With younger patients now seeking cosmetic procedures, surgeons and dermatologists are exploring alternatives to invasive surgery. This includes creating methods to reduce fat and tighten loose muscles under the neck. One technique that has been developed over the last decade is called the trampoline or Iguide neck lift. Generally, some variation of this surgery is what is being referred to when the term incisionless neck lift is discussed.
What Does the Surgery Entail?
Although it is advertised as incisionless, the treatment does require breaking the skin. The technique involves performing liposuction to remove unwanted pockets of fat. This requires the use of a cannula (tube) to introduce the anesthetic and suction out the liquefied fat. Since skin in the neck is delicate and the amount of fat that needs to be removed is small, a microcannula is often used to keep scarring to a minimum. Lipo only slims the neckline by reducing fatty tissue. This still leaves sagging from muscle laxity to be dealt with.
So, the other half of the procedure involves creating an artificial support system for the area under the chin. A suspension suture is threaded below the skin to hold the muscles up. The suture is attached to a stainless steel rod that is coated in polymer and equipped with a fiber optic tip. A series of punctures are made in the skin to allow the lighted rod to be guided between the skin and the underlying muscle tissue. The thread is woven back and forth in an intersecting pattern (like corset or shoe laces). Then the thread is pulled tight and secured to complete the incisionless neck lift.
Iguide Neck Lift Technique Not Widespread
Since this technique (in its current form) is fairly new and not performed by very many physicians, there is little information available about long term results for patients. As with any procedure that involves puncturing the skin, there is a risk that the instrument will penetrate too deeply and cause damage to underlying tissues. Infection, bleeding, and other complications may occasionally occur with liposuction and suture based neck lifts.
This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. So, some patients may select this option to avoid the risks associated with general anesthesia. However, this treatment does not address neck drooping caused by excess skin. So, older patients with “turkey wattles” aren’t necessarily good candidates for this procedure. They may wish to pursue a traditional, surgical neck lift that includes the excision of loose skin.