Expert Doctor

Isolated Cervicoplasty

Ritu Chopra, MD

Beverly Hills, CA

Isolated Cervicoplasty

Isolated cervicoplasty rejuvenates and improves the central neck area and is performed through a submental incision. A cervicoplasty is essentially a neck lift and recontours the neck line.



There are generally three things that need to be addressed when a cervicoplasty or neck lift is performed:

  1. The first issue to be addressed is the muscles AKA the platysma. The surgeon needs to either divide the platysma or sew it together to make a sturdy foundation.
  2. The second thing is addressing the underlying fat. This can be done either by liposuction or a direct excision of the fat.
  3. The final item is addressing the laxity of the skin by making incisions behind the ear and pulling the skin back.

In general, addressing these three things is what composes the cervicoplasty. An isolated cervicoplasty is not really its own procedure. It is only performed when the surgeon does a specific technique or different approach that requires an isolated cervicoplasty.



An isolated cervicoplasty targets the central area of the neck. The first step is a platysmaplasty so an isolated cervicoplasty can be used where the surgeon makes an incision or Z-plasty of the neck.

In general, the isolated cervicoplasty is an incision that goes vertically from the bottom of the chin down to the cartilage or the trachea. Most patients are not a fan of this incision unless they are a man that can hide it in the beard. This technique covers all three components listed above by addressing the skin laxity centrally, the fat centrally, and the muscle centrally.



One way to make the scar a bit smaller or less noticeable is by doing a Z-plasty with the scar so it will not be a vertical line. It actually will be sort of a zigzag so others will not be able to see it as well.



Even when using the Z-plasty, it is still mostly men who use an isolated cervicoplasty. Most men say they just want the neck gone. They do not care about the jowls or anything else which is good since an isolated cervicoplasty does not address the jowls. It just addresses the central area of the neck.



If a woman does not like the fact that the incision goes straight down, the surgeon can make incisions in the back of the ear and then tunnel down and pull laterally from both sides. This is just another variation of the isolated cervicoplasty. It addresses the same things as the platysmaplasty, and also addresses the fat, but it does it from a lateral point of view.



Addressing the muscle is a surgical decision on the part of the doctor. If the patient just wants to address the laxity of the skin and the fat, there are options like Kybella that can address the fat and do skin tightening. On top of that, there are other noninvasive choices like Ulthera and Thermage. These other options can produce similar results but not as dramatic as surgical results. The noninvasive procedures can give a 30% improvement while a surgical procedure can give up to 70% to 90% improvement.



The main limitation is the fact that the patient might not like the placement of the scar with an isolated cervicoplasty. It is up to the patient to decide if they do not mind the placement of the scar with this technique.



All of the risks are centered on scarring and the incision because the scarring might not heal well. It might be red, raised, hypertrophic, or keloid. It can be visible so that is the major downside.



There is not a lot of pain but there definitely will be some swelling. There is about three to four weeks of recovery time and then about four to six weeks before exercising can be resumed. The scar will mature in about six to nine months. In general, it takes about four weeks for maximum healing.



As mentioned earlier, there will be a little bit of swelling involved but the results are pretty immediate. The results of an isolated cervicoplasty can last seven to ten years.



While not really its own procedure, an isolated cervicoplasty does target the central area of the neck and is mainly a male-oriented technique. Patients should consult with an experienced surgeon to see if they are an ideal candidate to rejuvenate the central neck area with an isolated cervicoplasty.


Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team - MA

Based on an exclusive interview with Ritu Chopra, MD in Beverly Hills, CA