Blame it on the selfie, but more people have started to take notice of the neck. When fine lines and wrinkles set in and the skin starts to sag, and even take on a crepey appearance, it’s clear that obvious aging has begun. Unfortunately, these external changes are not matching up with the internal youthfulness this age group feels in the modern age. They still feel, and are, healthy and young, just their exterior says otherwise – notably the neck.
As with the rise in better nutrition and exercise to keep the internals young, so, too, has there been a development of advanced surgical and non-surgical treatments to show on the outside what people feel on the inside. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Lou Bucky of Philadelphia discusses some of these treatment options and their growing, reputable success in turning back the clock.
Oh, My Aging Neck
You know the feeling – you’ve looked in the mirror to find your smooth, graceful neck replaced by one with lines and sagging skin. Aging has commenced, but you aren’t helpless.
The neck has received a growing amount of attention from plastic surgeons, especially in conjunction with a group of non-surgical devices aimed at improving neck contours without surgical intervention. Experts say would-be patients shouldn’t feel alone in wanting to turn back the clock; many people today are focused on the neck.
“Patients are noticing their necks,” shares Dr. Bucky. He says people are more consumed with the look of their neck because of technology. “Their head is down and they are using their phones and it is causing their necks to look worse and they are seeing more photos of themselves,” he explains. “It is an area (the neck) that people are very sensitive too.”
Bucky says in the past it was very challenging for the patient and the physician to treat the neck because of limited options. He says that is changing, for the better. “There’s a lot of emphasis on the neck and new options for rejuvenation that we didn’t have before.” Bucky says non-surgical treatments have expanded to include an option that melts fat, called Kybella.
“It is an injectable that melts the fat away in a localized area for people who have a little fullness right under the chin,” describes Bucky. He indicates that it’s excellent in patients who have good skin tone, because if you remove the fat, the skin then shrinks. Bucky notes the recovery with Kybella is faster than surgery. “You don’t need a trip to an operating room.”
He also recommends another non-surgical option in the CoolSculpting family called the CoolMini. “It’s a little freezing device that attaches to the neck and freezes the fat away and maybe gets a little bit of skin shrinkage as well,” shares Bucky.
There are great surgical options for neck rejuvenation with liposuction being one of the most effective. “We have a whole group of surgical options,” according to Dr. Bucky. He says many of them are focused just on the neck. “They range from micro liposuction, which is very similar to what Kybella or CoolSculpting does.” He says there are other options that tighten neck muscles, using a procedure with a minimal recovery time and well-concealed incisions. “These minimal, limited-incision devices are great for surgery, and we can really make a patient look proportionate.”
Bucky says the days are gone where you had to “live with your neck.”If you don’t like the way it looks, there are ways to improve it. “We are getting better at reshaping a neck by treating some of the deeper structures. Now, we understand the importance of maintaining the fat right under the skin, if we are using surgery.”