Neck Firming Options

I have sagging neck skin ("turkey neck"). What are my surgical and non-surgical options to firm sagging nec skin?

Doctor Answers 61

Necklift, Jowls, Facelift Options

If a person’s neck does not appear youthful, the face – no matter how limited the aging changes are – will often not be perceived as youthful either, unless the aging neck is concealed.
Even in the absence of other signs of facial aging, a poorly-defined or sagging neck can add years to a patients overall facial appearance. When performed expertly and with great attention to detail, a necklift surgery can dramatically restore a natural and youthful neck profile, with no outward evidence that surgery has been performed. The adjective that immediately comes to mind when I review ‘before and after’ images of my necklift patients is elegant – for restoring a youthful neck contour truly makes the patient appear not just younger but also refined and elegant.
Necklift surgery can consist of a variety of surgical techniques that are carefully selected to meet each individual patient’s particular needs. It is therefore important to select a qualified physician with a great deal of experience in numerous necklift procedures. In younger patients with good skin tone, submandibular liposuction alone may produce a dramatic improvement. For some patients with good skin tone but poor definition at the angle of the neck, I add a suture-suspension necklift to sharpen the angle between the jawline and neck. This procedure is minimally invasive and has a very quick recovery. It will not, however, improve the situation if a true excess of skin is present.
Patients with more advanced aging changes in the neck generally require tightening of their neck skin as well. The neck is the one area in facial rejuvenation where a tighter and more toned surgical result looks natural and aesthetically ideal (as opposed to the face where ‘tight’ and ‘tighter’ just looks like surgery). Neck skin removal is accomplished through incisions around the ears which can be extended a short distance into the scalp if necessary. If the incisions are created and closed correctly and without undue tension, a very natural looking result can be obtained with no obvious signs that a necklift has been performed. A great deal of experience and expertise is required to avoid distortion of the ear and surrounding skin.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Neck firming fixes

Thanks for your question. As we get older a number of factors can change the contour of the neck and jaw line. These include weight gain (and loss!), weakening of the supporting structures and loss of skin elasticity. This can cause the the "turkey neck" type description you mention. The things to consider when looking to correction include: • Amount of fat • Quality of skin • Skin laxity • Position of the platysma muscle A neck lift and platsymaplasty can be performed with or without submental liposuction to address all of the above problems. Beware of marketing efforts that claim remarkable results without surgery. Generally in the case of excess skin or poor quality skin (skin without adequate elasticity) you will need more than laser or RF tightening. Be sure to find a board certified plastic surgeon. I hope this helps.

Neck Lift and Sagging Skin: Surgical Treatments to Repair Neck Skin

Excessive sagging of the neck skin is usually a result of a variety of factors including:

  • Quality of skin
  • Skin redundancy
  • Laxity of the platysma muscle

Surgery, including a neck lift would improve the amount of skin redundancy and the laxity of the platysma neck muscles by sewing them along the midline. This can usually be accomplished through a small incision under the chin and two small counterincisions in back of the ear.

Alternative treatments that address the skin will generally not recreate the neck line or improve the laxity of the platysma muscle.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Neck Lift Procedures

To get the best results with Neck Lift, the following is needed;

  1. Bringing the edges of the Platysma muscles together if indicated.
  2. Doing some degree of Liposuction to sculpt the area
  3. Re-draping the skin to help contour the entire neck
  4. placing a chin implant only if indicated.

Please consult a Board certified plastic surgeon with training in head and neck surgery for best results.

Hope this helped.

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Turkey Gobbler and Neck Lift

Droopy neck skin is one of the signs of aging that usually begins appearing in the 50s for most people.  It's not only skin, but usually bands of the platysma muscle that droop and have muscle spasm.  Sometimes there is also a contribution of excess fat in that area.
If you are an older male there is the option of a direct neck lift which provides dramatic results but does leave an incision line from your chin to your "Adam's apple."  Not good for some, perfect for others seeking a shorter surgical procedure with dramatic results.  Not a consideration for females however.

Assuming that you are female the surgery choices include a necklift alone (skin and muscle tightening with most of the lifting shifting skin behind your ears, or a combined facelift and necklift.  The benefit of the latter (more extensive surgery) is improvement of jowls and the cheek area where fat and skin settle in the 50s+ and more lifting and tightening of the neck skin.  The question is what would best suit your needs, your budget and recovery.

Procedures that stimulate skin shrinkage are variable in their success and only give a temporary result but might be worth your consideration.  They cannot treat the muscle bands and effectively treat substantial amounts of droopy skin.

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews


There are numerous options available to men and women with sagging tissue under the chin and neck.  From my experience performing several thousand neck lift procedures, the results are predictable and successful in qualified candidates.  Downtime varies among individuals but count on at least 7-14 days from public events or work.

There exist non-surgical options or minimally invasive procedures such as Ulthera, neck liposuction, and minilift procedures, as well.

Most critical is the consultation with a skilled and experienced surgeon to decide what option might optimally benefit you.

Best of luck!

Jeffrey B. Wise, MD, FACS
Wayne Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

There are many options to correct sagging neck skin

There are many options to correct sagging neck skin. With your non-surgical options, it all depends on the severity of the laxity that you have. Typically anything that would help tighten the skin with a goodskin care product line would definitely help with this. From a surgical standpoint your options include liposuction with laser assistance or a surgical neck/face lift. It all depends on the severity of your issue and everything that is going on. A full physical examination/consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon would be needed to be able to tell you exactly what is needed between those options. Hope this helps!

Bill Kortesis, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Correction of a “turkey neck”

In terms of surgical options to correct a “turkey neck” you are looking at a facelift procedure.A lot of patients call our office or come in and say “I don’t want a face lift, I just want my neck tighter”.A neck lift is part of a face lift.A face lift can remove the excess skin from the neck area giving you a smooth neck and better jaw line.The platysma bands of the neck are tightened to smooth the neck as well through a small incision under the chin.In most cases a face/ neck lift can be performed with little downtime, minimal scaring and can get you very natural, but effective results. Unfortunately there are no good, non-surgical options to remove the “turkey neck”.A face/ neck lift is the recommended procedure for this issue.

Surgery is the best treatment for a

There are multiple ways to improve a heavy or sagging neck.  Saying that you have a "turkey neck" usually implies a relatively heavy/sagging neck, however, patients use this term to describe a wide variety of conditions ranging from an abundance of sagging skin with little fat to a large, heavy neck with very few wrinkles.

As the neck ages, several changes occur.  First, "banding" or vertical lines develop under the neck.  These lines are actually a bunching up of a neck muscle called the platysma.  In a relatively young neck with mild banding and elastic skin, these muscles can sometimes be treated with Botox or similar product to improve the appearance.  Banding, however, is usually accompanied by loose, sagging skin and the best treatment in this case is to perform a neck lift (platysmaplasty).  In this procedure, the muscle is tightened so that it tightly conforms to the neck again.  At the same time, fat can be removed and the excess skin can be removed.  The incisions are well-hidden around the ear and under the chin.

Another option is liposuction.  Liposuction is very effective for improving the neck contour, however, the optimal patient should have young, elastic skin that will conform to the new shape of the neck.  If the skin is less elastic, liposuction will actually worsen the appearance of the neck, because the excess skin will appear to sag even more.

There are non-surgical options to improve the neck, such as the Venus Freeze, Ulthera, and other devices.  These devices may be a good option if you are looking for a modest improvement, but they cannot produce the dramatic results seen using liposuction or neck lifting.

Michael Ondik, MD
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Neck Firming Options

Generally speaking, a loose, saggy neck will require some type of a surgical neck lift to firm up and smooth the contour of your neck.  In addition, a "turkey neck" usually includes extra fat concentrated in the front and sagging platysma muscles that  contribute to the wattle.  These require surgery to correct.  The most comprehensive approach is with a standard neck lift, essentially the lower part of a facelift.  However, depending on what combinations or degrees of these anatomical changes are present, you might be able to get a nice result from less extensive surgery, such as liposuction and muscle tightening performed just under your chin.  As for non-surgical approaches to firming up loose skin and soft tissues of the neck, there are some technologies such as ultrasound, radio frequency waves, and light-based systems that may tighten the neck slightly, but  results so far have been subtle and minimal, so your choice should depend on just how much looseness you have and how much excess tissue is present.  Seek a consultation with a respected plastic surgeon who has experience treating necks.

Richard G. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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.