Facelift alternatives rid patients of neck 'wattle' without the downtime of surgery

April 29, 2005

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - On the show Ally McBeal, a character was romantically pursued because of her neck "wattle" or loose skin - a scenario that would only happen on television, right? In reality, many people want to rid themselves of neck "wattle" to look younger or to wear certain clothes or accessories more comfortably, without having facelifts. They may feel they are too young or old for an invasive procedure, are not able to afford the prolonged recovery time, or only want targeted improvement of their neck region. Patients have less invasive options to rid the "wattle," reports a study in May's Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), through targeted neck rejuvenation techniques.

"Not every patient who seeks to correct facial aging wants or requires a facelift," said James Zins, MD, author of the study. "Today's patients are extremely active and may not want to undergo invasive surgery where they are unable to work or play for several weeks. With this alternative, many patients look younger without the financial cost and downtime associated with a standard facelift."

As people age, they often loose definition in their chin and jaw line due to fatty deposits, weakening muscles and loose skin where the neck and chin once made a right angle. By improving the neck region, patients' profiles look years younger and clothes and fashion accessories such as ties, turtlenecks, and necklaces are worn more comfortably.

Skin in the neck region differs from skin on other parts of the body because it maintains its elasticity and will contract after it is released from underlying muscle. Fat removal through an incision under the chin and behind the ears can be combined with muscle tightening and freeing the skin from the muscle, depending on the degree of aging and individual patient characteristics.

Younger patients, who generally have more skin elasticity and have a "wattle" because of an overload in fat deposits just under the skin, often benefit from liposuction alone. Middle-aged patients generally have fat deposits, as well as, loose neck muscles and skin, requiring the fat removal and muscle tightening technique. Patients older than 75 usually need more contouring in the neck region and require a facelift where excess skin is removed.

According to the study, 33 patients were treated using this combination of neck rejuvenation techniques. Twenty patients experienced moderate improvement to the neck region while 12 experienced a marked improvement.

"Approximately one in 10 patients is a good candidate for neck rejuvenation - but patients must maintain realistic expectations," said Dr. Zins. "These techniques are targeted specifically for the neck and chin areas only. The mid-face and upper-face are clearly not improved by these procedures."

According to ASPS statistics, more than 114,000 facelifts were performed in 2004.
-end-
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. With more than 5,000 members, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Related Muscle Articles from Brightsurf:

Muscle aging: Stronger for longer
With life expectancy increasing, age-related diseases are also on the rise, including sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass due to aging.

Duchenne: "Crosstalk" between muscle and spleen
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common muscle disease in children and is passed on by X-linked recessive inheritance.

Fantastic muscle proteins and where to find them
Setting out to identify all proteins that make up the sarcomere, the basic contractile unit of muscle cells, resulted in an unexpected revelation, providing experimental evidence that helps explain a fundamental mystery about how muscles work.

Strong change of course for muscle research
Scientists have discovered a new subtype of muscle stem cells.

Electronics integrated to the muscle via 'Kirigami'
A research team in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering and the Electronics-Inspired Interdisciplinary Research Institute (EIIRIS) at Toyohashi University of Technology has developed a donut-shaped kirigami device for electromyography (EMG) recordings.

Link between gut microbes & muscle growth suggests future approach to tackle muscle loss
Scientists led by NTU Singapore's Professor Sven Pettersson established a link between gut microbes and muscle growth and function -- a finding that could open new doors to interventions for age-related skeletal muscle loss.

What is known -- and not known -- about heart muscle diseases in children
Cardiomyopathies (heart muscle diseases) in children are the focus of a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association that provides insight into the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases as well as identifying future research priorities.

Chloride-channel in muscle cells provides new insights for muscle diseases
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have mapped the structure of an important channel in human muscle cells.

How do muscle and tendon connections last a lifetime?
Muscles are connected to tendons to power animal movements such as running, swimming or flying.

Oscillation in muscle tissue
When a muscle grows or a muscle injury heals, some of the stem cells develop into new muscle cells.

Read More: Muscle News and Muscle Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.