Surgery for the Aging Neck

Plastic Surgery

24 Mar 2021 | 0 | by kjh

31890login-checkSurgery for the Aging Neck

One of the hardest areas to correct with surgery is the neck. I have seen many facelifts where the face looks young but the neck still does not match the face.  The neck is problematic.  The skin on the neck is thin and due to the loss of collagen and elastin, aging is more noticeable.  The neck also has fewer oil glands than the face so it is less hydrated.  

Often with surgery, the neck looks pulled and neck bands (those horizontal lines on the neck) are still prominent. There are new techniques now that lessen the “pulled look.” But one of the most noticeable issues with the neck is the platysma muscle.  That is a muscle in the neck that goes from the jawline to the collarbone. 

When we’re young there are two sides of the muscle and the muscle is stuck tightly together in the middle and as we get older, by chewing, laughing, exercising, and just from time, the two sides of the muscle separate.  It is a slow process but in an older person, you can see two very strong vertical bands and a hollow in between. The hollow is where the muscle has been pulled apart and you can see the edges of the muscle through the skin and the hollow in between. So many times you will see a great facelift but you can still see those vertical lines pulled apart on the neck.

I had a facelift with a very renowned plastic surgeon and I was extremely happy with the result.  But I still have those vertical lines in my neck.  While I am happy with the neck lift, I still want to alter the vertical lines that I see every day in the mirror.  

I did finally find a plastic surgeon who is well regarded in Los Angeles.  Dr. Lawrence Koplin, M.D. says, “Many surgeons don’t believe in addressing the platysma muscle directly and fixing it, and I’m very much in disagreement with them. What I’m very good at and very comfortable with, and very aggressive at is restoring this anatomy back to the way it was fifteen or twenty years ago, and that often means making a little cut or a little incision under the chin, finding the muscles directly –all the way down to the collar bone– and very meticulously, in a very anatomic way, putting them back together again with strong and permanent sutures. Then, closing this, finished, and going ahead and doing what other people would consider more of a traditional neck lift. When you restore the anatomy to normal, then you look normal again.”

While I haven’t had this procedure, I am eager to learn more.  I do think that addressing the platysma band is necessary for overall satisfaction with the face and neck.


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