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Is It Possible to Do a Skin-only Lift for Lower Neck?

A couple of plastic surgery nurses have suggested a skin only lift for my loose and crepey lower neck, with the scar mid central at the back of the neck. What is this called and is it effective?

Doctor Answers 9

Skin only neck lift

It is certainly possible to only require a skin only neck lift that can be accomplished by only elevating the neck skin from the sides.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Think traditional necklift will work well.

I would recommend a neck lift using incisions behind your ears and into the hairline. Skin can be redraped and muscles tightened and fat aspirated, if necessary.  The scars are well-hidden and heal well.

Marisa Lawrence, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Skin face lift for sagging neck skin.

This is called a posterior neck lift and leaves a scar in the back of the neck. If your hair is long, you may consider the tradeoff as worthwhile. Others may not be happy with a vertical scar in the back of the neck.

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

Skin onlt neck lift not effective

The modality to be used to im-prove neck contour  is based on the physical exam. Non-invasive therapies are only useful for minor corrections. Skin only incision are not useful because skin is elastic and will only relax over time. More often than not, the underlying structure (muscle, deep and superficial fat) need to be tightened, some removed and repositioned. This type of lift tightens the neck muscle (platysma) if they are loose or splayed. During this procedure a 3cm incision is made just behind the chin crease and the muscle in the neck is accessed and tightened with sutures in way a corset would be tightened. Chin implant and liposuction can be done through this same incision.

Skin-only neck lift.

Thanks for the question.  This type of lift carries a high risk of complication with possible injury to nerves in what's called the posterior triangle of the neck.  Also, with skin only lift procedures there is a high incidence of recurrent sagging of the skin.  I would not recommend this type of a procedure to any of my patients.

Shaun Parson, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Neck lift

The neck lift is typically reserved for those patients with loose neck skin, banding of the muscle and minimal to no jowling. The incisions are behind the ears and just in front of the earlobe. Another incision may need to be placed just under the chin to address the bands of muscle that appear with aging. I am not sure what you mean by skin only, but failure to address the underlying muscle will not lead to a long lasting result.

Etai Funk, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Skin-only necklift

Two kinds of skin-only necklifts are commonly done depending on what the problem is. If the skin excess is more of a horizontal fold, we do a horizontal necklift where two incisions are placed along existing neck folds. If the excess causes more vertical folds, we perform a vertical necklift where the incisions are most commonly placed along the hairline in the neck. An incision in the back of the neck is technically more difficult.

Peter T. Truong, MD
Fresno Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

The farther you are from your incision, the less the effect

I can assure you that a midline incision down the back of the neck will leave you with loose skin in the front midline of the neck much sooner than a more traditional necklift with incisions around the ears and under the chin.  Also, in almost all patients, unless you do something to tighten the muscles, you won't get the beautiful angular depth you are looking for.  

It is a poor idea for patients to try to dictate their surgery since they have no training or experience.  The best plan is to go to the most highly regarded plastic surgeon in your area and ask them what they would suggest for you.  Remember, you wouldn't tell a pilot how to fly the plane or a chef in a nice restaurant how to cook your meal either.

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.