The visible signs of ageing that affect the face and neck are caused by the depletion of natural collagen reserves in the skin, as well as the gradual slackening of the tissues and supporting muscles in the face and neck.
The main visible features of the ageing neck that usually concern individuals are:
Loose muscles bands (platysma bands)
To resolve any of these concerns, there are several procedures that can be undertaken. As well as the traditional neck lift surgery, there are surgical and non-surgical alternatives, depending on your individual circumstances.
If you elect to undergo a traditional neck lift, your procedure will take about three hours and will be performed under general anaesthetic. During the procedure, Mr. Chana will make an incision behind each of the ears, which will run through the hairline at the back of the head; this means that scarring can be concealed by the hair postoperatively. Excess skin will be removed from the neck, and the neck muscles (platysma muscles) will be tightened from lateral approach to achieve more contour and definition. The skin is then re-draped and the incisions are closed with sutures. Occasionally a second incision is needed under the chin (submental incision) to sew together the platysma muscle in the midline of the neck. This is called a platysmaplasty.
A platysmaplasty is also a surgical procedure, and is performed similarly to a neck lift. However, it specifically targets moderate to severe ‘neck bands’, which can develop as a sign of ageing and which are caused specifically by the weakening of the neck muscles.
A platysmaplasty is a procedure which is performed in combination with a standard neck lift where the incisions are made around the ear. However, if a plastysmaplasty is needed, a second incision is made under the chin which allows access to the muscles which are stitched together.
Liposuction for the neck
Liposuction is often required to aid the contouring of the neck. In some individuals, if there is no loose skin then VASER liposuction can be performed on its own to improve the definition of the neck and the jawline. However, in older patients, liposuction is used as an adjunct to a standard face and neck lift. Very occasionally there will be excess fat under the platysma muscle which is not amenable to liposuction and in these cases, the fat is surgically removed at the same time as the platysmaplasty.
Botox for the neck
If you don’t like the idea of surgery, or you’re not a suitable candidate, you might elect to have a non-surgical cosmetic treatment to elicit the same results. Administering muscle relaxing injections like Botox into the neck can diminish the appearance of neck bands, but the results are far more temporary than those of surgery.
Recent studies have shown that there are no adverse side-effects to the repeated use of Botox. If you’re a suitable candidate for cosmetic injectables and find that Botox helps to improve the appearance of your neck, you can comfortably continue with top-up treatments, safe in the knowledge there are no health implications to this.