The neck can be one of the first areas that shows signs of aging. The skin loses its elasticity and begins to sag. In more extreme cases it can form a turkey wattle appearance. Usually it begins to appear as fine lines on the front of the neck which begin to form deeper lines and a crepey appearance. In addition, fat can begin to be deposited in the area, often called a double chin. With early signs of aging less invasive treatment options may be considered. This may be topical creams or gentle light based therapies. However, the gold standard for improving the neck is a neck lift. Oftentimes, to achieve the best result and improve the jaw line, the cheek needs to be addressed as well.
A true lift involves resuspending the sagging tissues back into their more youthful position. The keyword there is resuspension. Unfortunately, everyone has seen the “wind blown” or “operated” look which is created by “pulling” the face. Gravity did not pull the face and neck forward, it pulled them downwards. Dr. Guy creates a natural, rejuvenated look. The patient below has undergone an isolated neck lift to help with the wrinkles in her neck.
To further understand the treatment, it is important to learn about the anatomy. There is a muscle that encircles the front of the neck called the platysma muscle. With youth, the leading or front edges of the muscle are held together by a nice, tight membrane. As time goes on and gravity kicks in, this muscle begins to weaken, as does the membrane holding the front edges together. This manifests itself as the neck bands that extend from the chin to the breast bone/clavicle. When these bands first appear they can be corrected with a neuromodulator like Botox or Dysport. As time goes on and as the sagging worsens, another option is the Embrace RF system that uses FaceTite and Morpheus8. With more advanced signs of aging, the best treatment becomes surgery. Any neck lift operation will address these bands in some manner. For widely spaced bands, these are sometimes trimmed called a platysmal myectomy. As the bands get closer together, these can either be trimmed or the leading edges can be sewn together called a platysmaplasty. The only drawback to the platysmaplasty is that it tends to lead to a little fullness in the middle of the neck, on occasion can lead to a little ripple, and it pulls the neck forward when the rest of the neck lift is pulling backwards. The other part of the neck lift operation is suturing the back end of the platysma muscle to another muscle farther back in the neck. This is what really lifts the neck and involves incisions behind the ear into the hairline.
As a double board certified, fellowship trained facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Guy has been trained extensively in the various surgical approaches and less invasive options for rejuvenating the neck to give you the best aesthetic outcome which can be discussed in consultation.