Signs of a turkey neck
Many of our patients are bothered by the appearance of their neck. This is especially true in this age of Zoom meetings and social media images. Camera angle and lighting can amplify the effects of aging on the neck, leading to dissatisfaction with appearance and loss of confidence. Concerns vary between patients and range from indistinct jawline to heavy neck to “double chin” to “turkey neck.” Our team are experts at treating these problems and improving appearance, both in person and online.
Anatomy of the jiggle
Fortunately, there are many tools and options for treatment of aesthetic concerns in the neck which can and should be individualized for each patient’s needs. The neck has five layers which may contribute to aesthetic problems; the skin, subcutaneous fat, platysma muscle, deep fat, and deep neck structures. Procedures to reshape the neck and reduce fullness, sharpen the jawline or eliminate a sagging wattle may need to address one or more of these layers. Our surgeons are experts at analyzing and treating the neck and all its layers to develop a customized plan for you to restore a youthful neck and jawline.
Treatment options at different stages
As we age, the skin loses elasticity and begins to sag and wrinkle. In the neck, this often shows as loose folds at the angle of the chin and neck in addition to lines and wrinkles. In the early stages this may be improved with skin tightening procedures such as RF microneedling (Profound, Pixel 8RF), or microfocused ultrasound. When the problem is related to the skin surface such as fine lines and wrinkles, laser treatment or injection with hyperdilute Radiesse may be helpful. In more advanced cases, where there is substantial skin excess, surgical undermining and removal of the excess skin through hidden incisions may be needed.
Reducing fat in the neck
There is a layer of fat beneath the skin (subcutaneous fat) which when excessive can cause a full or thick neck contour and indistinct jawline. Patients may especially notice this when the head is tilted down, as may often be the case when on an online camera. This layer of fat may sometimes be improved with non-surgical treatments such as CoolSculpting or Kybella and when more extensive is treatable with facial liposuction or direct removal. These are procedures which most often can be performed in the office.
Who needs platysmaplasty or a basic necklift
The contour of the neck is mainly defined by the platysma muscle, a thin sheet of muscle running from the lower face to the collarbone. There is a separate muscle on each side with an attachment in the midline. As we age, the attachment between the muscle weakens and may separate, allowing the platysma muscle to sag or develop bands. These issues must be addressed surgically for a long-term solution. Removal of bands and tightening, reshaping and restoration of midline attachments in the platysma are the typical components of a basic necklift. The skin is then redraped to conform to the new underlying neck contours.
Who needs a deep neck lift
Some patients develop a second layer of excess fat under the platysma muscle. This sub-platysmal fat may contribute to neck fullness and bulk. When this is the case a deep neck lift is required, meaning that the platysma muscle if lifted up and the excess fibrofatty tissue beneath the muscle removed. The platysma is then reshaped to maximally improve neck contour and jawline sharpness. Subcutaneous fat is sculpted with liposuction or direct excision and the skin is tightened and redraped.
Some patients require multiple neck procedures
Finally, a smaller number of patients have natural anatomy of the deep neck structures which contributes to poor aesthetic appearance. In selected cases this may be surgically correctable by altering the position of deep neck muscles or partial removal of submandibular glands. This is an aggressive procedure done in conjunction with subplatysmal fat removal, plastysma tightening and contouring of subcutaneous fat and skin.
Our surgeons are here for you
Whether your needs to acquire a more shapely and beautiful neck are for skin treatment and liposuction or extensive deep neck work in all five layers, Dr. Mark Beaty and Dr. Celeste Nagy will help you plan a treatment to reach your aesthetic goals.