If the look you want can only be achieved by more invasive techniques, then a partial or full neck lift may be indicated. In these situations, the underlying neck muscles (called the platysma) have become lax, have started to sag, and can only be lifted surgically. Occasionally, liposuction may also be done with the neck lift. A partial neck lift is done through a small incision under the chin and a full neck lift will have added incisions around and behind the ears. The muscles will be tightened and excess skin removed. If the neck lift is done alone or with liposuction, you can expect it to take about two hours under general anesthesia in our outpatient surgery center. You can expect to return home a few hours after the procedure is complete, and expect recovery to take a few days to a week. Dr. Gerstle recommends wearing a chin strap for a week after the procedure at all times, but only during sleep for the following week. Often, these procedures are done with a facelift for a more complete facial rejuvenation approach. Please see the page on facelifts for more details on what to expect.
You would follow up with Dr. Gerstle within a few days after the procedure. Of course, Dr. Gerstle is always available by his personal cell phone or email for any questions or concerns that arise in between office visits.
How will I know if I need the more invasive neck lift? Can I try the less invasive techniques first?
Making the decision to have surgery is no small matter, so it is important to assess your goals and talk openly during your consultation. Dr. Gerstle strongly believes in taking the most minimally invasive approach to achieving your goals. Dr. Gerstle wants you to be happy with your plan and your new look. Most importantly, however, he wants you to be safe. If you undergo the less invasive procedures and still want more in the future, that’s perfectly alright.
When can I resume exercise?
For procedures such as peels and dermabrasions, you can resume normal activities as soon as you feel ready. Most people do within a day or so. For the minor surgical approaches, such as liposuction under the chin, Dr. Gerstle recommends resuming light activity at about 2 weeks and vigorous exercise at a month. For those who undergo full neck lift with or without a facelift, please refer to the postop guidelines for facelift. Generally, Dr. Gerstle wants patients who undergo neck lift to refrain from vigorous activity for at least 6 weeks.
Will I be able to move my neck normally afterwards?
Right after your surgery, it is normal to have some stiffness and swelling. This starts to improve within the first week. After that time, you should not have a problem with your neck motion.