A neck lift is one of the many procedures, which we carry out to remove fat, tighten the skin and most importantly, pull skin upwards into the angle between the chin and the neck recreating the youthful neckline. This may include the removal of fat and tightening of the skin.
A neck lift may be confined to the problems of the neck, but you should be aware that these are often associated with problems of jowls along the jawline. In which case, a facelift may well be incorporated.
The quality of the skin itself, can be improved and tightened by non-surgical procedures of which, the commonest is Ultherapy. The standard neck lift is a modification of the face lift where the skin and underlying platysma muscle are pulled upwards and backwards, towards the ear, where surplus skin is removed. Contouring and undermining is often carried out by liposuction, but also we very often combine this procedure with fat grafting to rejuvenate the chin and jawline.
The Cadogan Swan Neck procedure is a direct excision of the ‘wattle’, or ‘turkey neck’, which we also very often combine with liposuction to reduce fat.
Liposuction alone is remarkable in that even when there is relatively small amounts of fat it does tighten the skin, pulling it back into the neck, and of course where there is a double chin or substantial fat, then this is removed. Liposuction therefore is used on its own and combined with other procedures.
The problem may be the jowls, that is the bulging fat and loose skin of the jawline. It may be a double chin or the loose of angle between the chin and the neck, or the sharp vertical bands of the ‘scrawny neck’, the ‘turkey neck’ or just thin mottled skin. There are many problems and many solutions, ranging from fillers and Botox to laser, simple surgery under local anaesthesia, a chin implant or a full neck lift combining a facelift and fat grafting to the contours. A treatment plan will be decided upon in consultation with one of our consultant plastic surgeons.
Surgical neck lift
Many young people have a full poorly defined chin and neckline which can be dramatically helped by liposuction to remove fat and tighten the skin, drawing it back into a better defined sharp angle between the chin and the neck. It is a fairly straight forward procedure, usually carried out under local anaesthetic with little bruising. We do not recommend the injection of enzymes, which may give an irregular result and need to be repeated. At no time do these injections do anything more than remove fat and do not tighten the skin, in contrast to liposuction. Straight forward liposuction works well, but one can use Laser Assisted liposuction (SmartLipo), or Power Assisted (MicroAir). We do not recommend ultrasound techniques, such as Vaser.
Vertical platysmal bands
As we age, the muscle in the neck called the Platysma muscle begins to tighten. This leads to the formation of prominent vertical lines at the neck especially in the front. Fortunately, such condition can be corrected with a non-surgical neck lift focussing on treating the platysma bands with Botox injections, . This procedure relaxes the overactive platysma muscles to make the vertical bands along the neck less prominent, leaving patients with a smoother and more youthful neck contour. However, if they are persistent or severe, with surplus skin, then the direct excision of skin using the Cadogan Clinic Swan Neck procedure may be a better answer, and this is often combined with liposuction.
Frequently, the neck is not an isolated problem and there are also problems with the jawline. In this case, a version of the more standard and better known face lift will correct the jawline, and the neck in the same procedure. Skin is removed from below the ears and platysma tightened from above. This is a somewhat longer procedure, but the downtime these days is very short.
We should not forget the ageing skin which may well benefit from numerous non-surgical procedures; fillers, fat grafting and Ultherapy.