The ideal procedure for those patients with aging of the lower face and neck is a cervicofacial rhytidectomy. However, within this group is a subset of patients whose goals can be met with a lesser procedure. These patients must be interested in profile change only, with no desired change in the midface.
Patients undergoing neck rejuvenation by means of a submental approach fall into three groups: (1) patients with obtuse cervicomental angles and good skin elasticity (who may be treated with liposuction alone); (2) patients with subplatysmal fat or mild to moderate skin and muscle laxity (these patients are best treated by anterior lipectomy and platysmaplasty); and (3) patients with marked skin excess or severe skin laxity (best treated by procedures with excised skin, i.e., traditional face lift or direct excision of neck skin and Z-plasty).
Thirty-three consecutive patients with mild (grade II, 16 patients), moderate (grade III, 11 patients), and severe (grade IV, six patients) cervicomental angle deformities were treated with anterior platysmaplasty and submental lipectomy. Twenty of 33 patients improved by one grade (61 percent), whereas 12 of 33 improved by two grades (36 percent).
Young patients with minimal subplatysmal fat can be treated by liposuction alone. Patients with subplatysmal fat and mild or moderate skin or muscle laxity will obtain consistent results with platysmaplasty and submental lipectomy. Skin excisional procedures are reserved for those patients with severe skin excess or laxity.