A new idea in plastic surgery is proving successful at reducing the signs of aging in the neck. The procedure involves implanting a thin, plastic sling under the skin and jaw to reduce the saggy appearance of the neck. Researchers say this new procedure is safe and very effective.
As people age, there are often changes in the neck and face including the loss of elasticity in the skin and an increase in the amount of fat in the neck. This causes the skin to sag. Doctors say part of the reason this happens is because the muscle holding the skin has stretched over time and can no longer support the tissues under the chin. While several plastic surgery procedures have been used in the neck area, doctors say there is room for improvement. Doctors in Atlanta investigated the use of a plastic sling to help lift the tissue under the chin.
For the research, the sling was implanted in 100 patients when they underwent various other plastic surgery procedures. The sling is surgically attached under the skin and positioned from one earlobe to the other. The patients were assessed for three years following the procedure.
Twelve months after the procedure, researchers report 99 of the 100 patients rated their satisfaction of appearance greater than 90 percent. Eighty-six of the patients said they would recommend the procedure to a friend or relative. After a longer follow-up, only eight patients felt the procedure did not meet expectations. None of them reported discomfort from the sling and there were no requests to remove the sling.
Thus, while this sling has the potential to improve the ability to reduce the signs of aging in the neck, the drawbacks of the procedure also need to be studied.