Question: I’m 57 years old with the face of a 45 year old but the neck of a 70 year old. When I cover my neck I look so much younger. I can only use a scarf to do this though because a turtleneck emphasizes my gobbler. I don’t know if a face lift could help this or not. Is there anything that can be done; a scarf in 90 degree weather is torture!!
Answer: The neck is every bit as important as the face when it comes to having a youthful appearance. It’s not that unusual to see an older Hollywood star with a face that defies their age but a neck that gives it away. Once jowls begin to appear, it is a sign that the skin from the face, jaw and chin are beginning to loosen. People assume that all they need is a facelift when this happens, when in reality what is often needed is both a face and neck lift. If the neck is overlooked, or poorly done, the entire facial surgery can be a waste of time and money. In most cases a neck lift and facelift go hand in hand.
Although, it’s possible that some patients may only need a neck lift; it’s more often the case that procedures such as a chin implant or a facelift are made complete with the addition of the neck lift. A good surgeon that is capable of performing one will address both areas and discuss options with their patients.
The key to a natural neck lift is in addressing the multiple directions that the muscle and skin must be tightened for a smooth transition from the neck to the face. The fat of the neck often needs to be sculpted
with liposuction and the thin muscle of the neck (the platysma), needs to be tightened to smooth the bands of the neck which become pronounced with aging. It is also important to lift the neck low enough to allow complete exposure in clothing and for jewelry. Everyone is familiar with the very harsh, â€œI’ve had plastic surgeryâ€ look that comes with a procedure not done properly; this illustrates the importance of choosing a plastic surgeon who is experienced in doing this procedure. The best way to do this is to
ask how many a surgeon has performed, to see multiple before and after photos and of course, personal referrals are always a great source.
A few younger patients may benefit from liposuction of the submental (under the chin) area also referred to as a waddle. These patients may not have concerns about their jowls or skin laxity. Submental liposuction, with the possible addition of a chin implant, if needed, can result in a dramatic improvement that will keep someone looking youthful for years. It is important to consult with a plastic surgeon that will listen to your concerns and address them honestly. You may or may not require an extensive procedure and you certainly would not want to pay for a lesser procedure and be unhappy with it. This is where choosing the right surgeon is most important.