The sagging neck is one of the early signs of aging that both men and women experience. Neck sagging can occur as early as the “teens” and as late as in the 80’s
Fillers and thread lifts and other non-invasive solutions are not very effective at picking up the sagging, bands, fat or waddles. Even liposuction often fails to define the neck and jawline.
The good news is that there are exciting new advances in minimally invasive, quick recovery treatments for the sagging neck. At Keller Facial Plastic Surgery, we have hundreds of cases worth of experience with these.
Some of the non-invasive treatments such as RF microneedling (Morpheus, Fractora, Intensif) and Ultherapy can tighten the neck skin. While we use these treatments at Keller Facial Plastic Surgery, they often do not tighten the bands, skin, underlying structures of the neck, and jawline definition to the extent that the newer advances can.
The excitement over these advances has led Real Self to declare 2021 “the year of the neck”. Elle magazine labelled the new techniques, as the “Zoom Neck” (for patients noticing changes on “Zoom”) and the advanced minimally invasive procedures as the “Zoom Neck Lift” and the “Tech Neck”. Neck procedures are more popular than ever, as people look at themselves on Zoom, work at home, and have the time for self-improvement.
Fortunately, at Keller Facial Plastic Surgery (and due to being a Clinical Professor at UCLA), I was chosen to work with these procedures from the beginning. Now with the recent improvements in the procedures, I’m able to use these advanced necklift procedures in 95% of the neck lifts that I perform. Even more important, recovery from these minimally-invasive procedures is greatly diminished, thanks also to an advanced medication called Tranexamic Acid. Most patients do not even experience bruising, if given this medication, and there is very little pain.
Ellevate, MyEllevate, Trampoline Platysmaplasty, WebNeck, WebNeck lift
These “new technology”, minimally invasive, neck lifts are actually over 12 years old, but recent improvements in the techniques render them as or more effective in most patients than open surgery. In younger patients (20’s-50’s) with sagging necks and/or sagging muscle bands, they can effectively lift the neck without any incisions larger than a needle hole, and are often performed under local anesthesia.
Through small needle punctures, and, without skin undermining, sutures are placed with a light guided introducer that wraps sutures around the retaining ligaments of the neck, pulling the muscles together like a shoelace “laces up a shoe”. The “Ellevate” portion of the procedure consists of sutures that travel from the middle of the neck to the back of each ear. Pulling these sutures together and tying them, defines the jawline. This procedure usually has no more recovery than simple neck liposuction.
The Trampoline Platysmaplasty or “Weblift” using a similar “shoe lace” procedure, lifts the middle portion of the neck and brings the muscle bands together.
This lovely 40’s female patient of mine did not appreciate her neck. A liposuction of the area did not outline the neck and jawline, so I performed both an Ellevate and Webneck lift (Trampoline platysmaplasty) with an added FaceTite-see below) to contour her jawline and neck.
The platysma muscle is a muscle that extends from the cheek down to the chest. It is attached by ligaments to the skin, and held up by ligaments to the windpipe, and to the other muscles of the neck. As it sags, “bands” appear in the neck. These bands can be lifted or interupted with the “Ellevate” procedure.
My patient, the lady below, has had only a necklift. The platysma bands were treated with the Ellevate procedure. No facelift was performed.
Energy Based Skin Tightening: FaceTite
While external skin tightening alone often does not do enough to really “lift” the neck, FaceTite is used through tiny incisions to place Radiofrequency energy above and below the skin. It tightens the external skin and a probe placed under the skin through a tiny needle hole tightens the connective tissue that extends from the skin to the underlying muscle. The video below shows how it works:
FaceTite can also be added to a procedure such as a face or necklift patient with badly damaged or loose skin. The patient below is a patient of mine who had a facelift, but badly damaged skin. Without FaceTite, the contour of the neck would improve, but with FaceTite, we were able to improve the badly damaged neck and cheek skin.