Facial cosmetic surgeon Dr. Stanley Jacobs sees more patients requesting help for an aging neck than any other feature. “Neck issues are the No. 1 reason people see me,” he said. “I ask, ‘Why are you here?’ They point to the neck.”‘ There are many options available for treating a sagging or wrinkled neck, including a neck lift, at his San Francisco Bay Area practice.
While surgery on the neck is most frequently combined with a facelift to provide an overall balanced look of rejuvenation, Dr. Jacobs does offer a mini zone neck lift to specifically tighten the skin there.
Since the neck and face both show signs of aging as wrinkles form and skin grows lax, surgery to restore more youthful contours to both areas is typically recommended. A mini zone neck lift is appropriate, however, for certain patients. Since the neck can be one of the first features to show significant signs of aging, some younger patients—often in their 50s or below—may have a little loose neck skin, but still be enjoying the advantages of tight skin on the face. In this case, a neck lift can be performed as an isolated procedure.
The reality, however, is that many people who have loose skin on the neck also have loose skin on the face. Dr. Jacobs will make an honest assessment of any patient seeking more youthful neck contours and will suggest the procedure or procedures he feels would be most appropriate based on his experience and the patient’s physical condition and goals.
Patients seeking neck rejuvenation frequently complain of the “turkey neck” look due to loose skin, but pronounced platysmal cords can also be a cosmetic concern. There are several techniques traditionally used to deal with these cords, including making a single incision used to access the cords and sever them so they relax, sew them together in the middle like a corset, or pull them from the side in an effort to flatten them out.
Dr. Jacobs developed his own technique for a neck lift, which involves making two separate incisions, curved slightly to follow the jawline, and removing the upper 5 or 6 centimeters of each cord. The rest retracts, creating a smooth neck free of visible bands. Since the bands have no function in our body, this is a safe, proven method that usually works better than simply cutting the muscles.
In some cases, patients’ dissatisfaction with the look of their neck may stem from the fact that there is a bulging pocket of fat there, creating a double chin. This fat can be destroyed with Kybella®, an injectable that ruptures fat cells and triggers a natural process that flushes the unwanted fat from the body.