- Neck liposuction
- Deep plane SMAS face-neck lift
- Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing
The aging process in men and women causes distinct changes in the anatomy of the face and neck that create an older, tired, less youthful look. The aging look to the face begins subtly in both men and women as they approach their mid to late 40’s and progresses into the next few decades. Most of my patients are physically and mentally in very good shape and active professionally and socially. But often they will tell me that they look older than they feel. These patients come to me asking for ways to reverse this aged look, yet maintain a natural, non-surgical look.
Recent advances in surgical techniques and laser technology has made this goal much more achievable when compared to procedures done in the past.
Non-Surgical Solutions for Face and Neck Aging
First, let’s examine the aging process as it affects the face and neck and then let’s explore the newest options for obtaining a more youthful look without the telltale signs of surgery.
One of the first signs of aging process of the face, seen equally in women and men, is fullness and excess fat in the neck region, along with looseness of the skin and muscle in the neck. Some refer to this as a “double chin” or as it progresses, some call it a “turkey gobbler neck”.
Facial Aging: Jowls,
Midface, and Skin Texture
In the face region, many of my patients start noticing a sagging or pouching of the jaw line or “jowls”. This progresses as we age due to loss of elasticity of the skin and underlying muscles. Additionally, the midface and cheeks drop and the nasolabial folds (cheek folds between the nose and sides off the mouth) deepens.
Thirdly, depending on one’s skin type and level of sun exposure over the years, the texture of the skin may show distinct signs of aging, such as deep wrinkles, more superficial lines and “etchings” on the skin surface, dark sun spots, dry looking skin, and a sallow appearance.
Component #1: Loose and fatty neck tissue:
Neck liposuction is a very good option for treatment of the neck fullness and mild to moderate looseness of the skin in this area. Many of my patients in their early 40’s to mid-50’s tell me they are “not ready” for a face lift. They want less surgery and less downtime. What are their options? Today the best option specifically for neck fullness and mild to moderate skin laxity would be liposuction of the neck.
Liposuction is performed to remove the excess fat in the neck region. This process involves three small incisions only – one in the midline of the chin hidden in a chin crease, and two small incisions near each earlobe. The recovery and subsequent scarring is much less than a face-neck lift. Patients need to wear a Velcro “Ace Bandage” around their neck and head for a week to promote proper healing. Patient selection is important. Liposuction works best for minimal to moderate fullness and looseness, but not necessarily for patients with excessive looseness of the skin.
Component #3: Loose sagging skin of the jowls and midface
This aspect of the aging face is best addressed with a deep plane, tow layered facelift. Incisions are carefully placed based on one’s hair pattern, hair style, beard (in men) and facial anatomy. The skin and underlying SMAS or platysma muscle are elevated and tightened appropriately. This will help achieve a cleaner jawline and tighter appearance to the midface and upper face.
THE 3-in-1 FACELIFT
I believe, in properly selected patients, the 3-in-1 FACELIFT can address all components of the aging face most effectively, simultaneously, with less scarring and less downtime. Each component of the aging face is addressed with the best and most appropriately selected technique, each of which have been used successfully individually for years with a proven track record.
THE 3-in-1 FACELIFT
Component 1: The excess fat and loose skin in the neck is addressed with liposuction using only one small incision in the midline of the chin in a natural crease and two small incisions near each earlobe.
Component 2: The sun damaged, wrinkled skin of the face an be treated with the fractional CO2 laser at a depth and energy appropriate for the patient’s skin type and level of sun damage
Component 3: – The loose skin and muscle of the face and jowl region is tightened with a deep plane, two layered facelift with careful placement of incisions to minimize scarring.
I think this highly selective and technically advanced approach is the best way to address the aging face. There are several options and an individualized approach is needed based on the patients specific needs. The best treatment selected is based on the patient’s anatomy, the patient’s desire for improvement, and what kind of downtime the patient prefers.