Running Z-Plasty is for men only. Why? Dr. Alan Durkin, our Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, explains that because men shave their necks regularly, they constantly improve and stimulate the external skin of the lower face and neck. While men may develop the dreaded turkey gobbler, men can be rest assured that their overall skin quality has been remarkably maintained by the daily habit of shaving.
What is a Running Z Plasty?
Dr. Durkin’s Running Z-Plasty involves placing an incision directly in the midline of the neck, and removing all of the excess skin causing neck distortion. The neck muscle (platysma) is also tightened, and excess fat is addressed with targeted liposuction. This technique comprehensively improves the neck line only, which again is in line with what most of our male patients want. Surgery can be done awake, or with a twilight anesthesia, although we strongly recommend twilight anesthesia as those patients tend to have less bruising than their awake counterparts. The procedure takes less than two hours. Patients can shower the day after surgery, and return to regular activity within 3-5 days.
There are two critical components that makes a Running Z-Plasty work. This first is the use of shaving and dermabrasion to control and minimize any scarring. This procedure is male-oriented because we have a commitment to shaving, or we wear a beard. In either case, the scar will be camouflaged early after surgery. The second critical factor is that the male face can tolerate jowling and still look youthful, while the female face looks more aged with jowls. The Running Z-Plasty will not address jowling, only a sagging neck. However, many of our male patients will opt for dermal filler therapy in combination with a Running Z-Plasty to create a more youthful jawline contour.
A. Before Running Z-Plasty.
B. After Running Z-Plasty. 14 days post-op.
C. Before Running Z-Plasty.
D. After Running Z-Plasty. 14 days post-op.
The above photographs (A-D) demonstrate a typical result following Z-plasty by Dr. Alan Durkin. The postoperative photo is taken at day 14, and already the scar is beginning to disappear due to continued dermabrasion (aka shaving). While daily shaving clearly prepares the skin to accept the incision, our male patients literally shave their incision off following the procedure. While a permanent scar does exist, it blends into the skin background within weeks of the procedure.