Many patients ask me if there is a single, universal technique that can help keep them looking younger. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is always no. Every face ages differently and every patient has their own distinctive areas of concern, so there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” facial anti-aging treatment. Take, for example, the neck. Even in this one relatively small and well-defined area there can be a variety of different contributing factors in play, each with their own specific methods of treatment. If a patient comes to me with concerns about how the signs of facial aging are affecting their neck, we first need to identify exactly which of these factors is involved so that we can determine the course of treatment that will yield the best possible neck rejuvenation results.
Interestingly, when sagging folds of skin hang down on the sides of the face, below the line of the lower jaw, is it usually not a problem with the neck at all. As we age, our tissues become less elastic and fat deposits in the face break down. Gravity then tugs the loose, excess skin downward into sagging jowls. While these sagging jowls make the neck appear older and less firm, the solution is actually in the face itself. A full facelift procedure can lift the underlying tissues and remove the excess skin, giving the neck a smoother contour even as it gives the entire face a more youthful look.
The condition commonly known as a “double chin” occurs when a layer of submental fat forms in the area between the chin and the throat. While it can be caused by weight gain, it can also be the simple result of gravity, as loosening fat deposits naturally settle in the lower regions of the face and neck. Patients with good skin elasticity can often have these fat deposits removed through targeted neck liposuction techniques. Using tiny, easily concealed incisions, I can easily remove small amounts of fat from key areas along the chin and jaw line, smoothing the contours of the neck and giving the entire face a more slender and rejuvenated appearance.
While a “turkey neck” may appear to be simply loose skin that hangs down around the neck like a wattle, the real cause is somewhat more complicated. As we age, the platysma muscle, which extends from the shoulders to the lower jaw, gradually separates into two parts, one on either side of the midline. As the skin of the neck loses elasticity, these muscles can become visible as vertical platysmal bands, creating what is commonly known as a “turkey neck.” A neck lift procedure works by lifting and re-tightening these muscles while simultaneously removing excess, sagging skin and (in some cases) fat to give the entire area a smoother look.
Since every face comes complete with its own set of challenges, I am always happy to sit down with my patients in a one-on-on consultation so that we can discuss which options might be best for their particular case. During this consultation it is even possible to use advanced computer imaging software to see what the potential outcome of certain procedures would be and effectively “preview” your potential plastic surgery results. If you are interested in finding out more about facelift, neck lifts, or any of the other facial rejuvenation I perform, please feel free to contact me, Dr. Fernando Burstein. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.