You probably glance at your face first when looking for signs of aging, but don't discount the role your neck plays in your appearance. "Turkey necks," wrinkles, double chins and thick necks can make you look older and heavier than you actually are.
There's no one way to improve the appearance of your neck. In truth, you may need multiple procedures to eliminate sagging skin and establish a more defined jawline that frames your face beautifully.
To combat the signs of an aging neck, several contouring options may be available to you.
Sagging, loose skin or vertical lines on your neck are best addressed with a neck lift. During the procedure, your cosmetic surgeon will remove excess skin and tighten loose neck muscles. The result is a smoother, firmer neck with a more defined appearance.
The surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia and IV sedation. Small incisions are made behind your ears, and depending on your needs, a third incision may also be made under your chin.
Recovery time varies from patient to patient, but most can return to daily activities within two weeks of surgery. You will experience some bruising and swelling and should expect your neck to feel tight for a few weeks. Any discomfort should decrease gradually, and visible bruising usually disappears after a week.
Full or double chins and necks can be improved with liposuction. If you're at a healthy weight, but still feel that your neck has too much volume, liposuction can achieve more definition and a more graceful neckline.
Liposuction only removes excess fat. It cannot improve the appearance of sagging skin. For the most part, neck liposuction is performed on younger patients who are between their 20s and 50s. Since this patient population usually has good skin elasticity, the skin contracts to look smooth and even following liposuction.
Liposuction is generally a quick procedure that requires only local anesthesia and a couple of tiny incisions that are concealed under your chin or behind your jawline. A small cannula is inserted through the incision so the fat can be removed and sculpted to a natural contour. Patients wear a supportive chin strap for a few days after the procedure and can return to work within a week. Full activity can be resumed in two weeks. Some swelling and bruising will occur, but it should resolve within two weeks.
Patients often like to combine neck contouring procedures with other surgeries or treatments. That way, the end result creates a naturally balanced appearance. Some neck contouring is usually included as part of a full facelift procedure that addresses jowls, sagging cheeks and lax neck tissue. A chin augmentation may also be a good option to include with neck contouring, or rhinoplasty may help achieve overall balance to the face.
Learn more about neck contouring procedures by scheduling an appointment with one of our talented cosmetic surgeons. With years of experience, we have the expertise to guide you to looking and feeling your best!