If you have a double chin, loose neck skin after losing weight, or even the dreaded turkey neck you know how important a good-looking neck can be to your overall appearance. An aging neck can make you feel self-conscious. Some wear turtlenecks even in warm weather. Climate change is making that an unrealistic solution. The most effective way to get rid of these problems is a surgical neck lift. But not all neck lifts are created equal. If you have a turkey neck or double chin, what can help you get the best neck lift results?
What can cause unsatisfactory neck lift results?
Two major problems I’ve seen that can cause unsatisfactory neck lift results are a lack of smoothness, with neck irregularities showing under the skin, and neck lift failure due to tightened muscles becoming loose again. The principal cause of a lack of smoothness after a neck lift is removing too much fat with liposuction. Neck liposuction is an important tool for removing excess neck fat. But it must be done with discretion. Fat under your neck skin and above the thin platysma muscle serves a useful purpose. It maintains a smooth appearance. Removing too much fat there can allow muscle irregularities to show through the skin. It can also lead to adhesions and dimpling. A sleeker neck is not attractive if it’s bumpy and lumpy.
There are ways your surgeon can substantially reduce the risks of a lack of smoothness and platysma muscles tightened by your neck lift getting loose again. We will discuss some important methods below.
Assuring your neck is sleek AND smooth after a neck lift
Removing excess fat with liposuction can make a thick neck sleeker. Performing the liposuction skillfully can help to assure it’s smooth and attractive as well. It’s often best if your surgeon starts by elevating the skin above the platysma, the thin muscle layer between your neck skin and the muscles that move your head and jaw. Instead of immediately using liposuction to remove fat there, it’s best to make tunnels through the fat layer using the liposuction canula, with or without suction. Next, connect the tunnels with surgical scissors. Lipo tunnels, as we call them, are easier to see and control. Making and using them allows your surgeon to remove excess fat while still leaving some fat behind. That fat can leave your neck smooth.
If your surgeon lifts your neck skin with surgical scissors when they perform your liposuction, it can be hard to avoid removing too much fat. This can lead to adhesions, dimpling, and muscle irregularities showing under the skin. Imagine a sports car with a body that looks like it’s melted over the engine and chassis. That wouldn’t look good at all. Sports cars usually have sleek, attractive bodies bolted to the chassis. That allows the mechanical components below to do their jobs while presenting a good-looking outer appearance to the public. It’s much the same with your face and neck.
An attractive neck has the right amount of fat between the underlying muscles and the platysma and between the platysma and the skin. Too much and your neck looks bulky. That’s why a skilled surgeon will often make a vertical incision in the thin platysma and suction out the fat under it, going as far as the digastric muscle that controls your lower jaw. That can get rid of much of the bulkiness that makes a neck too thick.
On the other hand, if there’s too little neck fat, you can see the functional but unattractive structures under the surface. A good neck lift leaves you with the right balance. It takes a well-trained, experienced specialist to get it right.
Your neck lift should restore a youthful angle between your jaw and neck
As you age, many people lose “the angle of youth.” That’s the well-defined angle between your lower jaw and neck. A skillful plastic or facial plastic surgeon can restore it. One problem is that there is connective tissue attaching your platysma to the skin and the tissue underneath. That’s great until you want to tighten the platysma to eliminate neck banding or a turkey neck. Then those connected layers make it hard for your surgeon to achieve the level of lift you need.
I find it’s best to first lift the skin off your platysma. Then lift the platysma off the underlying tissue. This will free it so your surgeon can tighten it to the proper degree. This is particularly true on the sides. Your surgeon can use the neck lift incisions on each side of your neck to achieve a greater lift from the sides. There are several benefits. Neck lift results last longer with this method. It reduces the risk of failure. And it achieves definition in a bad turkey neck that would be impossible otherwise.
When your surgeon uses these and other advanced methods in performing your neck lift, it’s a little like putting PPF film on a new car. This self-healing film is warrantied to protect the paint for 10 years. It can be a lot more effective than waxing your car for a decade. In the same way, surgeons who have mastered manipulating the muscles in neck lift procedures can often restore a much more youthful angle between your jaw and neck. They can leave you with the smoother, younger-looking neck you want.
If you’re ready to get rid of a double chin, neck banding, or even a turkey neck, finding the right surgeon can make all the difference. If you’re in Inland Empire, California, feel free to see me at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario for a free evaluation.