Non-Surgical Neck Lifts Taking The Industry By Storm

There is bigger than ever demand for non-surgical tightening procedures, especially to the jowls and neck, and to lift the brow and eyes.

Popular anti-ageing treatments such as dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections mainly target the face, leaving the jowl and neck areas increasingly lagging behind with time.

A “lunchtime” procedure that is taking the Australian cosmedical scene by storm is ultrasonic lifting.

Experts say it can be as good as a face and/or neck lift (in the right candidates) but without the invasiveness, trauma and downtime of submitting to the scalpel, producing results in suitable patients comparable to surgery.

Whether you are able to use the technology in your salon, spa or clinic will depend on your qualifications and level of training and whether a doctor, or practitioner under the supervision of a doctor is resident in or consultant to your business.

However, even if you can’t offer these procedures yourself, your clients worried by droopy jowls, double chins and/or turkey necks (and who don’t want surgery) will thank you for your wider knowledge of what can help them.

Also, the more you refer your clients to other professionals for services you can’t perform, you can’t be guaranteed these professionals will over time return the favour.

Ultrasonic aesthetic devices are designed to effectively lift and tighten sagging skin under the chin, along the jawline, on the neck, brow and décolletage, as they enable practitioners to see and then treat the deepest support layers of the skin – usually only addressed in cosmetic surgery – without the need to cut or even disrupt the surface of the skin.

At the same time, the skin is gradually retexturised as the production of new collagen and elastin is stimulated, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and promoting firmer and more youthful-looking skin.

These procedures are often accompanied by non-surgical fat reduction treatments where stubborn bulges (such as under the chin) exacerbate the appearance of a sagging jawline and neck.

SPA+CLINIC looks at some examples.

Bridgette Moss two months after CoolSculpting to reduce fat under the chin and a month after Ultherapy on her lower face

Ultherapy is an FDA approved and TGA-registered non-invasive “lunchtime” ultrasound treatment. It is extremely popular in the US – Grammy Awards guests recently received an invitation for Ultherapy in their goodie bags – and is fast gaining traction in Australia.

While Ultherapy has been available here for a number of years, improvements to the technology are making it increasingly sought-after. In particular, the comfort management factor has been elevated, with the recommended energy levels now reduced by up to a third of those initially used, making the treatment far more palatable than it was.

Unlike lasers and radio frequency, which penetrate the skin from the outside-in, Ultherapy, distributed here by Merz Aesthetics, bypasses the surface of the skin, delivering focused ultrasound energy at depths of up to 4.5mm – the same planes targeted by a modern surgical facelift. There is no downtime, with clients able to return to normal activities immediately.

The skin’s response to this energy is to stimulate the growth of fresh, new collagen and elastin. Results reveal a lifting and tightening of the skin over two the three months, back to a more youthful and form-fitting position.

Further improvements can appear for up to six months following a single procedure.

As the skin is in no way disturbed or disrupted, there is no sudden, dramatic change that requires explanation to workmates, friends or family.

However, in some cases minor swelling, slight tenderness to the touch, tingling or numbness can occur after treatment.

Dr Tobias Pincock, of Sydney’s Taylor Clinic, says it is one of their most sought-after “lunchtime” anti-ageing treatments, with men and women alike.

The clinic’s co-ordinator, Bridgette Moss, 47, recently underwent both Ultherapy and CoolSculpting fat reduction on her lower face and neck.

“My motivation was simply to look and feel better about myself,” says Bridgette. “I was becoming very aware of my turkey neck and the jowls on the lower part of my face.

“I didn’t want to have surgery, so after a consult with Dr Pincock he suggested combining the two treatments for optimum results.

“It was my family who noticed a difference first, about four weeks into the treatment.

“For me, the real moment of truth was when I saw my before and after photos. My `after’ photo was taken in mid February (I had Coolsculpting before Christmas and Ultherapy in mid January). It was seeing these photos side by side that truly blew me away. Photos don’t lie.

“Sadly, when I put the photos on Facebook I got comments from trolls like `If you stick your chin out, dye your hair blonde and put on some makeup … voila!’, or `She forgot to fix her nose!’.

“But I laughed at these comments. `Don’t hate me because you ain’t me’. That’s what I thought. I am a real person with real results.

“I am not embarrassed to show everyone and tell everyone that these two treatments have changed me for the better. I look better and feel better and as a woman who doesn’t what that. And more excitingly I didn’t have to have surgery to obtain these results.

“Confidence boost? OMG, absolutely! When I look at my before and after photos I cannot believe that I’m the same person. Age is going to catch us all eventually, but with these treatments I now say `bring on 50’!”

This editor recently met Bridgette and can attest in the flesh how good her results are.


Ultraformer non-surgical face and neck lift

With more than a million successful treatments performed worldwide, Ultraformer micro-focused ultrasound (MIFU) for non-invasive face and neck lifting was recently registered with the TGA, only the second device in Australia (Ultherapy being the first) to be so acknowledged.

“Ultraformer targets the SMAS for more natural and durable skin tightening, [SMAS is a layer of tissue which covers the deeper structures of the cheek area and is linked to the superficial muscle covering the lower face and neck, called the platysma. Some techniques for facelift surgery lift and reposition the SMAS along with the skin],” says Sydney dermatologist Dr Adrian Lim, who has been trialling the device.

“The ultrasound waves generate heat to contract collagen and skin connective tissue down to the muscle level and also stimulate skin rejuvenation and regeneration.

“The delivery of the MIFU is not associated with any epidermal injury and does not entail any recovery or downtime.

“It is precise, focused and has significantly less side- effects in relation to tissue heating (burns, blisters), diffuse heating with collateral damage to adjacent epidermis (burns, blisters) or adipose tissue (unintended fat atrophy) than skin-heating devices.

“The latter are also marked by an unpredictable and variable response rate where up to a third of treatments may not show discernible clinical results.

“At uRepublic [Dr Lim’s practice] we elected to study jowl and neck tightening – an area of great concern to many cosmetic patients – on 20 consecutive patients. This is an area not easily addressed by other non-invasive techniques such as injectables and non-MIFU skin tightening procedures. Consequently, there is strong demand for MIFU.

“In 85 percent of patients we treated, skin contraction with improvement in facial and neck contours could be seen immediately post procedure. At least half of the non- responders will show improvement with time.

“There is a 90 percent satisfaction rate among patients post procedure. There were no longterm adverse events noted. One patient had transient mild linear erythematous plaques for 24 hours after treatment. Another had subtle asymmetry of smile for seven days after treatment.

“Blinded physician assessment of the before-and-after photos indicated a noticeable change post procedure (one to 4.5 months).

“Ultraformer is well received by patients and fills the gap in the market for a well tolerated and consistently effective procedure for non-surgical face and neck tightening.

The device features seven transducer cartridges to select precise depth and energy for maximum lift with less pain than early generation MIFU technology.


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