The iGuide procedure has replaced the less reliable “G Stitch” as a minimally invasive neck lift. Instead of a single suspension suture (G-stitch) the iGuide creates a mesh of sutures to naturally elevate the skin of the neck improving the tension and the angle of the neck.
“In my family we all have the same neck—it goes from the chin to the chest without any contour. I was just never really happy with it. Then a friend told me about this procedure. It was really pretty simple. And now I’m no longer self-conscious.” —J.W. (age 34)
About the Procedure
This procedure is done on an outpatient basis, usually under local anesthesia, either in a free-standing surgical center or in the office.
Small incisions are placed in strategic locations along the jaw line, the neck, and just beneath the chin in the middle of the neck. Liposuction is performed in the neck area to help mobilize the neck skin. The suspension materials are passed from incision to incision crisscrossing and creating a lifting mesh of suspension. The overall effect is a lifting of the neck to a new and more esthetic angle.
There is virtually no pain involved with the procedure, and sutures are removed within 5 to 7 days. Any bruising or swelling is gone within 10 to 14 days. Many people can return to work even before all of the sutures are removed. Although there is minimal discomfort, there is a tight sensation across the neck for about 2 weeks. For this reason, we do not recommend this procedure for those people who have a very sensitive gag reflex.
An improvement in facial profile with a better balance to the neck area and a more esthetic angle are all possible following this procedure.
- How can I tell whether I need a neck lift or a iGuide?
The appropriateness of the procedure depends on the skin. If there is excess skin, then a neck lift would be necessary to remove the excess skin. The iGuide can be used when the skin is not excessive or to add to the effect of the neck lift.
- I spoke with another plastic surgeon and he never told me anything about this stitch. Is this something new?
The iGuide is an improvement of the “G” suture.Dr. Giampapa originally described this procedure in seminars over ten years ago. It has not, however, been written up in a lot of the plastic surgery literature. Because of this, it’s possible that the other plastic surgeon may not be familiar with it.
- How can I tell if my gag reflex is too sensitive to have this procedure?
A good approximation of the iGuide sling can be achieved by holding your finger in what is going to be the sharpest part of the angle of the neck while swallowing against it. Take note of how uncomfortable this is, because after the procedure, this same sensation will occur for at least the first three to five days. NOTE: There is no danger of choking because of the iGuide suture. There is only the psychological aspect of mild discomfort.