Novel Modality for Neck Rejuvenation: A Prospective Multicenter Trial of Percutaneous Radiofrequency Ablation of the Cervical Branch of the Facial Nerve

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Neck rejuvenation offers few modalities of treatments limited to either invasive plastic surgery or temporary neuromodulation using botulinum toxin.

OBJECTIVE

To access the efficacy, longevity, and safety of percutaneous monopolar radiofrequency (RF) ablation of the cervical branch of the facial nerve innervating the platysma for neck rejuvenation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This prospective, multicenter trial enrolled 19 adult patients with noticeable platysmal banding at 2 different centers. All patients underwent RF ablation on the cervical branch of the facial nerve. Response was assessed immediately after treatment and then at 1, 4, 12, and 24 weeks after the procedure using photography. Masked investigators compared baseline photography and follow-up intervals to evaluate the results.

RESULTS

Seventeen of the 18 patients had improvement in the platysmal banding. One patient was disqualified after ablation. Long-term sequalae such as scarring, burns, ulceration, hypopigmentation, or hyperpigmentation were not reported.

CONCLUSION

The results of this multicenter study support that RF ablation of the cervical branch of the facial nerve is a novel technique that results in improvement of platysmal banding. This technique is an emerging alternative, nonsurgical option for neck rejuvenation that is relatively safe, with little downtime for the patient.

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