Neck Lift Basics

Time has a way of wearing at one’s appearance in unexpected and sometimes unwanted ways. Skin can sag, especially around the neck. Fortunately, with a neck lift, excess skin and sagging can be treated to give you a more youthful, refreshed appearance.

A neck lift is a cosmetic procedure that aims to rejuvenate the patient’s appearance. When skin ages, it loses elasticity, which causes it to sag. Sagging skin under the chin and around the neck can create the appearance of a double chin, despite the patient being in good shape. With a neck lift, a plastic surgeon removes excess skin then tightens the neck to create a youthful profile.

Types of Neck Lifts

Neck lifts come in different flavors. One defines them depending on what they address.  The neck contains skin, fat, and muscle. Thus, any one, two, or three of these components can be important forces in the aging neck.

  1. Skin excess: The plastic surgeon removes skin behind the ear as the skin is pulled along that vector.  One usually combines this type of neck lift with a face lift since the face and neck are continuous areas.  That is, when one pulls the neck back, the lower face is also pulled. And, this in turn causes shifts in tissue that runs up in front of the ear.  It is only in rare cases one can tighten the neck skin without needing to address (at least) the lower third of the face to avoid skin bunching or a patch-like result that renders the face imbalanced.
  2. Muscle separation: The platysma muscle can weaken and separate from the midline leading to loss of the tight neck we enjoy in youth.  The surgeon must tighten the platysma muscle to sharpen the angle of the neck.  It is almost always performed when one performs a  skin excision.  However, the opposite is not true.  That is, a platysmaplasty can be performed in the absence of skin excision. When there is no loose skin, skin is not excised.
  3. Fat: A build up of fat under the chin will destroy a sharp neck.  Fat can be removed by liposuction, resection, or acid injections (Kybella).  When there is loose muscles as well as excess fat, muscles will need to be tightened to achieve satisfactory results.

Example of a Candidate for a Neck Lift

Below is a profile of a man who has no defined neck.  While one may think this is a result of loose skin, it is the wrong diagnosis.  This illustrates the importance of proper diagnosis.  Without accurately identifying the problem, it cannot be optimally fixed.

Before neck lift

The neck deformity is one of fat and muscle only, not skin.  For the AFTER of this man, please visit the Gallery.

Speak with Dr. Tim Neavin to learn more about facial-rejuvenation treatments like the neck lift.

For photos of neck lifts click here.

Contact us at our office in Beverly Hills to schedule a consultation.

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