Neck Lift | Beverly Hills & Mission Viejo
Taylor R. Pollei, MD
Fellowship Trained Facial Plastic Surgeon offers neck lift surgery in Beverly Hills and Mission Viejo CA
How does the neck age?
A neck lift from Pollei Facial Plastic Surgery of Beverly Hills & Mission Viejo can reduce the signs of aging. Similar to the discussion of how the face ages, the neckline has very identifiable changes with regards to aging. Although the neck is not as directly exposed to the sun, neck skin and the skin traveling down onto the chest tend to lose elasticity and develop texture changes and dark spots. The most notable changes, however, are a direct result of gravity and increasing soft tissue/skin laxity. Soft tissue refers to the fat, muscle, and other connective tissue below the skin. Aging results in bunching of skin immediately below the jaw, and is often referred to as the “turkey gobbler.” Accumulation of fat and soft tissue with skin stretching immediately below the jaw are more pronounced in patients where they do not have a very prominent chin, what we refer to as a “weak chin.” Also, patients with large clearly visible salivary glands sitting below the jaw, or a very low set hyoid bone (the wishbone) tend to develop a more visible prominent accumulation of fat and skin that would benefit from a lift.
Treatment options that can be employed prior to the surgical lifting of the neck tissues can include both tightening treatments such as microneedling, lasers, ultrasound, heat-based, radiofrequency, or injected substances (Kybella) or superficial treatments. I personally do not think these treatments will ever replace a lifting procedure since each has its own drawbacks. My biggest frustration is when patents’ expectations are unmet because they expected a surgical quality outcome from a lesser treatment option.
The goal of any facial rejuvenation surgery is to counteract these signs of aging by tightening deep tissues, removing fat and trimming excess skin, giving the face a more fresh & youthful look.
What Can A Neck Lift Do For Me?
The goal of a neck lift is to re-suspend and tighten the soft tissue structures that have slowly descended immediately below the jawline over time. This routinely involves removing fat and tightening muscles present below the jawline. Similar to a facelift, the goal is not to tighten the skin, or give an unnatural appearance, rather remove excess tissue and surgically create a more stable foundation to the neck almost like tightening up a hammock. When done in isolation, a neck lift can either address just the soft tissue below the skin, or it can address the skin and soft tissue. It is less common that a neck lift can be done alone, and it is more often combined with a facelift to allow for good skin re-draping and address more than just one problem area.
Who Are Good Candidates For A Neck Lift?
Age is not a real factor in deciding whether a neck lift will address what bothers you. The best candidates for an isolated neck lift are patients who do not have jowling, facial skin laxity, or cheek or eye signs of aging. I have found that more often young men/women, and older men tend to be better candidates. As previously mentioned, having a “weak chin,” a very low-set hyoid bone, or thick, ruddy skin make it hard to really raise the neckline well since bone structures are fixed and can’t move. A chin implant can often be used to add to chin projection and help strengthen the neckline at the time of the neck lift procedure. Surgical candidates need to have appropriate expectations, understand the limitations of surgery and have no concerning medical, psychological or psychiatric issues.
How Is A Neck Lift (Cervicoplasty) Performed & with what incisions?
The procedure is rather straightforward. A small, inconspicuous incision made directly beneath and behind the chin. This allows the skin to be lifted off the underlying fat and muscle. If the issue is excessive fat present, then either liposuction or direct fat removal is performed next. Some patients will have a problem with very loose muscle “bands” that are present in the midline or off to the side. These can be tightened to create a sling of tissue that re-creates a higher & more firm/rejuvenated neckline. The incision is closed with very fine suture that is removed one week following surgery. A gentle compression wrap is placed for 1-2 days following surgery to prevent fluid accumulation and keep the neck tissues where they need to be.
This exact same procedure is often coupled with a facelift, allowing for rejuvenation of the neck, and lower and middle of the face as well.