Neck Recontouring (Cervicoplasty)



Few areas of the body cause patients as much frustration as the aging neck. In fact, the neck is often the first sign of aging in an otherwise youthful face. With age, the platysmal muscle which covers the neck and the jaw loosens. With this loosening, the central aspect of the platysmal muscles separate to form two distinct bands stretching from the chin to the lower neck. Loose skin can hang down and sway, giving an appearance of a "turkey" neck. The attractive border of the lower jaw becomes obscured, and the youthful sharp angle between the upper neck and undersurface of the chin becomes blunted and ill-defined. The loose muscle and skin can make shaving difficult for men, and can roll over even the best custom-made dress shirts. It is not just that patients don't like how their necks look - it is also the uncomfortable feeling of the loose and dangling skin that bothers them.

Dr. Sayah performs surgical procedures which are able to correct these problems though minimal incisions. Oftentimes patients requesting neck-recontouring ( cervicoplasty ) are already considering facelift surgery to rejuvenate their face and these procedures can be combined together. Other patients have no concerns about their face, but feel that their neck has deteriorated out of proportion to their face, and these patients will have a neck recontouring procedure alone. The last group of patients may have had a facelift in the past, but either did not get enough correction of their neck initially, or the results were not long-lasting as their neck has once again aged over time.


Neck recontouring can either be done alone, in conjunction with a facelift, or with other procedures you might desire. At your consultation, Dr. Sayah will help you decide which option is best for you.

The surgery is best done with a light general anesthesia, with long acting local anesthetics added to minimize postoperative pain. After you are asleep, the surgery begins with the injection of a long-acting local anesthetic to keep you comfortable long after the procedure is over. If excess fat is present in your neck, your neck is sculpted by liposuction ( liposculpture ). A minimal incision next made underneath the chin. Because of the use of the endoscope, these incisions can be kept very short. 1/8 inch incisions are hidden in the crease behind each ear to re-create a shelf in you neck and creating neck definition. Both of these incisions heal very well, and are quite inconspicuous. Through the small incision under your chin, the platysma muscles are re-approximated together with sutures, correcting the banding which has occurred in the aging neck. The muscles are then reinforced to provide improved neck definition with a more long-lasting result. The endoscope is then used to create a tunnel from behind one ear across under the jawbone to behind the other ear. Then, 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, obliterate the banding, and creates a more pleasing transition from the under aspect of the chin to the upper neck. Finally, the skin is next re-draped over the recontoured neck.

At the conclusion, the incisions are meticulously closed with the finest plastic surgical suture technique. The entire procedure is always fine-tuned to each patient's particular needs and usually takes about 2 hours.

After the Procedure

You will have much less pain and discomfort than you anticipate. A comfortable bandage will be placed on your face and neck to compress the surgical area.

After arriving home, consume a clear liquid diet of water, apple juice or sodas. You will need to rest in bed after surgery. It is important to maintain your head in an elevated position by placing two pillows under your upper back at all times. Do not maintain your neck in a flexed position at any time. Twisting neck motions should also be avoided for 2 weeks. Ice packs have demonstrated to decrease any bruising. Try to fall asleep on your back, as this position places the least amount of tension on your surgical neck recontouring.

Our office staff will contact you on the evening of surgery to be certain you are comfortable and that all your questions are answered. You may resume a regular diet the morning after surgery. You should avoid foods which require widely open bites (apples) or foods that require vigorous chewing (gum/steak), as they may pull on the repaired platysma muscle in your neck. Continue the ice packs the day after your procedure to minimize any swelling. With Dr. Sayah's minimally invasive surgery and this regimen, most patients experience little to no swelling or bruising after surgery. You can resume your regular activities 7 days after surgery with the exception of heavy lifting or straining.



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