Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a healthy 65 year-old women with a large turkey-like hanging directly under my chin as well a bit of jowls. When I pull the skin back at the jaw angle/ear area, I see a great change and I look like myself again…like I did 20 years ago. What type of necklift is this? I do not feel like a need a facelift but just a necklift.
A: The turkeyneck is a common problem and there are many people who have this pessky aging issues but are happy with the rest of the face…or at least it does not look as bad as the neck and jowl area. This hanging neck skin must be treated by moving it up and backward to hidden incisions around your ears where it can be removed and invisible scars left in its wake. Your perception of a facelift is common with the belief that it is a top of the scalp down to the neck procedure, which it is not. A true isolated facelift only treats the lower 1/3 of the face, exactly where your concerns are. As a result, it is a much simpler and easier procedure to go through than most patients envision. Your proof that this is the correct procedure is evident by the presurgical facelift ‘test’, pulling up and back around the ears and jaw angles creates the desired neck and jowl changes.
Dr. Barry Eppley
The thought of eating turkey at the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday brings together two inseparable images. While history does not show that turkey was ever actually served at the first pilgrim’s festival, it has become the featured culinary dish since. While many will enjoy the tasteful bites from a turkey leg, breast or stuffing, few will aspire to have the turkey neck.
While few want to eat a turkey’s neck, even fewer want to have one on of their own. The turkey neck or neck wattle is that well known fleshy fold of hanging skin that is unavoidable for many as we age. The loss of a once smooth jaw line and a shapely neck shows the persistent effects of gravity and time.
While creams and other potions promise much, the turkey neck needs a surgical fix. Forget about non-surgical options and other ‘lunchtime’ type procedures. They simply do not work no matter how hopeful one is. For the fuller neck in a young person, fat removal by liposuction alone may be enough. But when the neck skin is loose and floppy, and you can pinch a wad of skin and fat between your fingers, some method of actual removal is needed.
The removal of a turkeyneck requires some form of a facelift. While often misunderstood, a facelift is really a neck and jowl operation and does not change the face much above the level of one’s mouth. It is a poorly named procedure and the term necklift would more accurately describe it. It is really less extensive and easier to go through than most people think.
When it comes to necklifts, there are numerous options.Which one is best for any particular person is determined by how much loose neck skin one has. Some jowling and a little loose neck skin may only need a limited facelift. If there is a lot of loose neck skin, then a fuller form of a facelift is really needed. This is a powerful neck changer and can produce some really dramatic results. For those that want the least invasive amount of surgery but with a dramatic change, the turkeyneck can also be directly cut out in a procedure appropriately called the direct necklift.
The turkeyneck is not a desired culinary item on the bird and many people don’t like it on themselves either. While year round turtlenecks are always an option, a little skillful carving may be a better solution.
Dr. Barry Eppley