Definition and Overview
Platysmaplasty is a type of neck lift procedure that aims to tighten the platysma, a band of muscles that are found on both sides of the neck to improve the angle of the jaw and lift sagging skin to achieve a more youthful appearance. This is a purely cosmetic procedure that can only be performed by board-certified cosmetic surgeons who completed at least four years of medical school and additional 2 years of residency.
Who Should Undergo and Expected Results
In general, platysmaplasty is performed on men and women who have moderate to severe loose skin around the neck and underneath the chin, which appears as wrinkles, band lines around the neck, or double chin.
The skin sags as a result of the natural aging process. As a person ages, the body produces significantly less collagen and other protein fibers that keep muscles taut, so they start to lose their elasticity. Overexposure to the sun’s UV rays can also cause or worsen the loosening of the skin since it can damage the skin’s layers and speed up aging.
However, it is important to note that platysmaplasty is not for everyone. It is not recommended for:
- People who smoke since the habit can make the recovery process more complicated
- Those who are morbidly obese or overweight. They may be requested to achieve a certain weight before the procedure can be done.
- Individuals who have unrealistic expectations or desired results
- Those who have already gone through multiple procedures especially in short intervals
As for the expected results, the patient can achieve a more youthful look as the neck area becomes smooth. The procedure eliminates the appearance of double chin and improves the angle of the face, making it look leaner. However, the procedure does not stop aging, which means the condition, such as the sagging of the skin, will still occur in the future.
How Does the Procedure Work?
Before the procedure, the doctor schedules the patient for a consultation where the details of the procedure will be discussed. The surgeon will then plan the surgery and finalise details such as the number of muscles to be removed or how wide or high the lift would be. Before and after photos will then be taken for comparison and the surgeon will use 3D computer software to serve as a guide.
The neck lift can be done in an outpatient setting, although there have been cases where patients were required to stay overnight for monitoring. It is often performed in a hospital or a fully equipped cosmetic surgery clinic.
The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. An incision is made underneath the chin or around the ears to access the platysma muscles. The muscles are then pulled toward the chin or stretched wide from the midline, depending on the goal of the procedure. In certain situations, some muscle bands are removed while remaining tissues are held together with glue or stitches.
In certain cases, this procedure is performed in conjunction with other procedures like liposuction particularly if there is a significant fat buildup. This is done before the platysmaplasty in which an incision is made under the chin where a cannula that breaks down the fat is inserted. The fat is then suctioned. All incisions are closed with stitches and a compression bandage is worn for around a week or until the incisions heal.
Possible Risks and Complications
Platysmaplasty or neck lift may cause discomfort and pain for a few days. There may also be swelling and bruising (especially if liposuction was performed), as well as blood clots, numbness, and skin discolouration. In rare cases, the incisions can become infected or bleed, or the patient becomes allergic to anesthetics.
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Toft K, Keller GS, Blackwell KE.Submentoplasty. An anatomical approach. Facial PlastSurgClin N America. May 2000. 8(2):183-92.