Practical thinking would suggest that the patient looking for a younger appearance would focus on the face first. But surprisingly, both women and men will come into Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa fixating on their sagging neck. (Not so) fondly referred to as a turkey neck, what causes this foul anatomy? Blame it on the plastyma muscles.
The platysma muscles run vertically along the neck, wide at the bottom where they meet the clavicle and narrowing as they reach the mandible (jawline). These muscles are work horses. They’re used every time we speak, swallow or make a frowning expression. The constant use of the muscles can cause a widening or separation between the left and right plastysma muscle. When this occurs, the central edges of the muscles part causing the appearance of vertical cords.
A corset platysmaplasty is the procedure of re-attaching the left and right platysma muscles. The suture technique resembles the ties in a corset as one side is sewn to the other. With this method the platysma is tightened in an upward direction bringing it close to the chin (Fig. A).
The effect is a sharper angle between the jaw and neck (cervico-mental angle). A 90 degree angle is preferred. In some cases, for a sharper cervico-mental angle, your Changes surgeon may opt to transect the muscles in the lower neck to prevent the muscles from “bow-stringing.” (Fig. B) By relieving the tension on the muscle fibers, the stringing or banding is lessened.
Other factors contribute to a sagging neck such as loss of skin elasticity and fat accumulation. Submental liposuction (suctioning excess fat from the neck) and laser rejuvenation to improve skin quality may be recommended in addition to a corset platysmaplasty.
A corset platysmaplasty is a highly effective procedure and may be performed in isolation in the patient with mild to moderate neck aging. However, when moderate to severe neck aging is present, it may be necessary to also treat the face with a face lift. Remember the face and neck are a matching set and both deserve to look fantastic. If you are looking for a tighter, younger appearing neck, more defined jawline and an improved profile, schedule a consultation with 3D imaging at Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa.
Dr. Gilbert Lee is a board-certified plastic surgeon in San Diego.