By Dr Leow Aik Ming
The most common signs of an aging neck are the development of vertical muscle bands, sagging skin and excess fat deposits. Muscle bands (platysmal bands) occur due to the regular use of the platysma muscle, with the vertical lines representing the muscle edges. Excess fat is also a common issue, and can be considered age-related or due to weight problems, because in many cases the development of these fat deposits is the result of hormonal changes in the body.
A neck lift, addresses wrinkles and sagging skin on the neck caused by aging or weight loss. The objective of neck lift is to remove excess skin, tighten underlying muscles, and improve the contour of the jawline. Neck lift is typically performed in conjunction with a facelift, but it can be done as a stand-alone treatment. A neck lift could also be called neck rejuvenation that comprises of variety of invasive or non-invasive procedures to improve the visible signs of aging in the jawline and neck. The best way to treat the signs of aging in the neck is through a custom-tailored, individualized treatment plan depending upon the presenting problems and desirable outcome.
These procedures include:
- Cervicoplasty is the cosmetic surgical procedure used to removes excess skin and subcutaneous fat tissue to redefine the neck and jaw for more taut appearance; the skin is then re-draped over neck muscles. The suture line is hidden in the hair-bearing skin and natural folds of the face.
- Platysmaplasty is a surgical procedure that removes or alters neck muscles (platysma muscles) by bringing the muscle edges toward each other, and suturing them together.
- Liposuction can be performed either on a standalone basis, or as part of a neck lift. During neck liposuction, the excess fat is physically removed from the area with the use of a cannula and tumescent fluid. If vertical muscle bands are not an issue and if the skin is sufficiently elastic, a neck lift may not be needed during this procedure.
- Thread lift is gaining popular as a “minimally invasive procedure” for the face, neck, or jowls. Patient who seeks improvement in the contour of the neck without undergoing invasive surgery may opt for thread lift. These threads, which have small cones/hooks on them, are passed under the skin via a large needle. The cones/hooks then anchor the skin from the under surface and pull to re-suspend the skin in a lifted, more youthful position.
- Botox injection is a non-invasive procedure to relax parts of the platysma muscle that are responsible for the “band” appearance or fullness look around the neck.
- Kybella injection is the first FDA approved injectable for removing a double chin. The active ingredient in Kybella is synthetic deoxycholic acid that will destroy fat cells once injected into the fat beneath the chin. Once these fats cells are destroyed, they will be removed by the lymphatic system.