Neck Lift Needed for Loose Skin?

I am 39 years old--almost 40. I do not sag in the neck but when I turn my neck to a certain way, I do not like the appearance. It is not quite sagging but it is very loose and unattractive. Do I need a neck lift yet or what would work without surgery?

Doctor Answers 10

Options for Loose Neck Skin

Thank you for your question.

If you do not have loose neck skin and only notice laxity when you turn your head then perhaps non surgical methods may help/ There are many including LuxIR Deep, Thermage, Titan, Ulthera etc.

However if you have significant loose skin a Neck Lift is required.

See a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for a professional opinion. Avoid spa's promoting non surgical skin tightening.


I find that unaesthetic appearance of the neck may result from lax skin or muscle, or a thick fat pad.

If you have minimally lax skin and some thickness of the fat pad, liposuction may tighten the skin and improve the contour.

On the other hand, it sounds like your underlying muscle (platysma) has loosened and separated to form "vertical bands", and this may be exacerbated on turning the head. This can be addressed by several techniqes, including a neck lift. Go ahead and get an evaluation and some options.


Neck lift in 39 year old?

  I dis agree with some of my colleagues.  I do not think 39 is too young to have a neck lift for excess slin in the neck.  Liposuction is not the answer if the primary problem is excess skin.  Be wary of the promises made for the nonsurgical options.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Neck lift at 39

I think 39 is a bit young to have this surgery, but if you lost a lot of weight then perhaps you are a candidate.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Loose skin of the neck requires a type of neck lift.

There are many ways of handling problems of the neck. If the problem is too much fat, then liposuction can solve the problem. However, with just ‘loose skin” you probably do not have any significant excess fat. Usually what you have described is caused by laxity of the underlying muscle (the platysma) that carries the skin with it. There are essentially 3 ways of correcting this. One is to do a central neck lift. This involves detaching the skin from the muscle centrally and then tightening the muscle and redraping the skin. If this is not enough, then the disconnection is extended behind the ear and the muscle is tightened there and excess skin is removed. The other method is to do a form of face lift. In someone your age, with minimal problem in the face, a procedure such as the MACS Lift (a short scar lift) may be the ideal way to solve your problem. It also tightens the jowl as well as significantly tightens the neck and removes excess skin easier and more aesthetically than the neck lift behind the ear. The only way to know for sure what will work is with an examination and discussion of your problem and desires.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Neck lift??

The modality to be used to improve 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.

Neck lift for loose skin...

A neck lift is an excellent procedure that can help correct and enhance the neck, which improves loose saggy skin, and gives a more natural look.  Unfortunately, anyone who turns their neck in certain directions or turns the chin in may show some loose skin.  If your neckline in the normal position looks good, then you probably won't benefit from surgery.  There is no ideal age for neck surgery, and candidates may range from people in their 20's to the elderly as long as you are a good candidate.  To see if you are qualified for this surgery, you should be sure to speak with a board certified facial plastic or plastic surgeon.

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 156 reviews

Neck lift does not address excess skin

A neck lift will not get rid of excess skin in the lower neck area. The neck lift operation is designed for tightening the platysma muscle, and removal of fat above and below the muscle. Excess skin must be removed from behind the ear, which necessitates a lower face/neck lift.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Neck Lift

At 39, you seem a bit on the young side to be considering a neck lift unless you have perhaps lost a lot of weight. Without the benefit of examining you, it's difficult to make a suggestion.

Since you only seem to see the excess skin when you turn your head, my guess is that a less extensive procedure might benefit you to tighten the skin, and buy you some time. Inevitably though, you will continue to get loosening there and smaller procedures, at a younger age, will help give you the best results.

Discuss your concerns with a board certified plastic surgeon, experienced in this area.

Darrick E. Antell, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

See an experienced facelift surgeon.

A neck lift may or may not help depending on whether the tightening will or will not improve things. See an experienced facelift surgeon to give you the answer.  

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 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.