Facial plast Surg 2001; 17(2): 099-108
DOI: 10.1055/s-2001-17758
Copyright © 2001 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Tel.: +1(212) 584-4662

Rejuvenation of the Aging Neck

Jonathan M. Sykes
  • Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
12 October 2001 (online)


Patients seeking rejuvenation of the face are influenced by youthful faces commonly seen in the media and entertainment world. Although standards of beauty evolve over time, classical facial features such as symmetry, high cheek bones, and an angular jaw-neck line remain as ideals.

As the human face ages, a relatively consistent series of anatomic events occurs. Although the rate of change varies from person to person, the process of facial aging is predictable. This process involves a loss of tone of the elastic fibers of the face, resulting in sagging of the skin and soft tissues of the face and neck. Additionally, aging of the lower face often includes ptosis of the soft tissues of the chin and banding or cording of the muscles of the anterior neck.

Aesthetic rejuvenation of the face and neck involves repositioning of poorly supported soft tissues. To accurately treat facial aging, an individualized diagnosis and anatomically based problem list is compiled. This should include analysis of the skin quality, bone structure, amount and distribution of subcutaneous fat, and relationship of the superficial muscles to the overlying skin. After a detailed diagnosis is made, a surgical treatment plan is outlined to improve the face and restore a youthful appearance.

This article describes the applied anatomy associated with facial aging and explains the author's specific techniques to obtain a natural postoperative appearance. Avoidance of common problems associated with aging face surgery is emphasized.