Within the past year, there has been a surge of younger plastic surgery patients. Doctors attribute this to the “Zoom phenomenon”: a time when increased downtime and remote work has allowed for an optimum recovery window for many patients and a time of increased perception and observation. We are now stare at ourselves through Zoom screens and are forced to reckon with features we may have overlooked before. Some of us can’t help but notice our neck fat and have even attempted to angle our computers accordingly. Dr. Devgan notes that, “From a purely mechanical standpoint, necks endure a lot of wear and tear. Their vertebral bodies are not typical joints, because they move in many different directions, so the tissues of the neck [suffer] a lot more strain, resulting in vertical bands, horizontal lines, and laxity." And despite popular assumptions, neck lifts are not just for older people. Many doctors have been noticing a trend in younger demographics seeking a change in their neck. Whether it is caused by weight or genetics, the fatty deposits between the face and neck can make for a blurred divide, leaving patients to seek sharper, deeper angles.
Patients looking for treatment have many options to choose from, however, Dr. Devgan notes, “I think nonsurgical skin and neck tightening is kind of the black box of plastic surgery. We have all these promising modalities, but truly, we don’t have a gold-standard way to tighten the skin of the neck [without surgery].” While nonsurgical methods can work for some individuals, surgery remains the gold standard. However, what method patients choose to do will be determined based on their symptoms. For individuals wishing to remove the fat resting below the chin, submental liposuction is a great procedure to get. “You can also get a pretty good amount of skin tightening by doing some scuffing of the tissues above and below [the fat], [creating] a Velcro-type of effect to give someone a really nice angle” notes Dr. Devgan. Dr. Devgan does, however, advise that her patients set realistic expectations since there is a limit that liposuction can achieve. Many patients pair submental liposuction with a chin implant to help create a deeper angle to the side profile.
Find out about other procedure alternatives, symptoms, and Dr. Devgan’s insight in Allure’s article.