Is Botox a Good Alternative to Surgery for Turkey Neck?

I am considering a neck lift, and was told that Botox injections work really well for some patients. I have loose, wrinkled skin and turkey neck.

Doctor Answers 4

Neck lift with Botox

Botox injections are effective at softening the neck bands (also known as platysmal bands). The treatment can also be combined with a “Nefertiti Treatment”, which will improve the definition of your jaw line and create a beautiful neck lift at the same time!

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Really well is overstating it.

Dear Brooks

Botox for the neck cords can be helpful. However, it is not nearly as dramatic as surgery. I think that it is not unreasonable to try BOTOX for the neck cords. If it works, great. If not then surgery will be necessary.

I would discourage you from having just a neck lift however. The face needs to be opened to do an proper necklift and it makes sense to have a neck and cheek lift at the same time.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Botox not ideal for turkey neck

Suture suspension neck lift may be a better option
In cosmetic surgery patients that do not have a sharp transition in profile between the submental area (area below the jawline) and the anterior neck, and in patients who simply want that transition enhanced, I add a 'suture suspension necklift'. A permanent suture is passed subcutaneously across the anterior neck, at the level corresponding to depth of the angle between the submental area and anterior neck, and is then anchored to the deep soft tissues behind each earlobe. This suspension cosmetic surgery procedure can dramatically enhance the definition between the jawline and anterior neck, producing a more elegant profile.
The neck is without question the primary 'facelift' aesthetic area where subtractive (excisional) and tightening procedures restore a truly youthful contour. Once again, take a look at the fashion magazines: essentially every neck you'll see demonstrates something close to a right angle between the neck and jaw. When it comes to the neck, and only in the neck, flat is good.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Botox for turkey necks

Botox works poorly for turkey necks. Its action is to relax muscles. It does nothing to tighten skin. It does nothing to tighten the platysma. It does nothing to reduce neck fat. Occasionally if there is a hypertrophic band of platysma, Botox can help relax it.

However patients with a true turkey neck will likely be very disappointed with Botox alone.

Liposuction alone can give reasonable benefits to patients who have primarily a problem with fat but their deep tissues (platysma) is tight and their skin is tight. This is typically younger patients.

There is some risk to Botox in the neck. The muscles of the vocal cords can be paralyzed if the injection comes too close to them. This can, and has, resulted in death. Also neck function can be weakened if the patient has underlying weakness or aggressive Botox is used. I have seen a patient who could literally not hold up her head after aggressive Botox to the neck performed elsewhere!

Necklifts have their place if the problem is isolated to a bad cervicomental angle (profile) but the skin is reasonably tight.

Facelifts plus necklifts typically give the very best corrections to the turkey neck.

Your best bet for selecting a surgeon capable of mastering all these techniques is..... you guessed it... board certification in plastic surgery or facial plastic surgery.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 177 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.