Friday, December 28, 2012
So many options for firming up a sagging jawline
Lifts, liposuction, injections and lasers
In “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” Nora Ephron wrote, “Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you would not if it had a neck.”
When you reach your early 40s, you may notice the "drop zone", the skin between your neck and jaw. Once a taut right angle, it's now simply dropping. When a friend pulls back the skin in front of her ears and asks, “Tell me the truth, don’t I look better like this?” We answer dishonestly: “Don’t be silly. You look great the way you are.”
Aging jaw and neck are challenging. The neck has three layers: skin, fat, and muscle. Sagging muscles and bulging fat are located under the thin skin. To make it worse, a thin rope-like material called platysma tends to split into a V-like formation of two cords that stick out especially when they contract. To witness this, if you’re over 40, look in a mirror, say “eee,” and watch what happens. "Horrors!" you say to yourself. A colleague in Manhattan observes, “Trying to fix all of that with potions and lotions is like waging a two-front war on a sheet of thin ice.” He recommends a neck lift for women in their early to mid-40s who are not ready for a facelift.
The neck lift wraps sagging muscles crosswise to the jaw to restore that all-important right angle. Compared with a facelift, sutures are smaller, there is less pulling and recovery time is much shorter. However, a neck lift has traditionally been part and parcel of a facelift and many plastic surgeons believe it should remain so. The reasoning is that, anatomically, the muscles of the neck are connected to muscles of the face, so if you try to tighten just the neck muscles, you will do you face a disservice. Using this line of reasoning, even if your big complaint is your neck, you will get better results with a facelift. If you’re confused about which procedure is right for you, have me give you feedback while perusing your very own unique face and neck.
Liposuction and the double chin
The face and neck are usually treated at the same time, often in conjunction with liposuction to sculpt the area beneath the chin and jaw line. Weight gain can lead to looser skin, weaker muscles and free falling fat, all of which may contribute to your drop zone. Younger patients who have fatty necks but no significant facial aging may be treated with liposuction alone. Some plastic surgeons also might use laser or light technology to tighten necks.
Botox in areas where wrinkling and creases can occur may prevent deeper lines from forming and will help maintain a youthful appearance. Defer those angry or tired lines so people will not notice that you’ve had anything done. Botox can also soften those V-shaped platysma cords.
Your own belly fat
Another alternative is injecting fat from the belly into the jawline area to provide extra volume. This will include the bonus of your own stem cells. Extra stem cells are separated from the fat via centrifuge and then added, making the skin glow more and enhancing collagen.
Even though you might favor one of these options, it’s a good idea to have an open mind when you come in to see me for free consultation. It's best to let me suggest the very best procedure in view of your very own unique facial characteristics.