Double chins and “turkey necks” are common cosmetic problems that when corrected can make a dramatic improvement to a person’s appearance. The “double chin” effect can be genetic, related to weight gain, or just the result of aging. It is created at three levels – thickened loose skin, unwanted fatty deposits and/or a bulging muscle. Every patient is different, and most patients have a combination of layers affected with one layer being predominant. Since each layer needs a different treatment it is important to get a consultation by an experienced aesthetic doctor to help achieve maximal results without wasting money. For example, if the problem lies in the skin layer then Ulthera® skin tightening and lifting may be the best treatment, the fatty layer responds best to fat dissolving (lipolysis) and liposuction, whilst the muscle layer needs wrinkle relaxer treatments to shrink the muscle.
At present it is very popular to start with fat dissolving treatments. This involves injecting the area with an agent that breaks open the fat cells allowing the lymphatic system to pick up the unwanted fat and remove it from the body. Usually 3 treatments are needed a month apart whilst a few patients will need more. For some patients this works amazingly but others it does not, and you cannot tell who will be the lucky ones before treatment. Our advice would be that if you don’t see any change 4 weeks after your second treatment then don’t continue and move on to another treatment such as liposuction, which has guaranteed results. It is important to note that many people have significant swelling that can last days and up to a week after fat dissolving. This may not suit everyone’s lifestyle since multiple treatments are needed. Currently on the market there are a number of brand names claiming superior results and commanding extremely high prices, we suggest you do your research before investing in these. Fat dissolving varies in prices from $770 to $1700/area/treatment.
The alternative to fat dissolving is liposuction. In experienced hands this treatment can give the most dramatic results and has the advantage of guaranteed fat reduction plus it’s a once off procedure. There is only 3 real days of downtime for most patients who need to wear a head compression garment continuously in this time. The surgery must be in a registered day hospital. The cost varies but generally there is a theatre fee and area fee with the total cost ranging from $5500 to $7700.
If the problem lies in loose skin then the answer maybe a surgical neck lift if very severe laxity exists, and if not (or there is a thick double chin) then currently Ulthera® is considered a gold standard in neck tightening and lifting. This is also the recommended non-surgical treatment for “turkey neck”. Ulthera® focusses ultrasound to 3 layers under the skin to cause contraction of collagen and thus an improved appearance to the area. It uses the body’s natural collagenating processes and involves no injections of chemicals. Only one treatment is needed every 1 to 2 years for maintenance of the results in the aging patient. Beware, that not all Ulthera® treatments are the same between clinics as the skill of the operator and updated knowledge make all the difference. In addition, some clinics claim they have Ulthera® but are really using fake copies that may cause damage or have no result at all. Ulthera® is a Government proven medical device and as such can only be sold to doctor run clinics. Only medical strength devices can get maximal results so beware of spending money on inferior, weaker and potentially unsafe devices. Always check the details of your treatment first. Prices range from $2200 to $5500.
“Turkey neck” can also be improved by deep CO2 Laser Resurfacing by an experienced doctor. This involves lasering the skin to the dermis layer to induce improved collagen. There is at least 7 days downtime, but the results can be extremely dramatic. Prices from $2200 to $4400.
If the problem lies in the muscle layer, then wrinkle relaxer in the hands of a skilled and experienced injector can reduce the muscle bulk. The results gradually improve with each treatment. Sometimes the entire lower jawline and neck are treated, and this is known as the “Nefertiti lift”. The cost will vary depending on the amount of product needed for each individual. This can range from $350 to $990. Our doctor is a recognized “Master Injector” and can perform all types of injectable treatments cost effectively and with maximal results.