How a Neck Lift Can Take Years Off Your Appearance

How a Neck Lift Can Take Years Off Your Appearance

First, the bad news: Aging causes the dreaded “turkey neck skin” that wobbles under your chin. Gravity’s relentless pull tugs on your delicate neck skin year after year, stretching the fibers and destroying the tissue. The result is a sagging, wrinkled neck that makes you look tired and haggard. 

Now, the good news: A surgical neck lift can recontour your neckline, shape up your profile, and restore your youthful look.

Frederick H. Watkins, MD, is well-known throughout the greater Washington, DC, area as the go-to specialist for delicate plastic surgeries like neck lifts. He has offices in Rockland, Maryland, and McLean, Virginia, and offers a refreshingly personal approach to cosmetic procedures. Here, he explains how his signature neck lift works.

What causes sagging neck skin?

Understanding why your neck has lost its once-youthful tautness is the first step in appreciating the value of a neck lift. 

The human neck, composed of intricate layers of skin, muscle, and fat, is among your body's most slender and mobile parts. This combination of features makes your neck susceptible to the forces that contribute to aging.

Loss of muscle tone

Subtle at first, the gradual weakening of the platysma muscle — responsible for maintaining your neck’s tight and smooth appearance — can lead to the formation of “turkey neck,” characterized by a distinct pebbled texture and loss of contour.

Loss of elasticity

Along with muscle tone depletion, the natural breakdown of collagen and elastin proteins diminishes your skin’s ability to snap back into place. This duo of muscle atrophy and weakened skin leads to the unsightly folds and droops associated with old age.

Why a sagging neck makes you look old

The impact of a sagging neck on your appearance goes beyond mere aesthetics. It tells onlookers — consciously or subconsciously — something about your vitality and health. A shriveled, saggy neck can make you look tired, heavy, or even unwell. 

Your face is the center of your emotion and identity, and your neck is part of that. A drooping neck can conflict starkly with a confident facial expression, sending mixed messages about your mood and state of mind.

The surgical solution: What’s involved in a neck lift?

A neck lift, known in medical circles as a lower rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that addresses the signs of aging in your neck and the lower region of your face. Whether you need a neck lift as a standalone procedure or as part of a facelift, Dr. Watkins expertly combines the techniques that will masterfully recontour your face and neck.

From a technical perspective, a neck lift procedure varies based on your unique anatomical considerations but generally includes trimming excess skin, repositioning underlying tissue, and, often, liposuction to sculpt the area.

The consultation process

Before any scalpel touches your skin, you have an in-depth consultation with Dr. Watkins — and you’ll understand immediately why so many patients rave about his personal approach. This frank discussion is where you talk about your goals, explore your procedural options, and learn what surgery can and can’t achieve.

Technical considerations

Dr. Watkins decides on the best approach for your unique facial features, whether that’s a traditional neck lift or a less invasive variation. 

He makes discreet incisions within your hairline and natural contours of your ear and, if necessary, under your chin. This attention to detail minimizes visible scarring and ensures that your results are as harmonious and natural-looking as possible.

Recovery and aftercare

After your procedure, you can expect the recovery process to last several weeks. This period is crucial for your body to heal properly and for the full results to materialize. Post-operative care is critical, not only in terms of following Dr. Watkins’ instructions to the letter but also in setting realistic expectations for your recovery period.

If your neck is sagging and taking your confidence and youthful attitude along with it, request a consultation with Dr. Watkins to determine whether a neck lift can turn back the clock on your appearance. Book an appointment online or call our location most convenient to you today.

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