In the neck of time: Sidelaze and other neck tightening tricks

When we are young, most of us don’t give our necks a thought. Our faces, yes; other body parts, yes; but our necks are insignificant in our lives. But after years of exposure to gravity, suddenly the neck becomes the central focus of our attention as we see the sagging skin, the vertical bands, and the soft tissue that inhabits areas where we once saw sharp angles. The good news is there are solutions!

Sidelaze is the newest treatment. Unlike previous lasers, Sidelaze uses a very effective wavelength of light that is angled to get a much better tightening effect than was possible with the horizontal beam technology. It can be combined with liposuction to really sharpen up that neck angle!

A chin implant is another way to improve the neck (though I bet it’s not the first thing you’d think of!). A weak chin contributes to poor neck definition because that lovely horizontal sweep along the jawline is cut short. The chin implant completes that sweep to give the appearance of a nice neck angle. In some people a chin implant is combined with a facelift if loose skin drags the neck down.

A platysmaplasty is the procedure of choice for people who have vertical bands beneath their chins. The platysma muscle edges are tightened and repositioned to keep them from bowstringing down the neck. A platysmaplasty is usually combined with either a mini-facelift or a facelift to get the best jaw angles.

A facelift is another option that sometimes surprises people who are only looking for improvement of their necks. Most people with loose skin under their chins will notice if they pull their cheek and neck skin up and toward the front of their ears, those lovely bony angles are visible again. Plastic surgeons discovered the same thing, but they called the operation by the wrong name. A facelift should really be called a neck and lower facelift.

Neck shapes that bother patients can be caused by different elements, including extra fat, sagging muscle, a weak chin, and extra skin, so there is no single solution for all necks. That’s why it’s important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in all these options. After all, if you’re going to stick your neck out there, you want to know it’s in the best of hands!

 

 

About Dr. Heather Furnas

Inspired by watching her plastic surgeon father operate in African bush hospitals, Dr. Heather Furnas followed in his footsteps, training at Stanford and serving on the Harvard clinical faculty. She and her husband, Dr. Paco Canales, practice together in Santa Rosa, California, where they raised their two children. She believes an informed patient is more likely to be a happy patient and is committed to providing that education. If you have any suggestions on how she can improve her blog, she would love to hear from you!

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