Don’t Forget Your Neck

neck liftEveryone worries about the signs of aging that keep expanding on the face. But they often overlook the area just below the chin. This can leave a person with a younger looking face, but immediately below on full display is sagging skin and neck banding. Considering the weather we love here in Coastal Carolina, there will be plenty of days where you’ll be wearing fashions that show off your neck upper chest.

So, don’t forget to think about your neck and aging. To help with that area, a neck lift from Dr. Smith can rejuvenate this often-overlooked area.

What is a neck lift?

A neck lift can have different clinical names, depending on the goal of the surgery. A lower rhytidectomy (if skin is mainly addressed) or a platysmaplasty (if the underlying muscles are the target) are the clinical names, but you can call both of them simply a neck lift. The procedure targets changes due to an aging of the skin and muscles of the neck, issues such as neck banding and jowls. While you may have heard of a new injectable product, Kybella, which has come on the market to dissolve fat under the chin, issues such as banding and loose skin can only be corrected with surgery.

Would a neck lift be right for me?

As mentioned above, if excess fat pockets are the predominant problem leading to a double chin, liposuction or Kybella alone can be effective. But if sagging skin, excessive wrinkling, and the “turkey wattle” are the problem, a neck lift is the answer. These are the visible signs of aging that a neck lift can correct:

  • Loose skin under the chin
  • Loose neck skin
  • Muscle banding on the neck
  • Jowl lines
  • Double chin
  • Relaxed skin in the lower face

On many people, their neck skin is the area of the body that shows age first, faster than the facial skin. This is especially true if the person has spent a lot of time in our Carolina sun with their neck exposed. The sagging and banding that results respond well to a neck lift.

How is a neck lift done?

Dr. Smith uses two methods for his neck lift procedures, depending on the kind of changes the patient seeks in the neck and chin area.

  • Traditional neck lift — For a traditional neck lift, Dr. Smith makes an incision that originates in the sideburn area and continues down below the ear, terminating in the hair at the back of the scalp. He pulls the skin away and tends to the fat, usually re-sculpting it, especially in the jowl area. If there is a good deal of fat pushing down and creating a double chin, Dr. Smith may use limited liposuction to remove it. If necessary, a second incision may be made under the chin for better access. After dealing with the fat next up is the platysma muscle. This muscle runs from the upper parts of the pectoral and deltoid muscles all the way up onto and around the jaw. This is the muscle that creates neck banding when it loosens. Dr. Smith tightens the platysma to eliminate this banding. The last step is to pull the skin back up, re-draping it and to trim away any excess.
  • Limited incision neck lift — Rather than the relatively lengthy incision required with a traditional neck lift, here Dr. Smith makes small incisions only around the ears. Of course, the limited size of the incisions also only allows a smaller degree of tightening and repositioning.

Feel as if you’ve overlooked your neck? Call Dr. Smith at 843-705-8940 and let’s set up a consultation for a neck lift.


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Smith Plastic Surgery

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