Surgical and Non-Surgical Solutions for a Turkey Neck
As you grow older, your neck also starts to age. The neck muscles become weaker and your skin loses some of its elasticity. As a result, you may end up with wrinkled and sagging skin on your neck; this is known as turkey neck. Although neck ageing is a natural process, a lot of people feel that it gives them an unsatisfactory aesthetic appearance. Turkey neck and wrinkled folds can make your neck look weaker and older than you want. While exercising the neck muscles can slightly improve the signs of ageing, it’s not enough to effectively reverse the signs of neck ageing.
Facelift, neck lift, thread lift, injectables, and facial tightening devices are all cosmetic procedures that can help get rid of turkey neck, flatten necklines, and lift your face. Turkey neck surgery requires a skilled plastic surgeon with a lot of training in aesthetic surgery.
Plastic Surgeon Dr Hunt has extensive experience in facial and neck rejuvenation surgery. He offers patients in Sydney and Wollongong several surgical and non-surgical options.
What is a Turkey Neck?
Turkey neck is the result of a natural ageing process. With time, the skin on your neck starts losing the proteins responsible for making your skin strong, flexible, and tight; collagen and elastin. The skin then begins to lose its ability to tighten and stay firm. Because of this, the skin on your neck stretches, becomes droopy and your neckline starts to fade. This results in loose neck bands, or wattles, that resemble the neck of a turkey.
These are usually accompanied by other age-related changes, such as:
- Droopy skin on the front of the neck (part of a turkey neck)
- Neckbands (or platysmal bands) and wrinkles on the neck
- Excess skin around the lower jaw (jowling) fading the jawline
- Sagging appearance of the skin
- A less defined angle between the face and neck
- A blurred face outline that lessens facial harmony
- Droopy deflated cheeks
Patients typically start noticing the loose neck skin and muscles in their late 30s or early 40s. But turkey neck skin can happen at a younger or older age depending on your genetics, sun exposure, and smoking habits.
Several options can help you fix your turkey neck and gain the neck contour. Choosing the right cosmetic surgeon is a priority if you want to avoid unsatisfactory results. Dr Hunt and Dr Maryam provide their patients with the optimal approach depending on their age and the degree of skin laxity.
What Are the Ways to Fix Turkey Neck?
Different cosmetic options can reverse your neck ageing signs and create a better outline for your face. Full face lift, mini face lift, neck lift, mini neck lift, thread lift, injectables, and facial tightening devices are all available choices that can address your turkey neck concerns.
1. Full Facelift Surgery – Deep Plane Facelift or Traditional Facelift
The full facelift offers great results for people with moderate to severe signs of facial and neck ageing. A full facelift, also known as the traditional facelift can be performed as a SMAS lift or a deep plane facelift and can tighten and lift the entire face and neck. It can get rid of your sagging jowls, face and neck wrinkles, and fix your sunken cheeks. Be it a SMAS facelift or deep plane lift it emphasises your face and chin contour.
When done by a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon, a full face lift offers the following advantages:
- The sculpting and tightening of the whole face and neck
- Scar made less visible by the hairline
- A dramatic change in your facial appearance
- Long-lasting results
- Can take up to 10 years off
However, a full facelift can have some disadvantages including:
A facelift usually includes a neck lift to also reduce the loose skin on the neck and along the jawline, making it an excellent option to reduce turkey neck. Dr Maryam and Dr Hunt have extensive experience in performing face and neck lifts.
2. Mini Facelift Surgery
A mini face lift (also called S-lift, mini-lift, or short scar facelift) is a facial rejuvenation surgery that deals with less severe signs of facial ageing with more effect on jowls and less on the turkey neck.
The mini-lift is the preferred procedure for people with wrinkles and loose skin concentrated in the lower part of the face. It tightens and lifts the upper neck, fixes droopy jowls, and smoothens face wrinkles. The mini-facelift addresses those concerns to give you perkier cheeks, a firmer face, and a strong-looking jawline.
If you have mild to moderate signs of facial ageing with a minor turkey neck, a mini facelift might be the right option for you.
Benefits of the S-lift include:
- Being less invasive
- Leaves a smaller scar
- Has a quicker healing time after surgery
In contrast, you should consider the following:
- The cosmetic results are not as spectacular
- It does not address the ageing signs in the upper face
- It does not address wrinkles in the lower neck
- Not suitable for severe turkey neck or signs of ageing
A mini face lift can also be combined with a neck lift to get rid of jowls, sculpt the jawline, and tighten the neck at the same time.
3. Neck Lift Surgery
Neck lift, platysmaplasty, or lower rhytidectomy are all names of a procedure done to tone the neck, define its outline, and smoothen any wrinkles. A neck lift is the optimal way to get rid of turkey neck and double chin, especially if they’re the only cosmetic concerns you have (or want to treat).
During a platysmaplasty, all the muscles and soft tissue are pulled up to a higher position and tightened to redefine the angle between the face, neck, and jaw. The excess skin is then removed and the incision is closed.
A neck lift may be the right choice for you if you’re satisfied with the way your face looks but you feel that your neck doesn’t match its appearance. A full neck lift can dramatically reduce ageing marks by removing the extra droopy skin, defining the jawline, and enhancing the neck contour.
The advantages of neck lift surgery are:
- Tightens loose neck skin
- Flattens neck bands
- Gets rid of turkey wattles
- Gets rid of double and triple chin
- Does not address facial concerns
- Relatively longer recovery time
4. Mini-Neck Lift
A mini neck lift is another minimally invasive facial rejuvenation procedure. Also known as submental platysmaplasty or single incision neck lift, a mini-neck lift tightens wrinkled skin right under the chin.
The single incision neck lift surgery is ideal for people who are mainly unsatisfied with the way their necks look. It is performed to remove a small double chin.
- Gets rid of double chin
- Small scar
- Shorter recovery time than full neck lift
- Does not treat severe turkey neck
- Does not remove excess neck skin
- The results are not as impressive
If you have minimal signs of neck ageing, the mini-neck lift surgery can rewind the clock on your neck giving it a firmer and smoother appearance.
5. Thread Lifts (not so suitable for Turkey neck)
A thread lift is a non-surgical procedure that lifts and tightens the face using temporary sutures under the skin. It’s suitable for people with less prominent signs of ageing.
A thread lift procedure uses threads to pull up and straighten the stretched and sagging skin in your face. These threads, inserted under the skin, dissolve after a few months. During this time, the collagen production in your face is stimulated.
- No downtime
- Local anaesthesia can be used instead of general anaesthesia
- No surgery and no scars
- Costs less than a facelift
- Does not fix severe signs of skin laxity
- Does not drastically change your appearance
- Less permanent results than a facelift
Thread lifts can rejuvenate the neck, smoothen mild wrinkles, and lift sagging jowls.
6. Facial Injectables (also not so helpful for Turkey neck)
Injectables, or dermal fillers, are volumising substances injected into the skin. These dermal fillers are used to plump up the cheeks, soften facial and neck wrinkles, and reconstruct the facial contour. They are ideally used to treat the early signs of ageing in the face and neck, and sometimes, minimal turkey neck.
Injectable dermal fillers include hyaluronic acid (HA), calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA), Poly-L-lactic Acid, Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), and autologous fat injections. These gel-like substances can:
- Treat the fine lines around the neck and face
- Restore volume to hollow cheeks
- Improve facial symmetry
- Offer temporary results
- Can’t remove excess skin
- Can’t treat severe ageing signs
- Not the optimal treatment of turkey neck
The administration of dermal fillers by a non-health professional or by self-injection can have dangerous complications. Find an experienced cosmetic surgeon to perform your injections and give you the desired results.
7. Facial and Neck Tightening Devices (probably not a good idea!)
Skin tightening devices are non-surgical alternatives for the face and neck lift. They tighten your neck skin through the thermal energy waves. These waves can heat up the fluids in the deeper layers of your skin. This stimulates the production of collagen which in turn tightens and rejuvenates the skin.
Skin tightening devices can involve:
- Radiofrequency waves (RF therapy)
- Ultrasound waves (Ultherapy)
- Near-infrared (NIR)
Face and neck lifting devices are the closest thing we have to a natural neck lifting method. If you’re not ready yet for surgery, face tightening devices may help skin become firmer, reducing the appearance of a double chin and turkey neck. Many patients have been disappointed with the temporary and poor results of these treatments.
What Is the Optimal Way to Treat Turkey Neck?
One size does not fit all when it comes to the most effective treatment for turkey neck. Different people show different degrees of ageing. The choice between surgical and non-surgical anti-ageing procedures is a personal choice and it comes down to how you need your results to be.
The surgical options
If you have moderate to severe signs of ageing, your option would probably be one of the surgical treatments. A face lift and a neck lift can treat severe sagginess, turkey neck, double chin, faded jawline, deep wrinkles, and very droopy cheeks and jowls.
Face lift and neck lift offer:
- Long-lasting results (up to 10 years or more)
- Dramatic changes in appearance
- Solving multiple cosmetic problems at once
You just have to keep in mind that they also:
- Require more healing time
- Leave scars (although invisible in most cases)
- Some might involve general anaesthesia
The optimal surgery for turkey neck depends on how extensive the skin drooping is and which areas of the face and neck are involved.
The non-surgical options
If you have localised minimal signs of skin ageing, then other nonsurgical treatment of turkey neck might help you.
A thread lift, injectables, and face tightening devices can help in some form:
- Fix the fine lines on the neck
- Get rid of mild sagginess
- Contour your jawline
- Give you a fresher look
Alternately, the non-surgical ways:
- Have limited results
- Are not durable
- Will not deliver significant changes
There isn’t one right way to fix turkey neck that can apply to all people. Dr Hunt and Dr Maryam assess the right treatment for your turkey neck depending on your anatomy, the extent of loose skin, age, health, and desired outcomes.
FAQS on Turkey Neck
What age does turkey neck start?
- Most people notice their necks begin to wrinkle in their early 40s. But you can get turkey neck earlier depending on your skin’s elasticity, sun exposure, and smoking habits.
Will losing weight help with turkey neck?
- Excess fat around the neck is not the only player in the formation of turkey neck. Losing weight can help slightly decrease the severity of turkey neck and tighten the skin, but it won’t completely get rid of it.
Is turkey neck the same as double chin?
- Turkey neck is pretty close to a double chin, but they’re not exactly the same. A double chin happens when extra fat deposits build up under your chin. On the other hand, turkey neck refers to the loose neck skin.
Are neck lifts permanent?
- A neck lift surgery can’t stop the ageing process. But, if performed by a skilled plastic surgeon, a neck lift can offer long-lasting results. In most cases, the results of a neck lift last for a decade before needing revision.
Further Reading about Face and Turkey Neck Procedures:
- Read Dr Hunt’s Neck Lift Surgery page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Traditional Facelift Surgery page
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Patient Neck Lift Surgery Before and After Photos
Medical References about Turkey Neck, Turkey Jowl and Neck Rejuvenation
- Neck Rejuvenation with Thread Lift
- Direct excision of the turkey jowl deformity: a review of 100 consecutive cases
- Beware What You Inject: Complications of Injectables—Dermal Fillers
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Jeremy Hunt is a specialist plastic surgeon performing breast, body, face and nose surgery in Australia. He is a member of FRACS & ASPS and has over 20 years of experience providing plastic surgery in Sydney.
Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is optimal for your body and your lifestyle. Every patient is unique and, through his guidance, can achieve good results.
Dr Hunt’s personal, one-on-one service and attention to detail has given thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia the aesthetic results they desire.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the prestigious University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from some of the world’s very best plastic surgeons.
Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.