Attaining the Best Possible Neck Lift Result

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Neck Lift is a general term relating to procedures that will improve your neckline. There are many possibilities so picking the best neck lift treatment(s) for optimal improvement is most important. A board certified plastic surgeon with a special interest and substantial experience in neck lift and lower face lift surgery is the place to start. The reason for a plastic surgeon is that he/she can offer all possible options and tell you specifically which ones are best for you.

Amount of excess fat typically found beneath the chin, and in the upper neck. This requires liposuction with small cannulas or direct removal especially if the fat is beneath the platysma muscle.

  1. Presence of Significant (Platysmal) Banding – this requires bringing the muscles together in the upper/mid neck to a more youthful position and occasionally their release. This procedure is called a platysmaplasty or platysma plication. Mild banding can be treated non- surgically with Botox or Dysport but this requires injections 3-4 times a year for maintenance.
  2. Amount of excess/redundant skin (cutis laxa) and condition of your skin. In advanced stages this is called a Turkey Waddle or Gobble deformity. For example, younger age, darker skin colors and no large weight loss history most likely means there will be better elasticity and therefore better post-surgical contraction. In milder cases if not too much fat is present there will be enough skin shrinkage with just lipo alone. Mild to minimal skin tightening using non-surgical means like the Sciton Laser SkinTyte procedure, Ultherapy or Thermage could also be considered. My personal preference for non-surgical skin tightening of the neck is the Sciton Laser BBL SkinTyte® procedure as there is no down time, more comfortable procdure, is effective and is a more targeted treatment. For redundant upper and mid excess neck skin: I prefer the LiteLift® (lower facelift ) procedure or MACS for skin re-draping for mild to moderate excess skin management as there are minimal scars and the skin is lifted vertically allowing for minimal hidden scars resulting in a natural appearance “non pulled” appearance. However: for moderate to severe skin redundancy , a neck lift or traditional lower facelift (e.g.Lite Lift®, MACS and others) is needed with or without lipo for best results. For advanced Turkey Waddle correction wither a traditional facelift or posterior neck lift often with a platysmaplasty is required with more extensive scars that extend at the hairline behind your ears. The advantage of a facelift procedure rather than a posterior neck lift is that your lower jawline (e.g. jowls and marionette lines) are also improved at the same time.
  3. Chin deficiency. If you have a weak chin then you will not have adequate chin support to your neckline skin which affects your entire neck line. Sometimes especially in younger individuals this is all that is required and this can be done in the office under local anesthesia. There are a number of different sizes and shapes and your plastic surgeon will pick the optimal one for you.
  4. Presence of prominent Digastric Muscles or Submandibular gland fullness from laxity or enlargement. Although not a major concern for most patients, if present then partial resection is usually the best solution.
In summary, picking the most qualified and best plastic surgeon with the most experience in neck improvement is essential to ensuring that you will have a wonderful and lasting result. It is the plastic surgeon’s ability to evaluate both your anatomical features and aesthetic goals to guide you to one or more neck lift procedures to give you the best neck line possible.

Larry Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Article by
Orange County Plastic Surgeon