As you age, you may notice excess skin and sagging in the area of your neck, and you may lose that crisp 90-degree angle that defines a youthful profile. Plastic surgery can address this obvious sign of aging and make you appear 10 to 15 years younger.

Unfortunately, this loss of neck contour is not simply a problem in the neck area. It is the by-product of all facial tissues drooping and settling in the neck area. Loss of neck crispness is always accompanied by loss of a well-defined jawline, loss of cheek volume, and the appearance of lower eyelid bags. Many people are under the impression that the solution to the loss of neck contour is a “neck lift” procedure. In reality, an isolated neck lift rarely solves the problem. Simply “lifting” the neck—removing some fat and skin and tightening neck muscles—does not address the cause of the problem in the cheeks and is not likely to give patients the results they want. Except in young patients with truly elastic skin, most patients will benefit more from a facelift. This procedure can more effectively rejuvenate their appearance by targeting the source of their problems. Interestingly, the most beneficial aspect of a “facelift” is its improvement of the neck contour.


How Neck Lift and Facelift Are Related

Dr. Michael Zenn frequently discusses the neck lift and facelift concepts with his patients. Over the course of his career, he has conducted tens of thousands of plastic and reconstructive surgeries. He is one of the rare plastic surgeons who are fellowship-trained in head and neck procedures in addition to his plastic surgery training. Dr. Zenn also served on the editorial board of the professional publication, Head and Neck, for eight years in addition to various plastic surgery journals.

The “neck lift” patients Dr. Zenn sees often have the most prominent signs of aging in their mid-and lower face. These changes can include:
  • Drooping and deflated, flattened cheeks.
  • A separation between the lower eyelid and cheek with lower eyelid “bags.”
  • A poorly defined jawline with obvious “jowls.”
  • Wrinkled and sagging skin in the neck, sometimes referred to as a “turkey gobbler.”
  • Descent of the eyebrows and nasal tip and elongation of the earlobes.


“Dr. Zenn’s kindness and skill has changed my life. It is amazing to me that someone who is so talented and skilled and confident can also be as approachable, kind, genuine and nice as Dr. Zenn is.”
-Happy Patient


Isolated Procedures for the Neck

Raleigh and Durham area patients spend extensive time in consultation with Dr. Zenn. This allows them the opportunity to discuss what they want to accomplish with plastic surgery and to learn about their treatment options.

Transparency and patient satisfaction are two of Dr. Zenn’s priorities. If you are interested in one or two of the benefits that a neck lift promises and do not want a facelift, there are other procedures that can target the aesthetic concerns isolated to the neck:
  • If you are exploring a neck lift because you want to get rid of a double chin or jowls, you may benefit from KYBELLA®: a non-surgical injectable solution that helps to eliminate neck fat under the chin and jawline without surgery.
  • BOTOX® can reduce the appearance of dynamic wrinkles: those signs of aging that appear when you make certain facial expressions and that can become permanent over time, such as wrinkles around the mouth and bands in the neck.
  • • In rare cases, patients can have liposuction around the neck or isolated neck surgery to tighten specific neck muscles and remove fat which can also promote a more youthful appearance.

In these circumstances, the expectations and results may be limited or less long lasting, but are still effective.


Choosing Facelift Over Neck Lift

Facelift patients can expect to see comprehensive aesthetic improvement in their mid-to-lower face, including their neck. Dr. Zenn’s surgical approach hides incisions in natural creases on the face, under the chin, and behind the ears. Raleigh and Durham area patients of Dr. Zenn find they look natural and rejuvenated after a facelift, not different.

For the procedure:

  • For your comfort and safety, you will have surgery at one of several accredited surgical facilities in the Raleigh – Durham – Cary area. A board-certified anesthesiologist/CRNA helps patients sleep safely and comfortably throughout the surgery and wake up with little or no pain, sore throat, or queasiness.
  • With a facelift, you will receive the same benefits you might expect from an isolated “neck lift”: a more defined jawline and neckline, the elimination of excess skin, and smoother features, but the result is longer lasting as the causes of the problem are directly addressed.
  • You will go home the same day. Some patients choose to stay overnight, and if desired, that can be arranged.

As part of any treatment at Zenn Plastic Surgery, you will benefit from expert care throughout your experience. Dr. Zenn and our staff are committed to your comfort and your safety, and we will be available to answer any questions you have before your surgery and during your recovery.

If your goal is to eliminate signs of aging in your neck area, you will need to be examined by Dr. Zenn. Then all the options and expectations from surgery and non-surgical approaches can be explained based on your anatomy and desires.

To learn more or schedule a consultation with Dr. Zenn, patients in the Raleigh and Durham area can contact Zenn Plastic Surgery online or by phone at (919) 480-3885.

Request Consultation