Perhaps the most frequent complaint of women and men concerning their face is actually the appearance of their neck. The severity of which depends on age, body weight and often genetics. We often hear patients tell us “I inherited my mother’s/father’s or grandparents neck. ” Deformities can range from mild loosening of skin- (often appreciated when patients look down to check their cell phone) to the dreaded ” turkey gobbler” deformity. The double chin appearance often is noted with excess fat in the upper neck below the chin. All of these problems have different solutions that have to be tailored to the patient.
Submental ( below the chin) fat in the setting of good skin tone can be treated with liposuction which involves small incisions and suctioning of fat. This can be done under local anesthesia but does involve minor surgery. A recent new treatment is an injectable product called Kybella which can be injected directly into the offending fat under the chin. It does not involve surgery- only a tiny pinprick. Generally it takes 2 treatments done 6 weeks apart. The fat is literally melted and absorbed by your body.
When you need tightening of the skin alone or in combination with fat removal, non-invasive tightening with Thermage can improve skin tone. It involves a minor amount of discomfort but no needles or incisions. More aggressive, but minimally invasive treatment of more severe skin laxity can be achieved with ThermiTight where radio frequency based heat is introduced with small spaghetti sized probes through small needle holes under local anesthesia . The heat helps tighten the collagen beneath the skin without injuring the skin.
The most invasive surgical treatments are reserved for more significant deformities. Often, excess skin needs removal and abundant fat can be removed in conjunction with repairing the thin underlying muscles that have separated leading to prominent bands in the neck. Procedures range from platysmaplasty or neck lift which involves an inconspicuous incision under the chin and often, incisions behind the ear. Recovery is longer( up to 10 days) and does involve anesthesia. The most invasive treatment is the facelift, usually reserved for older patients or younger patients with significant skin excess. Many patients come in saying” I hate my neck” but in reality need more comprehensive procedures to address jowls and loose cheek skin to achieve the optimal rejuvenation. This involves incisions in front of the ear as well as behind to properly remove excess face and neck skin and fat and repair the muscle.
The surgeons at Raleigh Plastic Surgery Center will be able to design a treatment plan that is optimal for you. Call 919-872-2616 today to schedule a consultation and receive for information.
By Glenn Lyle, MD