In I Feel Bad About My Neck, author Nora Ephron hits the nail on the head when she writes, “The neck is a dead giveaway to our age.” It’s true! Many women spend countless hours painting our faces to make our eyes brighter, our lashes longer, our cheeks rosier, and our lips kissable. Men and women invest in BOTOX® Cosmetic and filler injections to erase our facial wrinkles. We have our shelves stocked with creams and serums and potions and lotions that promise the moon, the stars, and the Fountain of Youth. We color our hair to hide the gray, and we look great from the jaw up, but what about the dreaded turkey gobbler, craping skin, double chin, and jowls that have become our necks? What can we do to remedy this so that our necks can’t tell the world that we are actually older than our smooth faces and non gray hair reveal? Let us introduce you to PrecisionTx™, which provides laser contouring and skin tightening for the neck and lower face.
Am I a good candidate?
PrecisionTx™ laser contouring helps men and women with mild to moderate skin laxity that want a more defined look without a surgical face lift. If you can identify with those described in the above paragraph, PrecisionTx™ may be for you. If you want to buy some time before needing a traditional face lift, you are a good candidate. As always, you have to have realistic expectations and understand how having this procedure can help you regain a youthful appearance. When you came into our office for your complimentary consultation, our doctor will determine if PrecisionTx™ is the best option to tighten your neck and jowl area and to restore your youthful silhouette.
PrecisionTx™ laser contouring, part of the Smartlipo Triplex technology, is a one-time, one hour, minimally invasive, office based procedure that can contour not only the neck, but also the lower face. The procedure can be done under local anesthetic or you can opt to have it done under IV sedation. If opting for local anesthesia, upon arrival to our office, patients are given an oral sedative to relax during the hour long procedure. Once in our state licensed surgical suite, the doctor will administer a lidocaine to numb the area. If opting for IV sedation, our anesthetist will start the IV and you are asleep in seconds. The procedure begins with three small incisions (about the size of a pen tip) being made; one under the chin and one just below each ear. Starting with the incision under the chin, the PrecisionTx™ laser fiber is inserted through a very small tube just under the skin and it delivers a blend of laser wavelengths that tighten tissue. The laser works to disrupt the underlying tissue so that new collagen will form from the coagulation of skin; thus the skin tightening element exclusive to PrecisionTx™ and Smartlipo Triplex technology. Next, our doctor will repeat the same technique for each ear incision. After removing the cannula from each spot, there is no need for him to suture because the incisions are so small that stitches are unnecessary.
Whether opting for local anesthesia or oral sedation, patients must have a responsible adult drive you home. You will leave our office with your head and neck wrapped with sterile dressing, which you will leave in place until you are seen in our office the very next day. You can expect a bit of drainage from the incisions for the next few hours following the procedure, and you will notice swelling right away. The swelling subsides rather quickly and any residual swelling will gradually disappear over the next few weeks. Some bruising is to be expected as well. We will give you Arnica Montana to help alleviate the bruising and swelling. We want you to keep your head elevated when sleeping to minimize swelling as well. When you return the next day for your initial post operative appointment, the doctor will remove the dressing and give you a chin strap that you should wear when you are at home and when you are sleeping. There is no need to wear the strap in public. Most patients return to work after taking it easy for a day or two. Because everyone heals at a different pace, you may return to work sooner or later other patients. As you heal, your neck and lower face may feel numb, but as the days and weeks progress, you will notice that numbness going away. You will need to be patient, as the improvement is gradual with the final results evidenced up to three to four months post op.
How many treatments will I need?
PrecisionTx™ is a one-time treatment that provides lasting results.
What if I decide I want to get a facelift years later?
Actually, having PrecisionTx™ of the neck and lower face can stave off the need for a traditional face lift. Should you eventually want a face lift, there is no reason that having had PrecisionTx™ years earlier will affect the results of a face lift.
What are the pros and cons of having PrecisionTx™ done under local anesthesia vs. under IV sedation?
The number one factor in patients opting for local anesthetic is cost. By not needing the anesthetist on hand for the procedure, you can save money. The patients that opt for IV sedation would simply rather sleep through the procedure than have the area numbed and be aware of what is happening throughout the hour long procedure. There is no difference in the outcome of the procedure when choosing one over the other.
Terms to Know
Collagen – the skin’s fibrous protein responsible for its structure and appearance.
Cannula – a flexible tube that is inserted into a bodily cavity, duct, or vessel to drain fluid or administer a substance such as a medication.
Arnica Montana – a homeopathic remedy to reduce pain, swelling and discoloration from bruises. It also temporarily relieves muscle pain and stiffness due to minor injuries, overexertion and falls.