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Is there a way to fix loose neck skin?

Q:

I have loose skin around my neck as I lost weight (6'3 200 lbs). It looks like a soft crease that starts under the chin and goes down my neck. This is a genetic trait from my father's side of the family that usually starts to appear in the late 30's/early 40's.  Is there a fix?

A:

Correction of skin laxity in the neck after weight loss typically involves a facelift. It may be possible to do only a necklift but usually there is some laxity in the facial skin too so doing the full facelift (which includes neck) would give a more balanced look.

R.A. Baxter, MD

Richard A. Baxter, M.D.
Mountlake Terrace, WA

A:

In males there are multiple options. The most common is a removal of the tissue by direct excision with a resultant z-shape scar. You should reach your goal weight and then seek out a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to see and evaluate your neck laxity and soft tissue characteristics.

R.Whitfield, MD

A:

Loose neck skin:

The goal is to make sure that the face and neck are in harmony so it is uncommon to perform only a necklift alone in most patients unless they are quite young with excess skin and fat in the neck. The key is to harmonize and rejuvenate the face and neck as one unit for the best long-term look.

R.J. Rohrich, MD

A:

Although it is not technically part of the face, a neck with loose skin can age the face dramatically.

Immediately under the skin of the neck is the platysma muscle, which you can easily see in a mirror when you clench your teeth and tighten your jaw. In youth, this paired muscle meets in the midline below the chin. With age, the right and left sides of the platysma often separate, producing vertical cords in the anterior neck. The platysma can be divided anteriorly and tightened during neck lift cosmetic surgery to permanently eliminate these cords and improve the neck contour. Once tightened in the midline below the chin, lateral traction on the platysma then creates a sling which elevates the soft tissues below the jawline.

In cosmetic surgery patients that do not have a sharp transition in profile between the submental area (area below the jawline) and the anterior neck, and in patients who simply want that transition enhanced, I add a suture suspension necklift. A permanent suture is passed subcutaneously across the anterior neck, at the level corresponding to depth of the angle between the submental area and anterior neck, and is then anchored to the deep soft tissues behind each earlobe. This suspension cosmetic surgery procedure can dramatically enhance the definition between the jawline and anterior neck, producing a more elegant profile.

The neck is without question the primary facelift aesthetic area where subtractive (excisional) and tightening procedures restore a truly youthful contour. Once again, take a look at the fashion magazines: essentially every neck you will see demonstrates something close to a right angle between the neck and jaw. When it comes to the neck, and only in the neck, flat is good.

M.M. Law, MD

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