A new option for those seeking a younger looking neck has appeared on the market: the Implicitguide® Surgical Suture System. Popularly known as the iGuide System, this option delivers what’s sometimes referred to as a “trampoline lift.”
The iGuide System is marketed by a company called ImplicitCare LLC and is available through a few plastic surgeons. So far there are eight in California, for instance, two in New York, four in Texas and a few more across the country, according to the iGuide website (ImplicitCare 1).
To get an idea about how the system works, visit implicitcare.com and view the “About iGuide” page. There you’ll see that this approach to the neck lift involves weaving permanent sutures back and forth under the jaw in a shoelace pattern, usually after liposuction has been performed, to elevate sagging tissues and hold them firmly in a more youthful position (ImplicitCare 2).
Advantages of this approach to lifting the neck relate to the fact that it’s less invasive than a traditional neck lift. The minimal incisions required cause less swelling and bruising and less downtime. In addition, the procedure can often be performed under local rather than general anesthesia, meaning initial recovery is often easier than for a traditional procedure (ImplicitCare 2).
Because a neck lift with the iGuide system is faster and less invasive, the procedure should cost most patients a bit less than a surgical neck lift. A quick look at plastic surgeon comments on RealSelf.com shows one iGuide doctor reporting a price tag of $4,500 - $7,500 depending on the region. That compares to an average cost of $8,300 for a traditional neck lift (RealSelf 1).
Now the crux of the matter—does it work? The few plastic surgeons who have purchased the system are enthusiastic, as you might guess. The RealSelf member physician who answered the question about price says the option is a good one for a man or woman with early signs of aging and that his patients are generally happy.
On the other hand, many plastic surgeons seem doubtful about whether the results are worth the cost, especially when it comes to the long term. One RealSelf doctor characterized the iGuide as “another in the long line of attempts for [sic] correct a very difficult area…”(RealSelf 1). For one doctor, the technology brings to mind the "thread lift" approach to facelifts popular a few years back—an option that has been mostly discarded due to complications and unsatisfactory results.
Dr. Sam Lam, one of the Texas plastic surgeons who has experience with the iGuide, explained that the sutures are placed more deeply and fixed more firmly with iGuide than with the old thread lift facelifts. He also pointed out that the firming action increases with time due to the formation of scar tissue (Lam 1).
If you’re an adventurous type, perhaps a trampoline neck lift with the iGuide is worth an experiment. But in these early days of experience with the technology, that’s just what it would be—an experiment. If you don’t consider yourself an “early adopter,” stay tuned. If the iGuide delivers on its promises, you will surely be hearing more about it soon.
ImplicitCare. An iGuide Physician. Web. July 11, 2001.
ImplicitCare. Ask your doctor about iGuide. Web. July 11, 2011.
RealSelf, various plastic surgeons. Neck Lift. RealSelf. Web. July 11, 2011.
Lam, Sam. iGuide Neck Lift (Trampoline Lift). Dr. Sam Lam Plastic Surgery Forum. March 14, 2011. Web. July 11, 2011.
Reviewed July 14, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Alison Stanton