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What Causes Turkey Neck and 2 Surgical Treatments To Get Rid Of It

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57 Years Old Neck lift

“Turkey neck” is a term used for sagging skin on the neck, known by the more scientific term “lateral ptosis of the frontal neck derma”.

As the neck muscles weaken and lose their elasticity and ability to stay tight, they take on a sagging and wrinkled appearance resembling a Turkey’s Neck. 

Artiste Plastic Surgery offers neck lift surgery in Sydney that can help get rid of your turkey neck and restore a more youthful appearance. We discuss its top causes today:

Origin Of The “Turkey Neck” Problem

The primary anatomical culprit behind the loose, sagging skin developing under the chin and on the neck is the platysma muscle.

The platysma muscle is a wide, sheet-like muscle extending from the upper chest and shoulder area, up across the jawline. It’s responsible for expressions like pulling down the mouth corners.

Over time, repeated contraction of this muscle, in combination with a natural loss of skin elasticity due to ageing leads to vertical bands forming on the neck.

The superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS), or the connective tissue layer that supports the facial structure weakens over time. This phenomenon, alongside changes in fat distribution in the neck area leads to a sagging appearance, or a Turkey Neck.

Your Lifestyle

How you live, what kind of life you lead, your dieting habits, and your stress levels all affect your skin. Exposure to UV light is the leading cause of wrinkles. 

Staying out in the sun for long hours each day without proper protection will contribute to sagging skin and wrinkles later on. Avoid getting wrinkles early by applying sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB light on your face and neck before going out. 

Another factor that contributes to sagging skin is smoking. Frequent smoking can cause your blood vessels to narrow. 

Since blood vessels carry oxygen, nutrients and vitamins to your skin, if they become too narrow, your skin will suffer from the lack of proper nutrients and start to sag and show wrinkles. 

You’ll need cosmetic surgery and a neck lift sooner rather than later if you don’t make changes to your lifestyle.


The body slows down its production of collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin as we age, proteins that provide structure and bounce.

Because of this, the skin loses its structure and youthful fullness, resulting in wrinkles, sagging skin and changes in texture. While the degradation of these compounds occurs naturally over time, it can be accelerated by air pollution, smoking and other environmental factors. 


Genetic predisposition is a key intrinsic factor that influences skin ageing, sagging, and wrinkle formation.

Genes affect the skin’s function and structure, including collagen and elastin production, proteins that make the skin elastic and youthful-looking. Inherited variations in these genes can lead to a higher disposition to sagging skin.

Some people also have a naturally slower breakdown of the abovementioned proteins, delaying the visible signs of ageing like wrinkles and sagging, including the development of Turkey Neck.

Loss Of Bone Density

While we often focus on collagen and elastin loss for skin laxity, a recent study sheds light on another contributing factor: bone density. “The Relationship between Facial Bone Density and Skin Laxity” by Sam Shuster explores the connection between these two aspects and reveals that a decrease in facial bone density can lead to increased skin laxity.

This finding is relevant to the development of Turkey Neck. Facial bones, including the jawbone and cheekbones, offer a structural framework supporting the overlying skin.

Bone density naturally weakens as we age, and also contributes to skin sagging in the neck and jawline. With less bone support, the skin loses its youthful tightness, leading to the visible looseness and formation of lines associated with Turkey Neck.

How To Get Rid Of Turkey Neck?

before and after image comparison of a woman who's undergone turkey neck surgery

Neck Lift Surgery 

In some cases, a client seeks a plastic surgery neck lift to address skin sagging and fat deposits in the neck region. 

A neck lift is performed by making an incision behind the ear along the posterior hairline combined with a small incision under the chin. The chin incision allows access to trim glands, tighten the muscle and remove fat. 

At Artiste Plastic Surgery, patients have sought a neck lift to restore the elegant transition from face to neck. This procedure results in a sharp neckline with better contour and will give our clients confidence from every angle.

Neck Lift Surgery Combined With A Face Lift

Technically, a neck lift can be performed alone but is often part of a facelift procedure.

Adding a facelift to a neck lift is a complementary procedure that will transform your entire look.  It involves an incision in front of the ear and along the hairline in the temple. However, it does not need to be done at the same time. This option is a personal choice based on the outcome the clients want.

If the telltale signs of turkey neck are affecting your confidence, combining a neck lift with a facelift can offer a transformative solution. A sharper, contoured neckline and lifted face work in tandem to restore a more youthful appearance, dramatically minimising sagginess and wrinkles.

At Artiste Plastic Surgery, our Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Dr Jack Zoumaras, understands the complexities of facial ageing and the unique concerns associated with turkey neck. With his expertise and international training, you can trust that your neck lift procedure will be tailored to deliver the most natural-looking and rejuvenating results possible.

Ready to explore your options? Schedule a consultation with us today and discover how we can help you achieve a revitalised, confident look.

Disclaimer: At Artiste Plastic Surgery, our Plastic Surgeons led by Dr Jack Zoumaras have been trained to the highest possible degree. All plastic surgery has risks and it is always advised to get a second opinion. Risks are very real and we cannot guarantee any result. Recovery varies between 1-4 weeks. Results are illustrated as a guide only. All risks are managed and any need for revision surgery or complications (1-5%) can be managed by our specialist plastic surgeons. More information on our website. 

Any statements on how you will feel is based on Level V Evidence:

Level V:  How you will feel after plastic surgery varies between individuals, depending on psychological and physical factors. Our internal research is based on how patients in our practice feel after surgery.

The blogs are not a substitute for a medical consultation and do not form as part of the doctor to patient relationship.


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Artiste Plastic Surgery is an Award Winning Specialist Plastic Surgery practice led by internationally trained Dr. Jack Zoumaras, Plastic Surgeon and Peer Reviewed Face Surgeon

Artiste offers the latest Cosmetic Surgical Procedures of the Face, Breast and Body, inspired from leading centres around the world.


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