iGuide® Surgery - General Information

Necklift surgery (often referred to as platysmaplasty) is performed to improve the visible signs of aging of the neck. As aging proceeds the skin and underlying muscle (platysma) lose support. This can be associated with sagging skin under the chin, vertical bands on the front of the neck, loss of neck definition, and accumulation of fat under the skin.

Although necklift surgery cannot stop the process of aging, it can improve the appearance of the neck by treating these issues. A traditional necklift often requires a full facelift to be successful as well as a long incision under the chin. The iGuide® necklift is a less invasive approach that can be done as an isolated procedure.

There are two parts to the iGuide® necklift: NDS (neck defining suture) and TPS (trampoline platysmaplasty suture). The NDS restores neck definition by holding the skin and muscle back at the junction between the chin and the neck. The TPS lifts the skin and muscle under the chin much as a shoe or corset is laced. The iGuide® necklift can be performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures, such as facelift, browlift, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), liposuction, etc.

Alternative Treatments

The alternative is not to treat the aging changes of the neck using the iGuide® necklift. Improvement of skin laxity, skin wrinkles, and fatty deposits may be attempted with other treatments or surgery. Each of these treatments is associated with its own risks and potential complications.

Risks of iGuide® Surgery

Any surgery has the risks of bleeding, infection, unacceptable scarring, and need for further surgery. Specific to the iGuide® would be a complication that would require that the suture be removed, such as infection or foreign body reaction. The majority of patients do not experience this complication. Dr. Culbertson has discussed these risks with you during your consultation. At your preoperative visit, you will review detailed informed consent forms that include information regarding the possible risks. If you have any questions or concerns please discuss them with Dr. Culbertson to make sure you understand all possible consequences of iGuide® necklift surgery. It is an individual's choice to undergo a surgical procedure based on the comparison of risk to potential benefit.

What to Expect after iGuide® Surgery

You will wear a soft cervical collar (neck brace) for 10 days. You will wear it when you sleep and perform any activity where you look down. You will wear a compression garment for the remainder of the day of surgery and the next two days. You will have pads underneath the garment that you may remove the night of or morning after surgery, when you are no longer having drainage.

Starting the morning after surgery, you may remove the garment long enough to shower. The water should be just warm enough to be comfortable (not hot) and your shower should be brief. As soon as you have dried off, immediately replace the garment.

Starting the 3rd day after surgery, you will wear the garment at night for another 2 weeks. You will have a variable amount of bruising, your skin will look uneven in places, and you will have areas of numbness and/or altered sensation.

Over time, your contour will smooth out and you will regain sensation. Some areas may have permanent numbness and/or altered sensation. You will have regular follow up with Dr. Culbertson and be able to address any questions or concerns that arise during your recovery.

Activity After Surgery:

  • First 48 hours:
    • keep head elevated as much as possible
    • talk as little as possible, move mouth as little as possible
    • eat soft foods that don't require a lot of chewing
    • wear your compression garment the day of surgery plus the 2 days after surgery
  • Weeks 1 and 2:
    • avoid all exercise and strenuous activity
    • wear compression garment at night (2 weeks)
    • wear cervical collar when sleeping, during any activity where you look down (10 days)
  • Weeks 3 and 4:
    • gradually resume exercise and strenuous activity as tolerated
  • After week 4:
    • no restrictions on activity level
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