It happens to everyone at some point—the facial skin and what underlies it begins to sag and the definition that is normally there between the face and then neck blends into one amorphous clump under the chin. Some individuals lose the sharp angles where the neck meets the jaw at very young age, or never have it; in others, it occurs in the 40s, 50s or beyond.
Our normal virtual meeting software and our cellphone Selfies demonstrate to us these changes. Manipulating the face with filters works great for still photographs, but when reality sets in (i.e.Zoom) that’s when you begin to look for solutions, regardless of your age.
Solutions abound—you can try freezing fat, injecting a dissolving solution (Kybella), using ultrasonic energy, or treatments with an alternating current (RF, like electricity!) to produce tightening.
Beyond that, there is liposuction—and a face and neck lift.
The truth is, if there were an alternative, many people would take it.
The fact is, no one wants a facelift: the incisions, the recuperation, the fear of looking overdone all persuade many to just accept the neck and face changes after exhausting all the above alternatives.
Now there is a solution. The Zoom lift.
We have combined two technologies to produce satisfying results without the incisions of a full face and neck lift.
Renuvion®, a helium plasma radiofrequency device, produces energy that melts fat and tightens skin and the supporting ligaments that actually give rise to facial sagging.
MyEllevate® is used to diminish neck bands and to support the deep tissues of the neck.
The (+) sign implies that in certain cases, a tuck of facial skin may be helpful to address extremely loose skin when we feel that the helium plasma RF alone will not be enough.
Because we now get to see ourselves from angles that makes us look our most awful, over Zoom (or other Web meeting apps), it’s called the Zoom lift.
How is it done?
Our preference is to perform the procedure in the office or a surgical suite, with sedation, either oral or intravenous. Based on your preference, you can be completely unaware during the procedure, or, completely awake.
Your face is first marked in the areas we wish to address: the jawline, the neck and the fat excesses. The face is then numbed with a local anesthetic and then cleaned.
The first step in the procedure is to address the loose muscle in the neck. Three pinpoint incisions are made and the edge of the muscle where it is most apparent is weakened.
The face is then numbed with more (tumescent) anesthesia and the deep skin is prepared for the Renuvion® device.
The Renuvion device has been described for a procedure called the Jplasma or JZPlazty procedure. It is inserted through 3 5 mm incisions and the ligaments and underlying skin are tightened. If necessary, liposuction is carried out to address local fat deposits.
If excess skin remains, that is where the (+) part of the procedure is carried out. Skin may be removed from behind or, more commonly, if necessary, in front of the ear. Sutures are used to close the incisions where the skin has been removed. The incisions are inconspicuous once they heal.
The myEllevate® device is now used through 8 pinpoint incisions in the neck to suspend the deeper tissues, tightened and tied.
At the end of the procedure, we apply antibacterial ointments and a dressing.
What’s it like after the procedure?
Normally, there is little to no pain after the procedure, or the type of pain that can managed with Tylenol alone. If sutures are used, they are removed 7-10 days after the procedure.
After the procedure, we like you to avoid rapidly turning your head or activities that involve looking down (like reading on your phone). You can resume most normal activities within 10 days.
How do I know if I am a candidate for this procedure?
A consultation in our office may be the best way to determine if this procedure is right for you. Old photographs are of enormous benefit, because they show us what your neck might have looked like and what we would be able to achieve with a closed procedure such as Renuvion® + myEllevate®. An examination often tells us what structures have loosed in the neck, and allows us to familiarize ourselves with your entire medical history.
Photography, especially 3D photography, allows us to demonstrate to you what is achievable and to discuss the relative merits of this procedure over more involved open procedures.
Most patients whose health allows can obtain cosmetic improvement from this procedure.