What is a Neck Lift?

As a natural part of the aging process, it’s quite common to notice excess fat and/or sagging skin in the neck area, resulting in a loss of that crisp, 90-degree angle that defines a youthful profile. A sagging neck can occur for a variety of reasons. Excess fatty tissue may be keeping you from the look you’d prefer, or you may have experienced massive weight loss that has left excess, hanging neck skin. You may also simply be seeing changes in your appearance due to your natural genetics. Regardless of the cause, excess fat and unwanted skin in the neck area can be handily addressed with neck lift surgery. Dr. Zenn has extensive experience with this procedure and can help you enjoy a more youthful and alluring look. To learn more, reach out to our practice and speak with a helpful member of our team to set up your initial consultation.

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"During recovery, I was able to call Dr. Zenn directly and text photos. This was convenient as I flew from Ohio to have this surgery."

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Developing Your Treatment Plan

Your personal treatment plan will be developed based on aesthetic evaluation, your desires, and the amount of downtime you have available for recovery. When you are ready to move forward, you will schedule your pre-operative appointment and surgery.

Your Consultation

Dr. Zenn’s extensive experience with facial surgery enables him to utilize a variety of strategies and techniques when performing neck lift surgery. There is no cookie-cutter solution to this problem, as every patient’s anatomy is different and requires individual evaluation and treatment. During your initial consultation, we’ll encourage you to openly share your aesthetic concerns with Dr. Zenn. You’ll get the chance to explore your cosmetic concerns while getting to know Dr. Zenn. 

Once he has learned about your health background and has a clear understanding of your goals and expectations, he will examine you to determine if a neck lift alone will create your ideal results or if the surgery should be performed alongside other procedures. Following your exam Dr. Zenn will share his extensive gallery of before and after photos with you, showing you past patients who had similar concerns to yours and explaining what he did to correct their problems. 

Dr. Zenn’s Approach to Neck Lift Surgery

Dr. Zenn may recommend one of a variety of treatments for problem areas of the neck.

Liposuction of the Neck

Liposuction of the neck area works best if the loss of neck definition is due to excess fat and the skin remains elastic. This is typically ideal for younger patients aged 25 to 35. Since the procedure is performed with small stab incisions, recovery will involve some swelling and bruising but little scarring.

Isolated Neck Surgery

This surgery allows Dr. Zenn to tighten specific neck muscles and directly remove fat from the neck. No skin needs to be removed, as the redefined depth of the neck allows the skin to re-drape smoothly. Once the skin settles in its new location it establishes a more defined and youthful appearance. This surgery is performed with a single hidden incision under the chin.

Chin Implants

A weak chin can sometimes contribute to poor neck definition, and enhanced projection can provide more support and a more defined appearance. Chin implants can correct weak chin projection and support any excess skin for an enhanced sense of definition. Chin implants can also balance your facial proportions for a more aesthetically pleasing look. During the procedure, Dr. Zenn will place a chin implant through a hidden incision in your mouth, enhancing the projection of your chin. Pain from this procedure is minimal, and you can expect some tightness and swelling during the first week. Once your swelling has subsided, you’ll enjoy permanent results.

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Addressing Aging in the Neck and Mid-Face

Patients seeking a neck lift in Brier Creek often have other prominent signs of aging in their mid and lower face that would not be corrected by a neck lift alone.

These changes can include:

  • Drooping and deflated, flattened cheeks
  • A poorly defined jawline with obvious “jowls”
  • Descent of the eyebrows and nasal tip and elongation of the earlobes
  • A separation between the lower eyelid and cheek with lower eyelid “bags”
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Why Choose Dr. Zenn?

  • Dr. Zenn focuses primarily on facial rejuvenation procedures in his practice
  • Dr. Zenn completed additional fellowship training in Head & Neck and Facial Surgery after his prestigious Harvard Plastic Surgery residency
  • He served as Co-Director of Duke University’s Facial Reanimation Program, a one-of-a-kind regional program that treats complex congenital and trauma cases by recreating smiles
  • Dr. Zenn served as an editorial board member for the medical publication Head and Neck Surgery
  • Dr. Zenn is rated as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor for Cosmetic Surgery
  • Dr. Zenn is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

The Non-Surgical Neck Lift

Zenn Plastic Surgery also offers a variety of non-surgical products that can target aesthetic concerns isolated to the neck. You’ll get the opportunity to explore these procedures during your initial consultation with Dr. Zen.


If you are exploring a neck lift because you want to get rid of a double chin or jowls, you may benefit from Kybella, an injectable solution that helps to eliminate neck fat under the chin and jawline without surgery. The deoxycholic acid in Kybella destroys fat cells permanently.

Kybella injections are performed in the office and without the need for anesthesia. After your session, you’ll experience a mild burning sensation. It will only last for up to 30 minutes and can be mitigated with an ice pack. Swelling will be present for a few days, and a minority of patients have associated bruising.

For best results, multiple treatments of Kybella are recommended over a period of months. Dr. Zenn can examine you and give you an estimate as to the recommended number of treatments for your particular anatomy.

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BOTOX® (or other neurotoxins)

Sometimes a sagging neck is not caused by excess fat but by a problem with active neck muscles. In fact, when neck muscles contract, they can cause the appearance of excess skin in the area, even when this excess skin isn’t actually present. 

For these patients, BOTOX can address the problem. By relaxing these superficial neck muscles, BOTOX allows your skin to sit more smoothly in the natural contours of your neck for a more supple and youthful appearance. Not all providers of BOTOX offer this injection. Dr. Zenn is an expert in the anatomy of the neck and has been safely treating neck bands with BOTOX for more than a decade. BOTOX takes effect in three to five days and generally lasts three to six months.

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Creating Your Ideal Results

Before your neck lift in Raleigh, you’ll spend extensive time in consultation with Dr. Zenn. He wants each patient to understand the cause of their neck concerns and how enhancements in other aspects of their face can improve the final overall result. A neck lift is automatically part of a facelift; a facelift involves more extensive changes in the mid-lower face. 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.

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