Neck Lift

Performed as an isolated procedure or integrated within a facelift surgery, a neck lift will correct one of the earliest age-related concerns. A number of different techniques can be combined to suit each individual, allowing for a comprehensive recontouring and rejuvenation of the neck.


A defined neckline gives an attractive and appealing appearance and conveys a sense of health, fitness and vitality. Changes to the neck and lower jawline are the most obvious and earliest signs of facial ageing and usually one of the main objectives for patients seeking facial rejuvenation. Some patients may present with hereditary problems of their neck contours and seek an early aesthetic improvement, which may not necessarily be related to ageing.


A neck lift, also known as a platysmaplasty, can restore neck contours by modifying 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. In both cases it will provide a more youthful and defined appearance to the neck and jawline.


Each patient will present with a different set of anatomical concerns, these generally fall into two main categories: (1) a heavy and full neck (often hereditary), or (2) a neck with age-related changes such as skin laxity, skin creases, jowls, vertical muscle bands (platysma bands) and accumulated sub-platysmal fat. In both cases there are several effective options for shaping and rejuvenation of the neck.

Isolated neck lift

The isolated neck lift is suitable for patients who want to treat their neck specifically and have no concerns with the face. This procedure is usually indicated 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 is achieved by reducing fat in the deeper layers of the neck and adjusting the platysma muscle position. Removal of superficial fat (liposuction) and/or the placement of a chin implant for further improved definition of the chin and jawline, may also be indicated. Access to and modification of the neck tissues are achieved by an earlobe-based incision (behind the ear) and if required, combined with a discreet incision in the crease below the chin (submental approach).

Integrated neck lift

The integrated neck lift is appropriate for a generalised rejuvenation of the face. A two-layer SMAS face-neck lift procedure will provide rejuvenation of the entire 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 is achieved via the facelift incision located in front and behind the ear.


Several components in the neck can be treated to achieve the 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. During consultation, Dr Sorensen will examine the neck, measure facial proportions and discuss individual requirements and goals, in order to formulate an effective treatment plan.


Patients can generally determine in what anatomical plane their problems are located, by actively tightening their flat platysma muscle; 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 reduction

Patients with heavy necks will often benefit from surgical excision (lipectomy) and removal of sub-platysma fat (deep), subcutaneous fat (superficial) and jowl fat. For patients with less fat accumulation, a gentle liposuction may be sufficient.


●  Muscle modification

Modification of the front part of the neck (corset platysmaplasty) is an effective technique, indicated for patients with pronounced platysma bands, platysma laxity and/or heavy necks. Patients with mild to moderate age-related platysma laxity, may only require a muscle-restoration and repositioning from behind the ear (lateral platysmaplasty).


●  Skin redraping

Neck lifts include release of the subcutaneous septa and retaining ligaments for optimal skin redistribution. When required, loose redundant skin is removed. A collaboration with one of our skin specialists (Dr Perren or Dr Masser) is provided as part of the treatment, to correct sun-damaged skin and restore skin health.

A neck lift is the only surgical procedure which can effectively restore a more youthful contour of the lower face and neck, redefine the jawline and correct loose skin.


Although a neck lift will improve on jawline definition, it will not add projection to a receding chin or compensate for age-related bone reabsorption of the jaw. For these individuals, a subtle chin augmentation can be achieved with fat grafting or a chin implant. Dr Sorensen will advise on the appropriate options.

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Cervicomental angle
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.