Neck Lift Surgery Is Not One-Size-Fits-All

Nationally renowned board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Jose Rodríguez-Feliz serves local and international clients at his boutique aesthetic practice in Miami, FL. Dr. Rodríguez-Feliz is one of few surgeons in the United States that after completing his Residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, pursued further training in Oculoplastic and Aesthetic Surgery under world-renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Codner. This gave him the opportunity of nurturing his passion for form and beauty as well as to earn a specialization in aesthetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), complex/revision eyelid surgery, correction of droopy eyelids (ptosis surgery), facial plastic surgery (e.g. face/neck lifts, nose surgery, ear surgery), non-surgical facial rejuvenation (e.g. Botox/Dysport, dermal fillers), and aesthetic breast surgery (e.g. endoscopic breast augmentation). 

Dr. Jose Rodríguez-FelizPhoto Credit: ShutterstockNeck lift surgery is a very common procedure, and it’s often recommended in conjunction with a facelift to ensure a smooth transition from the chin to the chest—and deliver a seamlessly more youthful appearance. However, neck surgery should be tailored to each patient’s unique anatomy and concerns, and Haute Beauty expert Miami, Florida plastic surgeon Dr. Jose Rodríguez-Feliz explains how he approaches neck rejuvenation in an effort to obtain the best outcome possible.

I’ve seen an increase in patients interested in “doing something” about their necks over the past several months, and I believe this can be attributed to two factors. First, we’re all using FaceTime more to stay in touch with family and friends, and many of us are spending our days on virtual conference calls while working remotely. This means we’re looking at our own faces and necks more—and not always at the most flattering angle.

When a potential neck patient comes into my office, they are usually concerned about horizontal lines, sagging skin, or vertical bands that run down the neck. My first task is always assessing whether their particular issues are superficial or deep because the “root” of the problem always dictates the ideal approach for improving these concerns.

Superficial neck issues include excess skin that leads to a saggy appearance, as well as subcutaneous fat that lies just below the skin, which may cause a “thick” look that is out of proportion with the face and the rest of the body. I find that in patients with superficial neck problems, 3D neck liposculpting with Vaser liposuction and Renuvion/J-Plasma provides the improvement they are looking for.

Chin implantPhoto Credit: ShutterstockVisible neck changes can also be caused by deeper factors such as submandibular glands (pockets of tissue that lie beneath the jawline roughly halfway between the center of the chin and the ear), fat beneath the muscles of the neck, and a laxity of the vertical neck muscles (platysma). In these cases, a more traditional neck lift is usually the best course of treatment. This surgical procedure allows surgeons to remove the submandibular glands or ablate them with an energy-based treatment like Renuvion/J-Plasma. A neck lift can also involve removing fat beneath the muscles and tightening the muscles as well. In patients with these deeper anatomical challenges, a surgical neck lift is the most effective way to improve the appearance of the neck.

There is also another very important consideration when planning any neck-rejuvenation approach: The jawline. This specific part of the face plays a significant role by acting like a pulley that helps suspend the tissues of the neck. This area of bony support is crucial for obtaining the best procedure outcomes, whether treating superficial or deep neck issues. In many cases, I recommend a chin implant or fat grafting to the jawline along with neck rejuvenation, as this enhanced definition creates a clear distinction between the face and neck while helping to “frame” the neck’s renewed youthful contours.

Neck rejuvenation provides dramatic results that enhance its profile and overall appearance, but it’s essential to match the proper approach to the individual patient—and to choose a plastic surgeon who can accurately assess the factors that are contributing to specific neck concerns and has the expertise to perform the appropriate treatment options.