For some people, the appearance of their neck can be very distressing. As part of the normal ageing process the neckline has a tendency to become less well defined. When there is a significant amount of loose tissue below the chin a so-called ‘turkey neck’ can develop. Other people develop distinct ‘stringy bands’ in their neck due to separation of the fibres of the muscle sheet (called the platysma) in the front of the neck. Others can develop a ‘double chin’ appearance due to fat accumulation. The presence of a receding or ‘weak’ chin can accentuate all of the above.
What can be done to improve the appearance of my neck?
The first step is to define the problem – you will need to be assessed by our surgeon at consultation. Depending on the nature of the underlying problem, a different surgical solution may be required.
Possible solutions include:
- Necklift with fat removal
- Platysmal plication
- Face lift
- Chin implantation
What does a necklift do and what does it involve?
A necklift will improve the definition and contour of the neckline and make the neck less ‘baggy’. A necklift is carried out through a 3 -5 cm incision made under the chin in a natural skin crease. Any excess fat in the tissues of the neck can be removed under direct vision. Any excess skin is then removed and the wound closed. The scar becomes almost invisible with time, due to its position under the chin and the fact that it is made in a natural skin crease.
A necklift is commonly performed at the same time as an advanced mini face lift and is routinely combined with platysmal plication. Very occasionally a necklift is carried out as a sole procedure. A necklift can be performed under local anaesthetic and has a good recovery profile, although post-operative swelling may persist for a few weeks after the procedure.
What is platysmal plication and what does it involve?
Platysmal plication is the name given to a minor procedure to repair the platysmal muscle in the front of the neck to remove unsightly bands resulting from a split in the platysma muscle. Platysmal plication can be carried out under local anaesthetic and is almost always combined with a necklift. The two edges of the split muscle (which are the cause of the ‘stringy bands’ in the neck) are sutured together giving immediate and long-lasting results. The recovery profile is similar to that of a necklift.
Are there any risks or side effects of these procedures?
Both necklift and platysmal placation are generally well tolerated. Infection, haematoma formation, bruising and swelling may occur. Damage to the nerves of the face is extremely unlikely.
Will a face lift also lift my neckline?
This is an area which often causes confusion. All face lift procedures will cause some degree of lift in the neck. However if your primary concern is the appearance of your neck it is likely that you will need a necklift in addition to a face lift. Our surgeon will make it absolutely clear at consultation if this is the case. We almost always perform necklift in combination with an advanced mini face lift as these two procedures complement each other very well. Further information (including before and after photographs sent to us by one of our patients) can be found here.
Is liposuction of the neck a good idea?
We no longer recommend or use this technique. Liposuction of the neck often results in unsightly fibrosis, scarring and nodule formation and has been superseded by removal of fat under direct vision during a necklift.
Can you do anything about a ‘weak chin’?
A receding chin will tend to emphasise ‘heaviness’ of the neck. Chin implantation can be very successful when used in combination with a necklift or face lift. Full details may be found by following this link.
How much does a necklift cost?
A necklift and platysmal plication costs £1200 when performed in conjunction with a face lift procedure.