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Neck Liposuction or Cervicoplasty basics

Cervicoplasty, also called a platysmaplasty or neck tightening procedure, aims to reduce the waddle of tissue that accumulates under the chin region. It generally involves removing several tablespoons of adipose tissue, followed by reapproximating neck muscles that have spread far apart (diastasis) through a small incision in a skin crease just under the chin. Occasionally, it is instead performed by incisions behind the ear. Dr. Ashbach will make that decision with you at the time of your evaluation. It is often times performed in conjugation with a face lift. Cervicoplasty can be performed under general or local anesthesia.

It is typically performed on individuals above 40 years of age, although may be also performed in younger individuals that have lost a lot of weight. The goal of cervicoplasty is to help redefine the chin and jaw line to a more youthful appearance. 

Preparing for your cervicoplasty

The goals of preparation are to minimize the risk of complications, bruising, and to expedite your healing process. 

Two weeks prior to surgery, stop taking agents that can impede your body’s ability to clot. Do not take products containing aspirin, ibuprofen (ex. Advil, Motrin), or Vitamin E.  Tylenol is okay to take. If you take Coumadin, plavix or other prescription medications to prevent clotting, be sure to discuss this with Dr. Ashbach. 

You should also not smoke for at least two weeks prior to surgery. Other products that contain nicotine, such as ‘the patch’ or nicotine gum, should also be avoided. These all tend to impede the healing process and increase the risk of complications.

One week prior to surgery, it is advised that you do not drink alcohol, as it also contributes to additional bleeding. If you color or perm your hair, hold off for one week prior to surgery and for three weeks after surgery.

On the day of surgery, make plans for someone to drive you to and from the surgery location. If you are having general anesthesia or sedation for your procedure, do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day prior. If you need to take medications, do so on the morning of surgery with a sip of water.

Post Operative Instructions

Most people go home within 1-2 hours after surgery. You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you the first night.  When you get home, head directly to the couch or a recliner with a cold pack on your neck. Try to rest and sleep propped up with 2 - 3 pillows during the first week after your surgery to help reduce any swelling and bruising.

You may experience swelling around the neck; this is quite normal and will gradually go down over the next two weeks. Bruising is also quite normal and the amount will vary from patient to patient. However, if the bruising is associated with more significant swelling or pain, you should notify your surgeon immediately.

Using cold compresses over the neck can be very soothing and will help with the bruising and swelling. Do not use ice directly on the face as it can burn - wrap it in a clean cloth first. Strenuous exercise or anything that is likely to increase your blood pressure or pulse should not be resumed for 3 weeks.

Keep the suture area clean and moist with Vaseline or Aquaphor. You can use a Qtip or cotton applicator to carefully remove any crusting from around the sutures.  If you are prone to constipation, or the painkillers are making you constipated, you should use laxatives to avoid having to strain for at least the first week.

You may be discharged with some antibiotics, and it is important that you complete the course. Please avoid taking aspirin/anti inflammatory tablets for ten days, as these can cause bleeding. You may recommence your usual medication as soon as you can eat or drink unless otherwise advise.

Your sutures will normally be removed around seven days after surgery.