What’s the Best Way to Get a Streamlined Neck?
by Beauty Blogger Emmy Owens
I caught a glimpse of my profile in the mirror the other day. At least, I think it was my profile, although the chin seemed to be dissolving. I had to look again. It’s called the double chin double take. So this is what middle age looks like.
Disappointment with the appearance of your neck isn’t new. The late author Nora Ephron once titled a collection of essays, “I Feel Bad About My Neck.” If you Google “how to get rid of neck fat” be prepared to spend the better part of an afternoon reading about everything from face yoga to surgical neck lifts.
Actually, skip the Googling because I’ve already done that. I discovered there is merit to some different approaches to getting a toned neck (not face yoga), and each has some drawbacks.
Here’s a glance at each of the options, beginning with the least invasive approach:
These are similar to face yoga but are actually designed to tighten specific muscles of the neck. To me, they still seem to offer more hype than hope, but can’t really hurt. If you combine neck exercises with making some lifestyle changes — drinking lots of water, watching what you eat, and getting enough exercise — chances are your neck will begin looking slimmer after a month or 2.
This is the only injectable treatment approved by the FDA to reduce the fat beneath the chin (which is known clinically as submental fat). In theory, KYBELLA seems like a groundbreaking treatment. A shot that gets rid of a double chin? Where do I sign up?
Based on early reviews, the reality is a little more complicated. A patient needs multiple treatments — at least 2 and possibly up to 6 — to get the best results. The treatments are scheduled about a month apart, so it could take up to 6 months before you see the final results.
Additionally, each treatment session includes several injections. Clinical studies showed between 20 and 30 shots at each session were often needed. Although it is billed as a no-downtime treatment, patient reviews on RealSelf.com indicate that swelling and bruising following the first treatment can be severe and last up to a week. And, at this point, the cost of KYBELLA appears to be comparable to neck liposuction (which is discussed later). Still, RealSelf user have given it a high “worth-it rating,” indicating results are noticeable.
Laser energy is used in many types of cosmetic procedures. PrecisionTx is a minimally invasive treatment that involves inserting a tiny tube called a cannula through 3 small incisions (so small they don’t need to be stitched). A wire-like probe is inserted through the cannula to deliver laser energy to the fat beneath the chin, which accomplishes 2 things:
- It melts the unwanted fat deposits.
- It heats up the connective tissue just below the skin, triggering the natural healing process.
The final results — a more youthful, defined jawline and firmer skin — take several months to emerge.
This may be the most invasive of the procedures, but it is probably the most effective and, all things considered, the most cost-effective. During liposuction, fat is sucked from the target area using cannulas inserted through small incisions.
Smartlipo™, a form of liposuction that uses laser energy, is often preferred for small areas such as the neck. Dr. Kevin Johnson, a cosmetic surgeon and liposuction specialist with offices in Spokane, Washington, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, says on his website that laser liposuction and PrecisionTx are both excellent options. The site says Smartlipo offers the following benefits:
- Minimally invasive
- Gentler than traditional liposuction
- Minimal recovery time
- Promotes skin tightening
The recovery time following liposuction is usually about 2 weeks, but it’s a one-and-done treatment, unlike KYBELLA injections. Additionally, some surgeons combine Smartlipo and PrecisionTx to get the best of both procedures.
After researching the options for getting a neck that looks closer to age 40 than 60, I’m pretty sure I’ll go for the Smartlipo.