The neck is one of the first places where we show our age. Fatty jowls, a “turkey wattle,” vertical banding and horizontal creases all work together to make us look older than we feel. A neck lift enhances the appearance of the neck by tightening the skin and underlying muscles and improving the contour of the jawline. This procedure is often performed in conjunction with liposuction, a facelift, or a cheek lift but may also be done as a stand-alone procedure.

When to Consider a Neck Lift

  • If you have a turkey wattle that makes you look much older than your age
  • If you feel your neck is too fat
  • If you have lost the distinct jawline of your youth and want to restore it
  • If you have excess skin and wrinkles on your neck

Are you a good candidate for a neck lift?

The following are some common reasons why you may want to consider neck lift:

  • You desire a sleeker neck with a distinct jawline that separates your neck from your face
  • You have excess skin and fat in your neck
  • Your neck has developed folds and lines

If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.

How is a neck lift procedure performed?

If only minimal contouring is needed, this procedure can be done with liposuction alone.

The procedure for a full neck lift is as follows:

  • Incisions are made under the chin and/or behind the ears depending on the procedure that has been chosen
  • The platysma muscle is tightened and sewn together (corset platysmaplasty) similar to the way shoelaces are cinched.
  • Excess skin and fat are carefully trimmed away
  • Tissue and skin are repositioned and secured with sutures
  • Incisions are closed and drains may be placed before the wounds are bandaged

What are my options?

As a stand-alone procedure, your neck lift can be done with liposuction alone, if only fat is being removed and your skin quality is good. When there are more significant signs of aging, such as a turkey wattle, jowling, excess fat, sagging skin, and a prominent platysma muscle, a more extensive procedure is required that will address all of those problem areas.

What will my neck lift incisions and scars be like?

There are various incision approaches, depending on the extent of the surgery and the structures being altered. If a corset platysmaplasty is planned (in which the platysma muscles are tightly sewn together to create a smooth neck contour) a small incision is made under your chin (submental incision) along with a limited facelift-type incision behind each ear. For younger patients who request a neck lift with minimal change to the face, the neck correction can sometimes be accomplished with only the submental incision or with only the incision behind each ear.

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