The Aging Neck

Development of neck skin and platysmal (superficial neck musculature) laxity over time is secondary to a range of factors. The causative factors include age, fluctuating weight, sun exposure, gravity, nicotine use as well as general body habitus and conditioning. Alterations in the appearance of the neck are often referred to as a “turkey neck” or “gobbler” as the thickness in our skin changes, and the underlying fat and neck musculature exhibit continual transformations.

As the appearance of the neck changes, often individuals find that the internal youthfulness and vibrancy that exists within, is not reflected physically on the outside. There may be a discrepancy between these two senses of self as well as between the face and the neck. Often aging of the face and neck go hand in hand, but occasionally one may be more “worse for the wear.” To address this, neck lift surgery provides the opportunity to reshape the neck in isolation or in conjunction with a facelift or other procedures. If aging is present in both the face and neck, dual correction with a facelift and neck lift may be performed in order to avoid any disharmony between the two that could be visibly disruptive to facial aesthetics. This allows us to restore the cohesive picture and more closely align both our inner and outer reflections.

The neck lift procedure, similarly to the facelift procedure, addresses laxity of the underlying musculature, slack skin and uneven fat accumulation. The degree that each of these is addressed is curated to the individual patient; however, overall, the muscles are tightened, and excess skin and fat is removed. While the procedure does not prevent the inevitability of aging, it does create permanent change that helps to turn back the clock. The longevity of a neck lift is often a “one and done” procedure, but occasionally some opt to have a tuck-up years later if desired or needed.


Am I a Candidate for a Neck Lift?

Neck lift surgery is a wonderful option for both our male and female patients. There are distinct intricacies in the aesthetics of the neck and jawline between men and women. Dr. Moses adheres to these gender specific characteristics in order to produce a natural, refined result. In consideration for neck lift, Dr. Moses performs a cosmetic surgery consultation during which she encourages patients to speak openly regarding any cosmetic concerns of the face and neck and helps to prioritize a plan for optimal results. She will take a close, detailed look at not only the facial build, including bony structure and the facial soft tissue, but also at each individual characteristic that may be playing a role in your specific face and neck. By addressing the overall picture and being attentive to your details, she is able to maintain your “you.”

Neck lift patients, along with any surgical patient, will need to be cleared for surgery either by Dr. Moses, the Anesthesiology team or one’s individual primary care physician or specialist as needed. There are certain medical conditions and medications that may complicate surgery itself or the recovery process, and these, if present, are addressed during the consultation as well. Additionally, due to safety and healing concerns, Dr. Moses does not perform surgical procedures on current smokers. Lastly, our practice may request medical records, blood tests, and X-rays or tissues scans to ensure the best possible patient experience.


The Post Operative Period & Recovery

On average, the recovery time frame for a neck lift ranges from 5-7 days and is largely dependent on the degree of swelling or bruising that develops postoperatively, which may be different for each patient. If additional procedures are performed concurrently, such as a facelift, submental liposuction, or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), the anticipated recovery period may change as well.