Neck lifts can correct problems under the chin created by loose skin, excess fat or muscle tension. The approach taken will depend on the specific cause, explains Steven Wallach, M.D., a New York City plastic surgeon. For loose skin alone, an incision is made behind the ear, skin is redraped and excess removed. If isolated fat is the culprit, liposuction is done through an incision under the chin or behind the ear. A tense muscle requires an incision and then suturing on either side of the muscle or removal of a wedge of muscle to leave it less taut. The skin might redrape itself, but if not, the excess can be surgically removed. It can be done in the hospital or doctor’s office; you will be sedated. Recovery time is 7 to 10 days; plan to stay at home during that period. Results last 5 to 10 years. Cost: about $2,500 for liposuction; $4,000 to $5,000 for skin or muscle surgery. Possible risks, although rare, like scarring and nerve damage that could affect your smile.
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