If your neck skin is sagging or loose or appears to have excess fat, a neck lift procedure may help. A neck lift refers to a number of procedures your cosmetic surgeon can use to improve your skin’s appearance and reveal a younger, healthier-looking you.

You Have Excess Neck Skin

Your skin is much like a rubber band. It will stretch, but over time the rubber band does not snap back as completely as it once did. This can be the case when you lose weight. Because your skin was once stretched, it may not have as much elasticity to shrink back into place.

This is where neck lift surgery can help. A neck lift procedure known as cervicoplasty or neck re-contouring involves making a small incision on either side of your face and/or under your chin. These incisions go along with your skin’s natural creasing, making the incisions appear less noticeable. If needed, your surgeon may remove excess neck skin. Your surgeon will lift the skin to tighten it and secure it in place with sutures or special adhesive glue. This makes excess neck skin appear less noticeable.

Your surgeon may recommend a neck lift surgery in combination with a facelift, which can reduce the overall amount of incisions needed. The effect can create a more defined jawline while smoothing your facial skin.

You Have Excess Neck Fat

Just as you can’t control whether that hamburger goes straight to your thighs or stomach, sometimes excess fat develops underneath your neck skin. Much like your facial skin, your neck skin tends to be thinner than the rest of your body’s, as well. This makes excess fat more noticeable than if it were on another area of your body. If you have excess neck fat that gives your chin and neck a droopy appearance, your plastic surgeon can perform a liposuction procedure.

Liposuction involves the removal of excess fat by inserting a small, vacuum-like tool known as a cannula into an incision made in your neck skin. Your surgeon will manipulate the cannula to break up fat and make it easier to remove. Liposuction can often be used in combination with neck lift procedures that tighten the skin after excess fat is removed.

Your Neck Appears Banded or Lined

Your skin’s natural folds can create a banded appearance on your neck that may make you feel self-conscious. Weak or loosened neck muscles can give the “turkey wattle” effect. Before you commit to wearing turtlenecks the rest of your life, consider a neck lift surgery approach known as platysmaplasty. This procedure is designed to adjust your neck muscles to make neck lines appear less noticeable.

This approach requires artistry on the part of your cosmetic surgeon because the neck muscles can be adjusted in several ways. One option is to remove a portion of the muscles to reduce the banded appearance in a particular area. Another is to suture or tie muscles together, which can make your neck skin appear tighter and smoother. Your surgeon may use a combination of these two approaches to help you achieve your desired appearance.

Consider a Neck Lift Consultation

If you’ve been self-conscious about your neck for some time, consider making a neck lift surgery consultation with a cosmetic surgeon. Your surgeon can evaluate your neck and jaw line and overall skin health to make recommendations and detail potential results. Ask your surgeon for photographic examples of similar surgeries performed to give you an idea of the results the surgeon can deliver.

You can ask questions about the surgery, including estimated costs and the recovery process. A consultation does not mean you have to undergo the procedure, but instead can give you the information that helps you make an educated decision.