There are few more challenging aspects of the facelift than tackling the aging neck. Some surgeons won’t even attempt to solve the underlying issues, and satisfy themselves with just removing excess skin and fat. The result is an improvement, but it will not be long-lasting.
Long-lasting results come with tackling both signs of an aging neck (drooping skin, the pull of the face downwards) and the principal cause: the underlying muscle structure.
Platysma Banding and Neck Skin Laxity
With age comes a reduction in skin laxity. You can see it for yourself by lightly pinching a baby’s skin and then your own. Observe the time taken for your skin to return to normal, as compared with the baby’s. It takes longer for adult skin to spring back because it has lost laxity.
Combined with the effects of gravity, the skin loosens, stretches, and begins to droop. In the Ageing Neck section of his facelift website, Dr. Bustillo has a photograph of the result — platysma banding — which is caused by the loosening of the platysma muscle and reduction in skin laxity.
To improve the contour of the neck, and restore a more youthful appearance, a good surgeon will address the underlying issues with the platysma muscle. It runs from the lower face and down into the neck, and any loosening can be dealt with using a procedure commonly called a platysmaplasty, which forms part of Dr. Bustillo’s deep plane facelift procedure.
To achieve the end result, he combines this with judicious skin and fat removal.
Removing the Right Amount of Skin
Once the muscle has been corrected, there is still the issue of the skin’s laxity, sagging skin, and extraneous fat and tissue that must be removed. It is important not to overdo this in order to retain a natural look to the face and neck. The face should be balanced, and Dr. Bustillo takes care to ensure that the result doesn’t look over-operated and skeletal, but retains a natural fullness.
Although any excess skin can be removed, which produces an immediate result, there will still be an underlying lack of skin laxity which is caused by the aging process, and cannot be addressed simply by surgery alone. Luckily, the skin can be tightened using a variety of procedures which can be applied after the patient has recovered from the facelift.
The plan created by Dr. Bustillo will cover all of the different aspects, including the work on the face, neck, and post-operative care, as well as any procedures that he recommends to achieve the maximum impact from the facelift to deal with those issues that surgery alone cannot correct.
Using photographs from previous successes, and advanced digital imaging, he will be able to show you how the surgery will help restore your natural youthfulness as well as those issues that will need to be addressed using other approaches. This forms part of an in-depth initial consultation at Dr. Bustillo’s Miami-based practice.
The team can be reached at 305-663-3380. Before you take your first step to a more youthful appearance, take advantage of Dr. Bustillo’s excellent patient information facelift website, where he answers many frequently asked questions from patients and prospective patients, and has a gallery of before and after photographs.