The “selfie” has caused us to notice the neck, and perhaps the need for a neck lift! Botox and fillers are excellent and reliable options for rejuvenating the face without undergoing surgery, but a double-chin can counteract all the good work done by injectables. Ohio plastic surgeon Dr. Craig Colville encourages his patients to consider a more comprehensive, three dimensional approach to address aging without a scalpel and an operating room.
Vectra™ 3D Imaging
Instead of a mirror, Colville uses technology developed by Canfield Imaging to produce a 3D image on a computer screen in the consultation room. “I think a lot of people, they all think about gravity, and how the face drops, or the neck gets loose, but they don’t really think so much about volume,” say Colvillle. ” I used to talk to patients about volume and they didn’t understand it very well. But when you show them volume changes in 3D photos of themselves, they start to understand it.”
A No-Knife Neck Lift
While plastic surgeons are able to remove fat in the neck and tighten skin surgically, not every patient is interested in surgical options and not every patient is a good candidate for surgery. If you want to improve the contour of your neck but don’t want to commit to the downtime or incisions that surgery requires, you now have options.
Colville shares two recent advancements in cosmetic treatment options for the neck: “One would be Kybella, which is an injectable option. Another is CoolMini, which is part of CoolSculpting, and that also works very nicely in that double-chin area.”
Kybella is an injectable that dissolves fat cells when injected into the area under the chin. As is the case with facial fillers, Kybella may result in some bruising or swelling initially. Colville recommends planning on at least two injection appointments, several months apart.
CoolSculpting has been a popular non-invasive fat removing treatment for more than half a decade. The technology works using an applicator that cools areas of the body to a temperature that causes the fat cells to die. Over the recovery period, the body then flushes out the dead fat cells.
Initially CoolSculpting was used only to address love handles and pouches of fat in the abdomen. The latest attachments the company has developed allow for treatment of the area under the chin. As is the case with Kybella, more than one treatment may be necessary and results take six to twelve weeks to finalize.
Tightening Up Loose Ends
“What you’re going to find with some patients is when you take the volume out, you’ve left some loose skin,” shares Collville. “So if you’re left with loose skin, you could tighten the skin with [another non-invasive device] Ultherapy.” Skin elasticity is not universal; it varies by genetics and by lifestyle. People who have gained and lost weight many times tend to lose elasticity, as well as its decrease with age.
If you are left with a little sag or droop after removing the underlying fat in your neck, you can address it with a second stage treatment such as Ultherapy. “Ultherapy is microfocused ultrasound for tightening and lifting of the face, neck and brow areas,” explains Colville.
Many patients might absolutely require a face lift and/or liposuction to attain desired results. The benefit of the non-invasive procedures it to fill in the gaps where some patients might just need a little here or there rather than a full surgical procedure.
Consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon is the best course of action as they will perform an examination and steer you towards what is most effective. With a myriad of new devices like Kybella, CoolMini by CoolSculpting, and Ultherapy, surgeons are armed with even more tools to help patients age gracefully.