January 15th, 2013 Miguel A. Delgado Jr, MD
The neck seems to be one of the first places that show signs of aging. It is definitely an area that disturbs most San Francisco Bay Area people, with descriptive terms such as turkey neck or turkey waddle. In order to tighten this area, a neck lift is performed. This is where the cosmetic plastic surgeon makes incisions under the chin or behind the ears or both, in order to access the neck muscle called the platysma.
The platysma is a broad based flat thin muscular sheet, covered with fat that originates from the fascia of the pectoralis major and deltoid muscles. It reaches from the neck to the inferior border of the mandible (lower jawbone). As we age, the neck forms platysmal bands, this is when the platysma tends to separate in the mid-line and lose elasticity, and it thickens forming prominent folds of skin in front of the neck.
Platysmal plication is where the surgeon sutures the ends of the platysma muscle back together; this is usually done in combination with a lower facelift.