A trampoline neck lift is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to smooth, tighten, and lift a modestly loose neck line especially under the jaw. To begin, the surgeon typically does some liposuction in the neck under local or general anesthesia. If there is not a lot of fat available, liposuction cannulas are still used to create tunnels and loosen the skin from the underlying muscle layer. Most of the time, fat is taken out. Creating the tunnels makes it easier to pass a blunt threading rod through very small holes along the jawline in the upper part of the neck. The threading rod is pulled through and threaded under the skin back and forth in a little pattern to create a kind of a net or trampoline. It is attached along the jawline to ligaments that exist between the skin and the deeper tissues. The thread is then tightened up and knotted, which is when some skin “quilting” is seen on the operating table. By the next day, the quilting fades as the tissues become a bit relaxed. It makes a nice difference in people who do not need anything as extensive as a full surgical neck lift or a facelift, which would be a more extensive procedure.
The trampoline neck lift produces excellent results in people without a great deal of neck laxity. It is less invasive, is more amenable to local anesthetic, and has a faster recovery time.
An older patient with a prominent “turkey-gobbler” neck would not be served well by this procedure. In a situation like that, a traditional surgical neck lift, is indicated. That usually is accompanied by a lower face lift.
An ideal candidate for the procedure is someone who does not have excessive neck drooping. As with any elective plastic or cosmetic surgery procedure there is a requirement that the patient to be moderately healthy. They should not be on any aspirin or blood thinning medication for at least two weeks before the surgery in order to prevent excessive bruising and bleeding.
Thankfully, there are few risks involved in a trampoline neck lift. The most common concern is that it might not satisfy the patient’s expectations. This usually means that the patient’s expectations are too high. It is the plastic surgeon’s responsibility to determine this beforehand and guide the patient to the most appropriate procedure for their condition.
In terms of complications, there is a potential for a nerve injury because the surgeon is working around the area of the marginal mandibular nerve which innervates the lower lip. There can be some numbness in that area or some weakness to the lower lip; it is usually temporary.
The “quilting” effect when the thread is pulled tight that is visible right after the procedure is usually gone by the next day. On occasion, it may linger for a few more days.
The recovery process is not very painful. Most people do not need to take any strong pain medication. They may have some bruising but it is usually gone within a week. There will probably be a feeling of tightness in the neck for a few weeks afterwards. Within one to two weeks the patient should be presentable and ready to go out in public. There are many times when it is less than this, and possibly as little as three to five days.
The trampoline neck lift basically sets the aging clock back a bit but it does not stop the aging process, which will continue after any lifting procedure. However, the fat that has been removed from under the neck with liposuction usually does not come back. There can be some laxity of the tissues but unless the patient gains weight, the fat under the chin is not going to regain the same degree of fullness.
Many patients will come back for a follow-up procedure. Some of them will wait as long as ten years but others will come back sooner. At this time they will generally want a full facelift and neck lift. The people who come back for the follow-up procedure are generally the ones who were not ready for a facelift in the first place. They will want to address the normal progression of looseness in the neck and jowls.
It is important for the surgeon and the patient to have an in-depth consultation before any surgical procedure is scheduled. The surgeon needs to select the trampoline neck lift patients carefully to determine if they need a full neck lift or if they can achieve the results they desire through a trampoline lift. The initial consultation will determine what treatment plan is going to be undertaken by the surgeon. This procedure is a very specific type of technique, although there are many patients who can benefit from a trampoline neck lift, careful selection is the key to a happy outcome.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team - MA
Based on an exclusive interview with Norman Leaf, MD in Beverly Hills, CA