Neck lift procedures can be extremely effective aesthetic rejuvenation options, offering both women and men ways to address noticeable signs of age and skin laxity in the neck and achieve a more contoured and youthful profile. It is very common for excess skin and fat to accumulate in the neck region, and most individuals will experience these concerns at some point in their lives. Fortunately, neck lift surgery can provide dramatic improvement, ultimately tightening the skin and giving the area a firmer and smoother appearance. There are several varieties of neck lift techniques, and the ideal option will be determined according to an individual’s needs and goals. While neck lifting is often a standard component of traditional facelift surgery (the two procedures are often “linked” and done together as one procedure), some patients considering neck rejuvenation alone may not need or desire a facelift. Historically, older men would say “Doc, I don’t like this turkey neck”—the hanging-down loose skin and fat in the central neck—“but I don’t want a facelift.” The T-Z plasty, or direct neck lift, was developed in Houston in the early 1970s. It was designed to directly address the central neck laxity in a direct way. It gave these (mostly) men exactly what they wanted in a direct fashion without a facelift.
A T-Z Plasty can be the ideal neck lift technique for (usually) older patients who are experiencing severe degrees of inelastic, sagging neck skin. Historically it has been mostly a “male procedure,” but women can also benefit from this as well, depending on their anatomy. The colloquial terms “turkey neck” or “turkey gobbler” are sometimes used to describe these concerns because the skin of the neck has become so loose that it significantly affects an individual’s aesthetic profile. In a customized T-Z Plasty procedure, our board-certified plastic surgeon, James F. Boynton, MD, can remove a certain amount of the excess skin and fat that is contributing to the concern, tighten underlying musculature, and then pull the remaining skin taut to create much firmer skin and an enhanced neck contour. One of the many benefits of a T-Z Plasty is that this treatment can typically be performed as an in-office procedure utilizing a strong local anesthetic. This means that many patients will not be exposed to the additional risks of general anesthesia. Use of a local anesthetic rather than a general anesthetic often makes the procedure more convenient for patients, as well.
Another neck lift option Dr. Boynton regularly performs is called a “suture suspension neck lift.” This option is best suited for younger patients without as much severe skin laxity. This procedure involves a small incision under the chin and behind the ears. Usually it incorporates liposculpting under the chin and the placement of two sutures that anchor the platysma muscle back behind the ears and “lift” the cervicomental angle (the sharp angle under the chin). Sometimes a small amount of skin can be removed if need be, but most of the results are achieved by thinning the soft tissue and redistribution of the neck skin across a wider surface. This is also regularly done in the office with a local-based procedure.
The suture suspension neck lift (or SSL) or the T-Z plasty give two more great office-based options for neck lifting and rejuvenation for patients, depending on their anatomy. Both can and often do include liposculpting, as well. The T-Z is best reserved for those with severe central neck laxity and the SSL is for mild and medium cases. Younger patients who want to “sharpen their jawline” can often start with an SSL—that will help.
With a T-Z Plasty or suture suspension neck lift, Dr. Boynton can virtually eliminate a “double-chin,” reduce a “full” appearance in the neck, significantly diminish skin folds, and enhance neck definition and contour. These advantages offer many individuals an effective way to beautifully renew their appearance with long-term results. Visit our Neck Lift page to learn more about T-Z Plasty neck lift procedures and to view some before-and-after photos featuring the outcome of this treatment. If you would like additional information, or if you are ready to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boynton to find out if a T-Z Plasty neck lift is right for you, please contact us today!