Skin laxity often impacts the neck and eyelid area before any other region on the face. The neck may have an aged appearance, while the cheeks, mouth, and forehead still maintain a youthful look. Women and men—in their 30s, 40s, and 50s—who want to address this very specific region can choose a neck lift from the Philadelphia-area double board-certified facial surgeon Dr. Timothy M. Greco.
A neck lift is designed to correct the signs of aging where they typically first start to appear, so that the face and neck match in terms of tightness and tone. Neck lift is often chosen by patients who notice some mild sagging, wrinkles, or jowls that cause moderate concern, but who do not feel that the cosmetic problems are enough to warrant a more involved facelift.
Neck lift is the general term for the surgery on the neck that can involve removing loose skin and contouring excess fat that creates jowls and submental fat that contributes to a double chin. Also, neck lifting treats excess platysmal banding, which results in a youthful cervicomental angle. As with other facial surgeries, the neck lift involves incisions that Dr. Greco uses to access underlying layers for tightening muscles and removing excess tissue. Neck lift incisions are placed below the chin and primarily behind both ears.
When jowling is the primary concern, a facelift variation known as an S-lift, which is less invasive, may be performed. Unlike the larger incisions of a traditional facelift, the S-lift involves small incisions shaped like an "S," from which this technique gets its name. These are placed around the ear, allowing Dr. Greco to excise a small amount of skin and provide limited elevation for the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system) layer, which can be pulled laterally and superiorly and sutured in place to create a smoother jawline.
Another surgical variation, anterior cervicoplasty, is designed specifically to address what is known as a "turkey gobbler" deformity, caused by lax muscles, sagging skin, and excess fat on the neck. These loose tissues can create the look of a turkey wattle. Unlike a neck lift or facelift variation, which involve incisions to the side of the face, anterior cervicoplasty is accomplished with incisions made directly on the front of the neck. After limited liposuction and excision of the excess skin in the center of the neck, Dr. Greco can tighten loose neck muscle bands. Excess skin is removed and a z-plasty is performed to create a youthful cervicomental angle and allow the scar to heal in a favorable manner.
Patients who are concerned primarily with the look of a double chin may consider Kybella®, an injectable made to disrupt fat cells and create minor tightening in the submental area. No incisions or sutures are necessary, making this an option that appeals to women and men who want to address the appearance of the neck, but who are concerned with neck lift surgery or liposuction.
Jowls can be the result of loss of structural support higher on the face, which can be remedied with Kybella®. Conservative injection in the jowls with Kybella® can help improve jawline contour without surgery.