What is the Best Least Invasive Solution for Turkey Neck?

I am a 68 year active male in good health. However over the past 2-3 years I've developed a hereditary turkey neck. I cannot afford an extended recovery time and seek the best alternative solution to invasive surgery. What are my best possibilities?

Doctor Answers 20

Direct excision under local anesthesia is the way to go.

I have had great success with direct excision of the turkey neck under local anesthesia. Rather than performing a facelift (lower face and neck lift) to tighten the neck, the hanging tissue is removed directly under the chin. The scar that results is very acceptable cosmetically and heals in a couple weeks. There is little to no down time and essentially no pain. At your consultation, tell the doctor you are interested in a direct submentoplasty.

Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Male neck lift

I see many men in my practice with early changes to the neck. The recovery is typically reasonable and the results can be very dramatic, but without a look of being "operated on" Most men hear from others that they appear to have lost weight.

Take your time finding a surgeon that performs a lot of male facial rejuvenation with many before and after photos

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Running W-Plasty Necklift - enjanced with Fraxel laser skin resurfacing

I have had good success with a procedure called a running W-plasty necklift for a turkey gobbler deformity of the neck, seen more commonly in males. This procedure is done under local or local sedation anesthesia, and is relatively comfortable. I do treat the incision afterwards with four treatments of the Fraxel re:store laser to minimize the appearance of the vertical scar in the center of the neck.

The necklift also allows me access to the platysma neck muscles which undergo surgical tightening at the same time, which not only improves the contour of the neck , but also improves the duration of the procedure over time. I don't have any non-surgical alternatives at this time.


Edward Szachowicz, MD, PhD
Minneapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

You have only 2 choices.

 A facelift will require a week off work. An excision of just the "gobbler" can be done under local anesthesia but will leave a scar, though most patients prefer this to the "gobbler". There is no "non invasive" way to do this, otherwise we would all be doing it!

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Non surgical options for a turkey neck.

Thank you for your question.  If you are looking soley for a non-surgical solution, I am finding that the combination of Kybella to reduce the sub mental fullness and an energy device to tighten the skin are among the best non-surgical combinations to help your neck concerns.
kybella is an injection procedure that dissolves the fat an may require between 2-4 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart. There is some swelling and bruising potential, with the greatest amount with the first treatment.
As far as energy devices, I would recommend Ulthera if you are looking for something with no downtime, or Profound if you could tolerate some downtime. Ulthera is an ultrasound based energy that heats the underlying tissue and stimulates collagen in response. Profound is a radio frequency microneedling device that allows for the creation of Elastin, collagen and hyaluronic acid and hence restores some of the lost elasticity in the neck. It has more visible downtime with the possibility of some swelling and bruising that diminishes in about a weeks time.

I would visit with a board certified plastic surgeon who has the portfolio of non-surgical options in your area who can help explain the treatment options for you and the limitations of each option, both surgical and non-surgical.

Noninvasive treatment for the turkey neck

ThermiTight is a great alternative to a surgical necklift in the appropriate candidate. It can produce excellent skin tightening results that allows someone the option to avoid a surgical procedure. There is a limit to how much skin laxity can be treated with ThermiTight so you would need an evaluation to determine if this device is right for you.

Michael T. Somenek, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Weekend Necklift

It is possible that you may be a candidate for what is termed, "The Laser Assisted Weekend Necklift:" It is a minimally invasive procedure.

Cervicofacial Liposculpture is first employed to contour the unfavorable fatty changes seen in the face and neck as time passes by, such as the ‘Turkey neck’ and ‘double chin’.

Careful attention is then turned to tightening the neck muscles and eliminating neck bands. Finally, I employ laser technology to ‘resurface’ the underside of the neck skin, thereby ‘shrinkwrapping’ the skin of the neck restoring a youthful contour.

A consultation with a board certified facial plastic surgeon or board certified plastic surgeon will help determine which procedures will provide the best results for you.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Neck Lift or Combination Neck Lift

                  In most cases, a turkey neck deformity in a 68 year old male is a complex problem that has multiple anatomic components. The majority of patients have loose skin, excess fat and laxity of the neck muscles which are separated in the midline. For this reason, there’s no simple solution for this problem without significant tradeoffs.

In the vast majority of patients, correction of this problem requires a neck lift or a combination neck lift facelift procedure. In some cases, direct excision can be performed but this procedure may be associated with significant neck scarring.

                  For these reasons, significant turkey neck deformities require aggressive surgical intervention. When less aggressive procedures are utilized patients may not be satisfied with their result and visible scarring may occur.

                  If you’re concerned about loose saggy neck skin consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that will address this problem. 

Unfortunately there are no reliable non-surgical options.

There are minimally invasive (ie little downtime) procedures that can be done.  However you need to be examined by a board certified plastic surgeon in order to decide which procedure would be most suited for you.  The recovery is faster if the surgical scar is just under the neck/chin area versus when incisions are made behind the ears.

Treatment of Neck?

Thank you for the question.  

Based on your description face/neck lifing is  indicated. Nonsurgical options tend to be ineffective;  be very careful because you will be offered these non-surgical treatments that will likely leave you disappointed.

Best wishes.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.