How to Get Rid of a Turkey Neck – Surgery or Non-Surgical Solutions?

Different Options to Correct a Turkey Neck

A Turkey neck is characterised by the formation of wrinkles and sagging skin on your neck. This skin concern occurs when the muscles of your neck, known as platysma muscles, begin to separate as a result of age-related weakening. Over time, the skin in your neck loses its elasticity – the ability to stretch and maintain its firmness. Fortunately, there is a broad range of surgical and non-surgical methods that can help reduce the appearance of turkey neck.

Dr Mark Gittos is a specialist plastic surgeon and facelift and neck lift expert in New Zealand. In this article, we will discuss the surgical and non-surgical options available to correct a turkey neck.

Download Dr Mark Gittos’ Guide to Facial Rejuvenation Surgery – Surgical and Non Surgical Anti-Ageing

Guide Facial Rejuvenation

Causes of Turkey Neck

The most common causes of this skin concern include:

  • Ageing
  • Genetics
  • Poor skincare regimen
  • Prolonged sun exposure
  • Stress

Surgical Solutions to Correct Turkey Neck

The following surgical procedures can help reduce the appearance of a turkey neck:

  • Mini Facelift: this is a minimally invasive plastic surgery procedure that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin with minimal side effects and scarring compared to a regular facelift. It can help improve your skin texture and define your jawline. During this procedure, Dr Gittos will create incisions in front of your ears that extend from your hairline down to the bottom of your earlobe. After creating the incisions, Dr Gittos will pull the skin and tissues up and toward your ear to achieve a lifted and younger-looking appearance. In most cases, excess skin and tissue are removed to tighten the skin. The benefits of this surgical procedure include fewer side effects, minimal scarring, and shorter recovery time
  • Full Facelift: this surgical procedure addresses fine lines and wrinkles in your entire face including the forehead, eyes, brows, neck, and jawline. A full facelift is not just one surgery. It requires different techniques to address different areas of the face. This procedure requires a longer recovery time because it is more complex. The benefit of a full facelift is that it addresses a broad range of skin concerns such as jowls, double chin, sagging facial skin, deep wrinkles, and other age-related concerns. While a full facelift requires more surgical incisions, the scars are usually less noticeable since most incisions are created in areas behind your ear or along your hairline
  • Neck Lift: a neck lift can help address excess fat and sagging skin in your lower face and neck area. This surgical procedure can be performed with sedation and local anaesthesia, or general anaesthesia. During the procedure, Dr Gittos creates a tiny incision behind each ear and under your chin. If there is excess fat at the level of the neck, Dr Gittos might perform a procedure called liposuction. This makes use of special suction equipment that is inserted into the incisions to remove fat deposits. If you have sagging skin, Dr Gittos will reposition the underlying tissue in your neck and trim the excess skin to achieve a lifted appearance. Once the desired contour is achieved, he will close the incisions using sutures. After the procedure, you will need to wait for several weeks for the swelling and bruising to subside
  • Mini Neck Lift: this surgical procedure tightens and removes sagging skin in your neck and under the chin area. By repositioning the soft tissues, a mini neck lift redefines the appearance of your neck and jawline area, resulting in a smoother and youthful contour. Unlike a traditional neck lift, a mini neck lift has a shorter recovery time. If your skin is moderately elastic and you have only a small amount of sagging skin, this procedure is right for you. During the procedure, Dr Gittos will create small incisions at both earlobe curves and behind the ears. The incisions are then extended up to your hairline. To lift the area, excess skin is removed and the tissues are repositioned. Once the desired appearance is achieved, the skin is sutured using stitches

Non-surgical Solutions for Turkey Neck

turkey neck

In some cases, non-surgical solutions may help correct slightly sagging neck skin but are not recommended for turkey neck:

  • Dermal Fillers: this non-surgical solution makes use of a special substance that naturally occurs in your body in order to instantly add volume and fullness to the target area. It can help restore a more youthful look and greatly improve the appearance of your neck area with no downtime needed. When injected into your skin, dermal fillers fill in sunken areas and stimulate the production of collagen to achieve a plumping and rejuvenating effect. With increased collagen production in your neck area, the appearance of creases and skin sagging is reduced gradually. Dermal fillers can also make use of other ingredients to add volume and fullness to the target area. Depending on the filler ingredient used, the results of the treatment can last anywhere between 6-12 months. In its early stages, the appearance of a turkey neck can be reduced with dermal fillers
  • Anti-wrinkle Injections: they work by relaxing the muscles responsible for creating creases, lines, and wrinkles in your neck area. This in turn restores your skin’s youthful glow without the need for a longer recovery time. Depending on your skin condition, the effects of anti-wrinkle injections can last between 3-4 months or more. Unlike dermal fillers which produce immediate results, the results of anti-wrinkle injections will gradually appear. This is usually noticeable after 5-7 days. In general, the treatment produces less discomfort since it makes use of super tiny needles to administer the muscle relaxant. To minimise discomfort, a numbing cream will be applied before the injections. An ice compress can also be applied to the area. After the treatment, you can immediately resume your daily routine
  • Thread Lift: this procedure can help take years off your face by placing threads or sutures under your skin to achieve a lifted appearance. The presence of threads under your skin also helps stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin, which are special proteins necessary for the maintenance of the skin’s structures and elasticity. The procedure can effectively address signs of skin ageing in different facial areas such as around the eyes, lips, cheeks, chin, jawline, and neck. Since a thread lift is non-surgical, it has a shorter recovery time and lower risk of complications compared to surgical procedures. However, a thread lift can only address minimal signs of skin ageing. For optimal results, a thread lift can also be combined with other anti-ageing procedures
  • Kybella Injections: Kybella is a non-surgical solution for stubborn fat deposits under your chin. This treatment is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of a double chin. Kybella contains a special type of acid that occurs naturally in your body and leads to fat absorption and breakdown. When injected into the target area, it breaks down fat cells by disrupting their membranes, resulting in cell breakdown. Over time, new cells appear and produce new collagen in the area. This in turn causes your skin to become rejuvenated and more toned. Depending on your condition, you need at least 3-6 treatments to achieve optimal results. Immediately after your treatment, you can resume your work and daily activities
  • Ultherapy: this non-invasive procedure might be effective for the treatment of lines and wrinkles in your neck and other body areas. Ultherapy works by delivering a precise amount of ultrasound energy or sound waves beneath the skin, using the right temperature to stimulate collagen production. Over time, the treated area becomes smoother, tighter, vibrant, and younger-looking. During the procedure, the practitioner cleanses the target area first to remove any oil and residue. Once dry, an ultrasound gel will be applied to the area to amplify the transmission of sound waves. Ultrasound energy is then delivered to the skin using an applicator which may cause you to experience a warm and tingling sensation. There is usually no downtime associated with the treatment so you may resume your work and other regular activities afterward
  • CoolSculpting: this non-surgical treatment freezes the fat cells in the target area, resulting in cell breakdown. Once the fat cells begin to break down, they die and are removed by your liver naturally. CoolSculpting is a safe and effective fat-freezing method because it specifically targets the fat cells without affecting the surrounding tissues. In addition, the device used during your treatment has built-in safety measures which allow precise temperature control. Depending on the size of the body area needing treatment, the entire procedure can take 30-60 minutes to complete. For best results, you will need multiple CoolSculpting treatments since one session can only remove up to 25% of fat cells in the target area. During the treatment, you may feel a slight pinching or pulling sensation as the applicator passes over the treatment site

FAQs about Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatment for Turkey Neck

turkey neck

What is the best treatment for turkey neck?

  • The best treatment for turkey neck will depend on several factors such as your skin condition, desired results, overall health condition, and others. During your consultation with Dr Gittos, you will undergo a detailed assessment of your expectations and general health. This helps create a customised treatment plan specific to your needs.

Can turkey neck be corrected without surgery?

  • There are various non-surgical treatments for turkey neck such as thread lift, Kybella, dermal fillers, anti-wrinkle injections, Ultherapy, CoolSculpting, and other procedures. However, significant cases of loose neck skin or turkey neck can only be corrected with the help of plastic surgery.

How long does it take to recover from turkey neck surgery?

  • The recovery time from turkey neck surgery varies from patient to patient. This will depend on several factors such as your skin condition, the extent of the surgery, the number of procedures performed, and your healing ability. In general, you can achieve optimal recovery from a neck lift after 4-6 weeks.

Will losing weight help turkey neck?

  • A consistent exercise regimen and a healthy diet can help reduce the appearance of plump turkey neck by reducing the fat deposits in the area. However, it will take some time for the results to become noticeable and probably won’t help sagging skin and loose muscles.

Can turkey neck skin be tightened without surgery?

  • While the turkey neck can be addressed using non-surgical procedures such as thread lift, Kybella, dermal fillers, anti-wrinkle injections, Ultherapy, CoolSculpting, and other procedures, the best, long term results can only be achieved with the help of plastic surgery.

How do I fix my saggy turkey neck?

  • Plastic surgery is the most efficient solution to correct turkey neck. Dr Gittos might recommend you undergo a facelift or neck lift.

Is Botox good for turkey neck?

  • Botox is a form of anti-wrinkle injection or muscle relaxant. This non-surgical treatment works by relaxing the muscles responsible for creating creases, lines, and wrinkles in your neck area. It is not a useful solution for a Turkey Neck.  Specifically, Botox inhibits the transmission of signals going to the muscles of your neck. This in turn prevents muscular contractions, thereby, reducing the appearance of creases, lines, and wrinkles.

Can you reverse turkey neck?

  • There are surgical and non-surgical options that can help reduce the appearance of turkey neck and restore the youthful state of your skin.

What causes a turkey neck?

  • Several factors can lead to the development of turkey neck such as ageing, genetics, poor skincare regimen and prolonged sun exposure

Further Reading about Turkey Neck Solutions

Medical References about Turkey Neck and Neck Lift

About Dr Mark Gittos FRACS (Plast) – New Zealand Plastic Surgeon 

Practice locations in Herne Bay Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty – Kerikeri, Whangarei, New Plymouth & Tauranga

Dr Mark Gittos is a leading Specialist Plastic Surgeon and operates a practice in Herne Bay, Auckland and in the UK. The practice focuses on both surgical and non-surgical procedures, each designed to help restore, improve or change a physical characteristic or problem. The first step in every case is to talk through your personal requirements and explore all the options, before deciding on the most effective solution.

Dr Mark Gittos offers high quality, natural-looking cosmetic surgery results and is highly experienced in BreastBody and Face Surgery having performed over 4000 Surgeries in the last 26 years.  With worldwide expertise Dr Gittos is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men & women.

Naturally, before any treatment is begun, we will explain clearly the advantages and risk factors; so that you have the information you need to make an informed decision that is best for you. Visit the practice to find out more.


Do your Research

What to Bring to your Plastic Surgeon Consultation

  • Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
  • Take lots of notes and read the documents provided thoroughly
  • Dress in simple clothes as you may need to undress for examination
  • Bring your medical referral and any relevant medical documents or test results

Book your Initial Surgery Consultation

  • A Referral from your GP or specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation without a GP Referral
  • Email us or Call on 09 529 5352 to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment.
  • Book a consultation with Dr Gittos by paying the Consultation Fee – $325 incl GST

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