From youth to young adulthood to a more mature age, the requirements of a pleasing neck are the same: a well defined mandibular line, a proud chin, absence of excess submental fat, no platysmal folds, a narrow, long neck, and defined sternocleidomastoid muscles.
I have always said and taught other plastic surgeons that “the more beautiful the neck, the more graceful the face.” It is something I always remember when I perform facelifts and neck lifts. Indeed, the two go hand-in-glove. Aging of the neck begins to become visible, sadly, in the late 20’s. Often, it is just a glimpse of a slight pouch on the side of the mouth, a little fullness where, soon enough, a jowl will manifest itself. Sometimes, it is just a little puffiness below the chin, an early fold of skin or band of muscle in the neck. By the 30’s and 40’s, such changes advance, not helped by the inevitable injury caused by ultraviolet light. The fact that most of us forget to protect the skin of the neck and chest with sunscreen conspires to exacerbate the aging changes, with thicker, more sun-damaged skin, fine and medium wrinkles, brown and red spots, broken vessels and lack of elasticity. For too long, surgeons have concentrated on performing facelifts, but neglecting the importance of paying just as much attention to the neck and chest. Surgically as well as with lotions, potions and lasers to improve the condition of the skin.
Someone (female), once said “my biggest mistake in life was not enjoying my beautiful neck every single day in my 20’s and 30’s. Oh, how I took it for granted!”
Analysis of the neck
Defining features of a youthful neck:
(a). Pronounced chin: level or just anterior to the line drawn from the lower lip in men and just behind in women.
(b). Well-defined mandibular border
with a submandibular shadow.
(c). Well-defined mandibular angle.
(d). A distinct depression between the anterior border of
the sternocleidomastoid muscle and the mandible.
(e). A distinct sternocleidomastoid muscle.
(f). A distinct cervicomental angle.
(g). Prominence of the thyroid cartilage. The skin is smooth with an absence of platysmal bands.
"I wanted a limited facelift to improve my jawline and my neck. Dr. Patel spent a long time explaining everything, for which I was grateful. I saw his results and was amazed. I have not been disappointed! My friends think I look 10 years younger now. Superb surgeon. Thank you. Jenny A. 53 Yrs Old with weak neck - Salt Lake City, UT
Classification of Neck Aging
Dedo classification of the neck.
(a). Class I.Well-defined mental angle with little submental fat, good skin and platysma tone.
(b). Class II. Early laxity of cervical skin without significant submental fat or loss of platysma tone. (c). Class III. Subcutaneous layer of fat.
(d). Class IV. Platysmal pathology is the predominant change but there may also be preplatysmal and subplatysmal fat.
(e). Class V. Retrognathia.
(f). Class VI. Abnormally low hyoid. This type of patient has a “short neck” although excess fat may disguise a normally placed hyoid.
"I had a excellent eye lift done by Dr. Patel. He knows what he is doing and is very pleasant. Dr.Patel was easy to get an appointment and he works with you. The office staff was very pleasant and made you feel calm." D. Gull Highly recommended for eye lift surgery - Salt Lake City, UT