A thin, plastic "sling" surgically placed under the skin beneath the skin and jaws helps reduce the saggy appearance of the neck that results from aging, according to an article in the November/December issue of The Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
According to the article, aging is often accompanied by changes in the face and neck, including loss of elasticity in the skin and an increase in the amount of fat in the neck, causing it to sag. Part of the reason the neck begins to droop is because the underlying muscle that acts as a kind of "sling" has stretched over time and can no longer support the tissues under the chin. Several plastic surgery procedures have been used to combat the signs of aging in the face and neck area, including face lifts and liposuction.
Wallace K. Dyer II, M.D., and Arvind Prabhat, M.D., of Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, investigated the use of an artificial plastic sling to help lift the tissues under the chin to give a more youthful appearance. The permanent sling – a narrow strip of polytetrafluoroethylene (a kind of plastic) – is surgically attached under the skin and is positioned beginning behind one earlobe, extends below the jaw and chin and ends behind the other earlobe.
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