Addressing your turkey neck

Does the turkey waddle remind you of your own appearance? Patients often complain of excess fat in the upper neck (submental fat), vertical rope-like bands extending from the upper to the lower neck (platysmal banding) and excess neck skin.

Kybella. Do you avoid selfies due to your double chin? Kybella may be right for you. It is ideal for adults who have extra submental fat due to weight gain, aging or genetic predisposition. Kybella (deoxycholic acid) is made of the same naturally occurring molecule that breaks down dietary fat. In the clinic setting, the product is injected into excess fat under the chin. Patients often experience neck swelling and tenderness for approximately one week. The fat is broken down and dissolved over four to six weeks. A series of two to four Kybella injections are usually required for complete correction. Kybella is ideal for busy individuals or professionals who are not interested in surgery. The results are permanent.

Botox. The platysma is a paired muscle that covers the neck. During youth, the muscle meets in the middle. Over time, the muscle separates. The edge of the separated platysma muscle becomes visible and appears rope-like. This is most prominent when a person bites down and clenches the neck. Botox is one of three neurotoxins on the market. Neurotoxins, made up of botulinum toxin, cause temporary muscle paralysis. In the office setting, Botox or a similar neurotoxin can be injected into the edge of the platysma muscle to relax the cord appearance. However, this is considered an “off-label” use of the product. Injections should be conservative and only performed by individuals who have experience with this procedure. Inappropriate neurotoxin injections in the neck can result in problems with swallowing, speaking or breathing. Relaxation of the platysmal bands typically last three to four months.

Submental Liposuction. If a series of neck injections to melt fat is not appealing, submental liposuction may be more appropriate. This surgical procedure involves a small incision below the chin. Excess fat in the upper neck is suctioned until a smooth and even contour is achieved. There is usually a degree of skin contraction and tightening that takes place over time. Depending on the patient and surgeon’s preference, this surgery can be performed while the patient is either awake or asleep. The best results are achieved with compression to the neck for approximately one week following surgery.

Neck lift. No pain, no gain. A neck lift is the most invasive but also most complete option. A neck lift addresses all issues, including platysmal banding, excess fat and skin. Incisions are typically made below the chin and behind the ears. Excess submental fat is liposuctioned or trimmed. The separated platysma muscle is stitched together to create a smooth neck appearance. Excess skin is removed. This surgery is often combined with a face lift and other facial aesthetic procedures. Swelling and bruising are common.

Enjoy your turkey day and be thankful.