When you reach your early 40s, you may notice you have a neck “drop zone” i.e., the skin between your jaws and collarbones. What was once a taut right angle, is now simply dropping. The aging jaw and neck are a challenge that may not only include sagging skin and muscles but bulging fat. With thinner skin, a deep ropey material called platysma bands may split the neck into a V-like formation of protruding cords. These changes may or may not be associated with changes in the mid face. However, in accessing the neck, the chin, jawline, jowl and entire lower face must also be evaluated.
The simplest neck tightening procedure which addresses loose skin and neck fat is SlimLipo or laser lipolysis of the neck. These may be performed under local anesthesia and with virtually no down time.
Quite often I will also laser the neck during a face and/or neck lift procedure because skin tightening continues for at least six months. I have performed this procedure on approximately 250 necks with only one minor complication. The oldest patient I have treated this way was 85 and the youngest was a teenager.
The next most invasive neck tightening technique involves a small incision beneath the chin. Skin and muscle tightening may be achieved as well as removal of fatty bulges. Recovery time is approximately 5 days.
If there is excessive skin sag then this is combined with incisions behind the ears. My specialized technique with these patients includes mid-line tightening of muscle bands, excision of excess skin behind the ears and deep suspension sutures This combination provides the patient with optimal tightening without distortion and should last up to ten years. Occasionally these solitary neck procedures may be enhanced with liposuction of jowls and and/or non-surgical chin augmentation. These patients return to work in 7 to 10 days.