Though technically not a part of the face, the neck plays an important role in facial harmony and balance. It is the foundation of a beautiful and youthful face. When the neck ages more quickly than the rest of the face, it can result in a noticeable mismatch.
Dr. George Sanders has met many patients that are generally pleased with their facial appearance, but not their neck (and the chin and jawline). These patients are curious as to what options are available to target these areas without needing a full facial makeover. If you find yourself in that camp, here’s what you need to know.
What Causes the Neck and Chin to Sag?
A few different factors can contribute to a sagging or lax-looking neck and chin. The effects of aging can change the skin, soft tissues and muscles. Significant weight fluctuation can cause the skin to stretch out and not contract. Genetic factors and environmental exposure (to sun or tobacco) can also play a role in accelerating the decline of the neck and chin.
There is no cookie-cutter solution to a sagging chin or neck. Everyone has a unique case: some have excess skin, others have excess fat and a third group has muscle laxity and/or banding and a fourth group has a combination of these. Dr. Sanders evaluates each patient’s anatomy and develops a treatment plan based on the specific problem(s).
Neck Lift: Neck lift offers the most comprehensive correction to a sagging and aged neck and chin area. The procedure removes excess fat and skin, modifies the neck (platysma) muscles and tightens the remaining skin. While neck lift techniques can be folded into a traditional facelift, neck lift can also be performed as a standalone procedure. The neck of a younger person may not require as much of a lift, allowing one to use a “limited neck lift” such as a MACS Lift. The incision is shorter, no drains are required, the procedure can be done under a local anesthetic and the patient may go home after surgery. The recovery time is also a bit shorter than a traditional neck lift.
Liposuction: Some cases of a sagging neck or chin are actually due to fat accumulating underneath the jawbone. In this scenario, liposuction can markedly improve the area’s appearance. Surgically removing the fat pockets gives the illusion of a longer and more elegant neck and can correct the appearance of a “double chin.”
Non-Surgical Skin Tightening: If the problem is limited to loose skin only, and the sagging is mild to moderate, non-invasive skin tightening might sufficiently improve the look of the area. This can be done with Ulthera, Thermage and Fraxel lasers. Recently we have begun to do microneedling for crepiness of the skin with very nice results. It has a rapid recovery and is less expensive than the others. It cannot, however, produce results that are on par with those achieved through surgical intervention.
Chin Augmentation: Some patients also have a recessed chin, which results in a compromised profile view. A chin implant can easily be inserted, either through an incision inside the lower lip or one under the chin at the time of a neck lift. The recovery is short and the implants typically never need replacing.
Contact Our Facial Plastic Surgeon Today
To learn more about how Dr. Sanders can improve the look of a sagging, aged neck and chin, please contact our Los Angeles-area plastic surgery practice today. Call (818) 981-3333 today to request a consultation with the doctor.