Performed as an isolated procedure or integrated in a facelift, a neck lift tackles one of the earliest onset ageing issues. A number of different techniques can be combined to suit the individual, allowing for comprehensive re-contouring and rejuvenation of the neck.
Changes in the neck and along the lower jawline are the most obvious and earliest signs of ageing. Additionally, some people have a less flattering neck shape. A neck lift, also known as a platysmaplasty, can restore neck contours by tightening the underlying muscles (platysma), redraping skin, interrupting vertical neck bands, and removing excess fat. Neck lifting can be performed as an isolated procedure or integrated with a facelift procedure. In both cases it will typically make a man or woman appear considerably younger.
The aesthetic concerns usually fall into two categories: (1) having either a soft, full and fatty neck (often hereditary), or (2) age-related changes such as sagging skin, horizontal skin creases, accumulated fat and vertical muscle bands (platysma bands). Depending on the particular problem and aesthetic concerns, there are several options for shaping and rejuvenation of the neck.
Isolated neck lift
The isolated neck lift is suited to patients who want to treat their neck specifically, and have no concerns with the face. This procedure is usually for younger patients and men who generally do well with an isolated neck lift rather than a full facelift. The isolated neck lift is designed to reshape an undesirable neck appearance, often by reducing volume and achieving a sharper and more defined angle between the jaw and neck (cervicomental angle). This procedure is performed by re-contouring fat in the deeper layers of the neck, thereby adjusting muscle position. This procedure is often combined with removal of some superficial fat (liposuction) and/or the placement of a chin implant for improved projection of the jaw.
Access to, and modification of, the neck tissues are achieved by an earlobe-based incision behind the ear, and/or an incision in the crease below the chin.
Integrated neck lift
The integrated neck lift is suited for generalised rejuvenative purposes for the face. A two-layer SMAS face-neck lift will provide rejuvenation of the full face from the corner of the eyes down to the collarbone, this includes the mid-face, cheeks, jawline, and the neck. In the ageing neck, the aim is a restoration of a youthful and aesthetic contour by repositioning sagging tissues, tightening the neck muscle (platysma), and removing accumulated fat and loose skin. Access to, and modification of, the neck are achieved by the face lift incision located below and behind the ear.
Several components in the neck can be treated to achieve desired results. The neck tissues consist of superficial fat, deep fat (sub-platysma fat), muscle (platysma), deeper neck muscles and the overlying skin. Because there are wide variations in neck anatomy among individuals, it is necessary to customise the surgery for each patient by employing single isolated procedures or multiple techniques. Dr Sorensen prefers to perform adjustments to the deep-layer foundation of the neck and allow the skin to re-drape on improved inner contours, rather than performing subcutaneous liposuction and skin tightening.
Patients can generally determine in what anatomical plane their problems are located by actively tightening their flat neck muscle (platysma); if their concerns are mobile and located above the muscle (as a double chin), superficial adjustments may be sufficient to address their concerns. If undesirable full contours are located below the muscle, deeper adjustments are required.
● Fat management (lipectomy): Visually assisted (under direct vision) removal of sub-platysma fat (deep), subcutaneous fat (superficial) and jowl fat as required.
● Muscle adjustment: Muscle-modification of the front part of the muscle (corset-platysmaplasty) and/or muscle-restoration and repositioning (lift) from behind the ear. Adjustment of deeper-lying muscular structures if needed.
● Skin improvements: Neck lifts include release of underlying subcutaneous septa and retaining ligaments for optimal skin redistribution. If required, loose skin is removed. Collaboration with our skin and laser specialist is occasionally needed to correct sun-damaged skin and optimise the decolletage.
A neck lift is best suited to one whose skin still has some elasticity and whose jaw-bone structure is well defined. Most patients are between 30 and 70, but neck lifts can be performed successfully on people in their seventies. A neck lift may be combined with the use of a chin implant to compensate for a hereditary recessed chin or age-related bone reabsorption.
The cervicomental angle is formed by the horizontal plane of the jaw line and the vertical plane of the neck. The angle provides an objective measurement of the neck contour. In young individuals it is defined (sharp) approaching 70 degrees; with age or with fat accumulation this angle become flatter (increases). A neck lift significantly reduces this angle.