Neck lift and Neck Aesthetics

Aesthetic evaluation and management of neck aging, neck bands, neck sagging, and available treatments.

Hello. I'm Dr. Steve Laverson of Feel Beautiful Plastic Surgery in San Diego, California. Let's talk about neck aesthetics and neck lift.

To create beauty, we must know what features make a neck appear beautiful and youthful. For men and women of all ethnicities, there is general agreement on the following four elements. First, a clearly defined jawline separating the face from the neck. Second, with eyes facing forward, a right angle between chin and neck and relatively sharp separation between jaw and neck. Third, the lower margin of the face and upper margin of the neck is V-shaped, tapered smoothly down to a distinct but not sharp chin. And fourth, smooth, lean neck skin without wrinkles or highly visible irregularities.

One common aesthetic problem we address is a poorly defined jawline with face and neck blending together visibly as one. This is usually from excess neck fat. Another indicator of an aging neck is visible bands, folds beneath the chin from bowstringing neck muscle. As aging progresses, skin wrinkling and sagging also impacts neck appearance.

How does this knowledge guide aesthetic treatment of the neck? We evaluate each person individually to know whether their visible problem is from fat, from muscle, from skin, or from some combination of those. If the problem is just fat and skin quality is good, liposuction of the neck may produce worthwhile improvement. Liposuction removes fat only but doesn't address muscle or skin. This before and after shows neck liposuction alone.

Steve Laverson:
Here's another before and after showing neck liposuction for fat and a chin implant to add angularity to the jaw to fill out skin along the jawline and from the front to accentuate the V shape of her lower face. Note the improved jawline definition from before to after.

If the problem is isolated muscle bands, Botox or another neuromodulator injection may work well and is a nonsurgical office treatment. Liposuction only treats fat, and neuromodulators like Botox only treat bowstringing muscle bands, not fat or skin.

If there's significant loose hanging skin with or without sagging muscle or excess fat, usually neck lift surgery is required. Neck lift is the gold standard treatment for improving the neck, because it smooths skin, corrects bowstringing muscle bands, and reduces fat and sagging to restore a youthful appearing neck. Neck lift removes jowls, restores a V shape to the lower face, and defines the jaw margin. Neck lift offers comprehensive aesthetic neck rejuvenation and is usually performed under general anesthesia.

Here are some before and after photos of neck lift procedures. Each of these was indicated for women or men with variable amounts of loose skin, fat that obscures neck and jaw definition, and fat or muscle bands that opened or completely removed the right angle between jaw and neck. The after results demonstrate these features have been reestablished by the neck lift procedure.

Many thanks for listening. For questions or consultation, call (858) 295-4001 or visit us at