As a neck lift expert at Caroline Facial Plastics in Charlotte, I know one of the main areas of concern for my patients during the aging process is the neck region. A long and defined neckline is beautiful and adds an eloquent feature of a female face. As we age, the neckline changes and patients in Charlotte ask when they should begin to investigate options to improve their neck region.
What are the Changes in the Neck Line as we Age?
When patients were younger, the typical neckline is angulated, defined and straight. As the face ages the following changes occur in the neck:
A) The skin becomes loose and loses the elastic qualities. There becomes excess skin in the region.
B) The straight jawline becomes interrupted with “hills and valleys”. The most common cause of the “hills and valleys” is the formation of jowls. The jowls are either the accumulation of/or sagging of fatty tissue in the face.
C) The appearance of vertical lines, knows as the platysmal bands, in the middle of the neck region underneath the chin. These bands are formed by edges of muscles that become loose overtime.
D) The accumulation of fat in the neck. The excess volume in the neck blunts the transition of the jawline into the neck region.
What are my Options to Improve the Neckline?
Generally speaking, patients have surgical and non-surgical options to improve the neckline. The non-surgical options are best for patients with early stages of aging.
What is a Non-Surgical Neck Lift?
At my practice, a non-surgical neck lift uses facial fillers to improve and define the jawline. If the neckline is no longer straight and is composed of hills and valleys, then fillers are used to fill in the valleys. Filling in the valleys can hide the jowls (“the hills”) and give the appearance of a straighter and defined jawline. In some cases, the addition of laser treatments and chemical peels can be used to tighten skin early skin sagging.
Patients with early vertical banding in the middle of the neck can benefit from Botox or Dysport in the region. This vertical band is due to a muscle, the platysma. If the cause of the band is secondary to a hyperactive muscle then relaxing the muscle with Botox can improve the area. Generally speaking, this is successful in a select group of patients.
What is a Surgical Neck Lift?
A surgical neck lift in my practice in Charlotte involves making incisions either underneath the chin or around the ears to tighten the deeper muscular layer to lift sagging tissues. After lifting the sagging tissue, excess skin is removed.
What are the Types of Neck Lifts?
In my practice, each neck lift is tailored to the patient’s unique goals, concerns, and anatomy. There is not a “one size fits all” surgery. The factors I am evaluating for a neck lift are:
1) Size of jowls
2) Strength of Chin
3) Excess skin
4) Presence of platysmal bands
5) Excess fat in neck
Based on these observations I will recommend the best procedure for the patient. It may be an isolated neck lift, but it may include additional procedures. These procedures include:
A) Chin Implant
B) Neck Liposuction
D) Fat Grafting
Why Would a Chin Implant be Recommended During a Neck Lift?
A weak chin limits the length of the jawline. It is difficult to create an eloquent jawline that is short. You cannot create the necessary definition or angulation. For these reasons, patients undergoing a neck lift with a small chin will greatly benefit by augmenting their chin.
When Would Neck Liposuction be Recommended During a Neck Lift?
If excess fat is appreciated in the neck region, then neck liposuction will be recommended to define and angulate the jawline. Dr. Kulbersh would recommend this during a patient’s consultation.
What is a Platysmaplasty?
The platysma is a thin paired muscle that starts at the clavicle and ends at the jawline. There is 1 muscle per side of the neck.
What is a Platysmal Band?
The paired platysmal muslce edges end before the middle of the neck. The edges of the muscle at this edge can become loose and droop over time. This drooping edge of the platysmal muscle is a platysmal band.
What is a Platysmaplasty?
If the edges of the muscles are visible and creating a bands in the middle of the neck, then a platysmaplasty is recommended. During a platysmaplasty, the 2 edges of the platysmal muscle are approximated together at the middle of the neck. This tightens the middle of the neck and eliminates the platysmal band.
When is a Good Time for a Neck Lift?
The best time for a neck lift is when a patient develops signs of aging along the neckline. The key changes are:
1) Loose skin
2) Jowl formation
3) Platysmal bands
4) Increase in fat in the neck
Is it Better to have a Neck Lift Earlier or Later in Life?
It is easier to correct earlier signs of aging than more advance signs. For these reasons, if a patient is ready to undergo a neck lift, then I would suggest doing the procedure while they are younger. There are additional benefits of doing the surgery at a younger age. They include:
1) Younger patients need less aggressive surgery
2) Less aggressive surgery decreases recovery time
3) Younger patients recover faster
4) Younger patients are generally healthier to undergo surgery
The most important factor in deciding when to undergo a neck lift is the comfort level of the patient. The patient must be comfortable with the timing of the surgery and the neck lift expert performing the surgery. Learn more about neck lift at WebMD.com.
How Do I Schedule a Consultation with Neck Lift Expert Dr. Kulbersh in Charlotte, North Carolina?
Please fill out the contact form on the website or call (704) 842-3644 to schedule your consultation today.