Many of you have asked about the loose skin or "wattle" in the neck region. Wattle not only makes you look somewhat older, it also makes some women so conscious that they are afraid of wearing certain outfits. While some people may find a wattle attractive, most do not. In reality, many people want to rid themselves of neck “wattle” to look younger or to wear certain clothes or accessories more comfortably, without having facelifts. They may feel they are too young or old for an invasive procedure, are not able to afford the prolonged recovery time, or only want targeted improvement of their neck region. (Related article: Facelift)
Patients now have less invasive options to rid the “wattle,” according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Through targeted neck rejuvenation techniques, it is possible to get rid of wattle. “Not every patient who seeks to correct facial aging wants or requires a facelift,” said James Zins, MD, author of the study. “Today’s patients are extremely active and may not want to undergo invasive surgery where they are unable to work or play for several weeks. With this alternative, many patients look younger without the financial cost and downtime associated with a standard facelift.”
As people age, they often lose definition in their chin and jaw line due to fatty deposits, weakening muscles and loose skin where the neck and chin once made a right angle. By improving the neck region, patients’ profiles look years younger and clothes and fashion accessories such as ties, turtlenecks, and necklaces are worn more comfortably.
Skin in the neck region differs from skin on other parts of the body because it maintains its elasticity and will contract after it is released from underlying muscle. Fat removal through an incision under the chin and behind the ears can be combined with muscle tightening and freeing the skin from the muscle, depending on the degree of aging and individual patient characteristics.
Younger patients, who generally have more skin elasticity and have a “wattle” because of an overload in fat deposits just under the skin, often benefit from liposuction alone. Middle-aged patients generally have fat deposits, as well as, loose neck muscles and skin, requiring the fat removal and muscle tightening technique. Patients older than 75 usually need more contouring in the neck region and require a facelift where excess skin is removed.
“Approximately one in 10 patients is a good candidate for neck rejuvenation – but patients must maintain realistic expectations,” said Dr. Zins. “These techniques are targeted specifically for the neck and chin areas only. The mid-face and upper-face are clearly not improved by these procedures.”
Good estimates for cost of a wattle plastic surgery treatment will depend on where you have the procedure, which plastic surgeon you pick, and your individual situation, but expect to spend at least a few thousand dollars.