As we mature, there is loss of collagen and elasticity in our skin. Our neck is no exception. Not only does the skin begin to sag and wrinkle because of this, the thin muscle in the neck called the platysma begins to separate and loosen. This can lead to the “bands” we frequently see in the front of the neck from the chin down. Frequently, fat can herniate or fall between these bands of muscle to cause the fullness in the neck or “turkey” type appearance.
If we think of the neck as a hammock, as we mature, a hole develops in the base of the hammock. This is analogous to the muscle bands separating. Fat is falling through that hole. The first step in neck rejuvenation with a neck lift or facelift is to remove this fat and sew this hole back together. This addresses the fullness in the front of the neck. Now that the hammock is repaired, it still needs to be tightened to the trees as it has become loose over the years. The trees in this case are the bones and fascia behind the ears. The muscle is resuspended to this area creating a tight sling. Once the muscle is tightened, the skin will redrape over this muscle and the excess skin is removed behind the ears. This is essentially, a neck lift. It will also slightly enhance the jawline and jowls.
Dr. Funk is a facial plastic surgeon in Houston, TX who specializes in plastic surgery of the face and neck including many facelift and neck lift techniques.