Many people need a neck lift, due to developing vertical or horizontal banding, a double chin or a turkey neck, here in Inland Empire. Honestly, a surgical neck lift is the best solution for severe neck aging. But many people today prefer to try a non-surgical treatment first. Renuvion and bipolar RF devices like NeckTite are among the best minimally invasive options currently available. Which one should you choose?
Both bipolar RF devices and Renuvion do a good job in the hands of a skilled, board-certified plastic or facial plastic surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist. However, there are some important facts to consider before making your choice.
How to Firm Up Your Neck
If you have a double chin or horizontal banding you must begin by removing excess fullness in your neck. Then we’ll need to tighten loose skin.
If you have a turkey neck, aging skin is often the culprit. When you’re young, a multitude of collagen fibers hold your skin in position. The elastin protein keeps your skin firm and elastic. Unfortunately, once you hit the age of 30, your skin produces less and less collagen and elastin every year. Eventually, the platysma muscles in your neck become more prominent, often forming a V. Loose skin hangs on your neck (hence the name “turkey neck”).
Eliminating a double chin or horizontal banding is best done with liposuction. There are several different devices available to do this. Often your physician will use an RF device or laser to liquefy fat cells and draw out the liquid fat with a small hollow tube called a cannula.
Minimally-invasive ways to tighten loose neck skin
Whether or not you had neck liposuction, you’ll need to tighten loose neck skin. Non-surgical neck lifts accomplish this by heating your skin, thus causing the collagen fibers that fasten it to contract. Applying the right amount of heat for the right amount of time will accomplish this. Collagen fibers will contract the most when heated to 65°C (149° F) for 2 minutes or 85°C (185°F) for less than a second.
Applying the right amount of heat for the right amount of time will tighten loose skin instantly. And then skin that’s been heated this way begins to produce more collagen. The greater the amount of collagen connective tissue you have, the firmer your skin will become.
Tightening Loose Neck Skin with RF Devices like NeckTite
Thermage, Alma Accent, NeckTite and similar devices produce heat with radiofrequency (RF) waves. This heats the entire skin, from the surface to the inner layers, to 65°C for 2 minutes or more employing a method called bulk heating.
Originally, RF devices used a single wand to accomplish this. Bipolar RF devices do this more efficiently, using a thin probe subdermally (under the skin) and a larger parallel probe that sits on the surface. As bipolar devices, they pass RF waves between the 2 poles. This heats all the skin layers between them.
As the two probes pass radiofrequency waves between them for 2 minutes or more, all layers of skin eventually reach 65°C (149°F). The collagen fibers then tighten and the fat cells liquefy, to be suctioned out through the liposuction cannula. Blood vessels are cauterized, which limits the risk of bruising. Skin tightens instantly. Collagen production will increase in the following weeks. Skin will continue to tighten for months.
Tightening Loose Neck Skin with Renuvion
The Renuvion/J-Plasma system uses a state-of-the-art method to tighten loose skin. After making a tiny incision, your physician will insert the wand subdermally. It will fill the areas under your skin surrounding the tip with naturally cold helium gas. Then the wand will cause an electric charge to pass through the helium, turning it into a plasma, similar to what’s used in plasma televisions.
The process of electrifying the gas instantly raises its temperature to 85°C for less than a second. Then the helium’s natural coolness instantly cools your skin. This contracts your collagen and immediately tightens your skin more than any RF device can. And, as your collagen production increases, your skin will continue to firm up even more. Your results will continue to improve in the weeks that follow.
Why I recommend Renuvion over Bipolar RF Devices
Both Renuvion and bipolar RF devices can provide excellent results. I recommend Renuvion. Here’s why:
A safer non-surgical neck lift
Renuvion is inherently safer than bipolar RF devices. Please note what Dr. Diane Duncan, a respected plastic surgeon, found when she conducted research on both Renuvion and bipolar RF devices. Regarding a potential bipolar RF device safety issue, she wrote:
While the internal cannula tip can get to the preset temperature quickly, the surrounding tissue takes time to get warm. Thus, there are “hot spots,” which may develop seromas, and areas where heating is not optimized. If the operator continues to heat a region that has already been optimally treated, cauterization of the microvasculature can cause ischemia [insufficient blood supply], resulting in fibrosis or a burn.
Clearly, physicians using bipolar RF devices to tighten skin must proceed with caution. If hot spots develop during the bulk heating process, they can cause seromas, pockets of fluid that seeps out of blood vessels and dying cells, or blisters. If those hot spots get too hot, the result can be fibrosis (scarring) or a burn.
To avoid these issues, physicians who use bipolar RF devices constantly monitor the patient’s skin temperature. In addition, heated skin can stay hot for several minutes. And since heating primarily occurs in the skin between the probes, the physician may need to treat a smaller area to avoid excessive pain, a blister or a burn. Please note the difference Dr. Duncan’s research found with Renuvion:
The Renuvion® device heats the tissue to temperatures greater than 85°C for between 0.040 and 0.080 [of a second]. Heating the tissue to these temperatures for this period of time is adequate for achieving maximal soft tissue coagulation and contraction. However, unlike with bulk tissue heating, the tissue surrounding the treatment site remains at much cooler temperatures resulting in rapid cooling after the application of the energy through conductive heat transfer.
A much larger difference between internal and external tissue temperatures for the Renuvion device achieves maximal tissue contraction while maintaining safe skin temperatures without the need for temperature monitoring.
This temperature graph illustrates Dr. Duncan’s point. The Renuvion device heats lower skin layers to the temperature where maximum tissue contraction occurs. Then the temperature immediately drops. This allows a non-surgical neck lift with Renuvion to provide great results without the automatic risk of a scar, blister or burn.
And while doctors who use bipolar RF devices routinely monitor skin temperature to avoid these problems, wouldn’t you feel better using a method that doesn’t require that? Monitors can malfunction and even the best physician can be momentarily distracted. That could result in a scar, blister or burn. Doesn’t it just feel safer using a method that has a built-in safety measure to avoid those potential problems?
Area of Coverage
As we mentioned earlier, bipolar RF devices heat and tighten skin between the inner and outer probe. This is often done under a local anesthetic. But physicians are limited in the amount of local anesthetic they can inject at any one time. This also limits how much skin can be tightened in each session.
The tip of the Renuvion device, on the other hand, pumps helium gas in a 360⁰ radius. That means that when the gas is electrified it will heat, contract and cool collagen fibers in the entire area around the tip. Renuvion can cover a larger area that is often realistic with a bipolar RF device. That can lead to a better non-surgical neck lift.
Getting a safer and better non-surgical neck lift in Inland Empire
Clearly, a non-surgical neck lift with either Renuvion or a bipolar RF device like NeckTite can provide outstanding results. Renuvion, though, has built-in safety and coverage advantages. It can tighten more skin quicker than bipolar RF devices with much less risk of a scar, blister or burn. We offer the Renuvion subdermal non-surgical neck lift at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario, Inland Empire CA.