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Neck Contouring, Body

5 Signs You’re a Good Candidate for Neck Lift Surgery

The late journalist and screenwriter Nora Ephron said it best in her bestselling book, I Feel Bad About My Neck:

“The neck is a dead giveaway. Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn't have to if it had a neck.”

If the creases, bands, or slackened skin under your chin are getting more noticeable, chances are you’re a good candidate for a neck lift.

Are You Ready for Neck Lift Surgery?

Unlike the face, you can’t camouflage sagging neck skin with fillers or skin-firming creams. The only way to truly fix the signs of an aging neck is with surgery.

Fixing The Double Chin

The dreaded double chin, or that unattractive fullness underneath the chin, is frequently associated with weight gain. While this is true, there are a couple more factors that influence the appearance of a double chin: genetics and aging.

Individuals born with a short neck or a weak chin are more likely to develop double chins despite maintaining a healthy weight. And there’s also the inevitable sagging of skin as we get older.

If fat deposits are the main cause of your double chin, neck liposuction is probably going to be the recommended procedure to restore your neck’s slim and youthful definition. Neck liposuction can help you accomplish a more delicate, naturally-youthful, and graceful neckline via permanent removal of excess fat.

However, if your skin as lost its elasticity, neck lift surgery is the only way to tighten your skin or remove excess skin.

Fixing The Poorly-Defined Jawline

When you’re young, your face is fuller. But, as you age, you lose volume in the cheeks and your jawline starts to sag, taking on a more trapezoidal shape.

This is when ‘jowls’ start to appear.

A neck lift surgery can potentially restore the appearance of poorly defined jawline to a more pleasing and naturally youthful look. But, a neck lift alone might not get you the results you want.

Most of the time, people think they need a neck lift for their poorly defined jawline - only to discover that a lower facelift combined with a neck lift may be more appropriate. This is because the jowl area along the jawline is lifted with a facelift.

Fixing The ‘Turkey Neck’

As previously mentioned, your neck isn’t immune to the effects of gravity and the gradual breakdown of collagen (a protein that is responsible for the firm appearance of your skin) as you age.

As a result, you get sagging neck skin as the underlying neck muscles weaken. This is how wattles, also known as the “turkey neck,” develop.

If you're suffering from a “turkey neck,” a neck lift can trim excess skin and tighten the loose muscles of the neck called the platysma.

Fixing Vertical Bands

The neck muscles are typically hidden behind layers of fat. As you get older, the padding of fat decreases, reducing the barrier between muscle and skin. This is how unattractive, vertical neck bands develop.

Also known as platysmal bands, these bands take on a thick and rubber band-like appearance, hanging underside the chin down to the Adam's apple area.

A neck lift is the most appropriate solution from moderate to more significant appearances of vertical neck bands. A neck lift elevates the skin of the lower face and neck, tightens the underlying muscles, and re-drapes the skin.

Regular injections of Botox may also help relax a portion of the muscle that drives your neck skin’s band-like appearance. However, it is important to note that Botox results are only temporary, and only works to prevent the development of future neck brands rather than fixing those you already have.

Fixing Wrinkles and Creases

Neck wrinkles and creases are typically a result of muscle weakening, prolonged sun exposure, and collagen breakdown.

A moderate-to-severe appearance of neck creases can be fixed by neck lift surgery.

Ultherapy is a non-invasive option to lift and smooth out the chin, neck, and decolletage. It will not duplicate the results of a full neck lift but can be a good option to tone down the appearance of neck wrinkles and creases if you’re not yet ready to undergo surgery.

When Not to Consider a Neck Lift

Besides suffering from the common issues that a neck lift can fix, other factors can influence whether or not a neck lift surgery is for you.

At our San Francisco practice, Dr. Fan makes it a point to suggest what he feels to be the safest and most effective combination of facial rejuvenation procedures for you. He won't recommend a neck lift unless you're truly a good candidate for the procedure.

In some instances a neck lift may not be appropriate, such as:

  • You lack skin laxity in the neck
  • You have unrealistic expectations of the procedure
  • You can't take the time off that's necessary for full recovery

Suggested Reading: How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Facelift

Take the Next Step to Swear off Turtleneck Outfits for Good

A neck lift is one of the cornerstones of facial rejuvenation, where repositioning muscles and re-draping excess skin are required. Keep in mind that the best neck lift outcomes — delicate, natural, and youthful — are a result of thorough research, careful planning, and choosing the right plastic surgeon.

Speak to a board-certified plastic surgeon and receive a personalized neck contouring plan to meet your goals.

To find out if you're a candidate for a neck lift (or alternative treatments), you can take our free online self-evaluation. It takes two minutes to fill out and we'll send the results directly to your inbox!

Are You Ready for Plastic Surgery? Click Here to Find Out


About the Author

Dr. Larry Fan is a Harvard educated, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in San Francisco, CA. He is a Master Artist who is known for creating beautiful, stunning, and natural results. Dr. Fan has been named One of America's Top Plastic Surgeons for the past 10 years running and has received several national awards for his work in Plastic Surgery. He has successfully performed more than 10,000 cosmetic procedures of the face, breasts, and body over a 20 year period. Dr Fan has been an invited speaker at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons, and has been featured in national media outlets such as CNN, NBC, and ABC.

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