Be Wary of Nonsurgical Neck Lift Promises

A women who was properly educated about nonsurgical neck lifts.

As a triple board-certified plastic surgeon with more than 35 years of experience in both surgery and clinical research, I’m familiar with virtually all of the nonsurgical, minimally invasive treatments for improving the contours of the face and neck as either a consultant or innovator.

These procedures include BOTOX® Cosmetic, fillers, KYBELLA®, liposuction, CoolSculpting®, threading, laser treatments, radiofrequency microneedling, Ultherapy®, and others. And while each of these treatments can be effective, they cannot match the long-lasting, cost-effective, and natural-looking results produced by a customized surgical neck lift at my Los Angeles-area practice.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options

In an established aesthetic practice such as ours, nonsurgical procedures play an important primary or complementary role in satisfying the goals of patients. It’s my job to recommend the best treatment option for a particular patient—whether nonsurgical or surgical—based on the patient’s concerns and a physical examination. And in some cases, combining different treatments may be the best path.

But even though physical findings may indicate that surgery is the preferred option, some patients may not be ready to accept a neck lift or face/neck lift that involves lifting and tightening the sagging platysma neck muscle in the face and neck, contouring unflattering fatty deposits, and adjusting loose skin. The reasons for this discomfort with surgery could be the cost, the downtime needed, or merely a lack of interest in cosmetic surgery.

Nonsurgical options may still provide improvement. Here’s a brief look at each of the nonsurgical options and what they can accomplish:

  • BOTOX: BOTOX is well-known for reducing wrinkles around the eyes, between the eyebrows, and on the forehead. You may not know that it also can reduce the appearance of neck bands (vertical platysma muscles). These bands take on more prominence as we age. BOTOX injections can help smooth out some of these bands within 2 to 4 days of the injections. Results can last up to 2 to 4 months, depending on the degree of muscular strength, bulk, and facial animation in each patient.
  • KYBELLA: An injectable treatment to reduce submental fat (under the chin and jowls), KYBELLA was approved by the FDA in 2015. A series of KYBELLA injections can ease the appearance of a double chin and define the chin and jawline. Submental fat is a common concern for men and women of all ages.
  • CoolSculpting: We are a Certified CoolSculpting Practice, and I was the first plastic surgeon in Los Angeles to offer CoolSculpting as a noninvasive body contouring procedure. The CoolMini™ applicator fits snugly on the neck and uses the same cryolipolysis technology to reduce fat under the chin.
  • Ultherapy: Ultherapy is the only noninvasive treatment cleared by the FDA to lift the neck, chin, and brow. It delivers ultrasound energy deep into the skin, stimulating the production of collagen. Collagen is vital to the development of tight, smooth skin.
  • RF Microneedling: The INTRAcel device is an FDA-cleared device that enhances microneedling results by emitting RF energy through the microneedles for increased collagen remodeling and tissue tightening without harming the surface of the skin.
  • Fractional laser skin resurfacing: We use the non-ablative Fraxel laser, which can tighten loose neck skin and minimize the appearance of creases, wrinkles, and lines. Because non-ablative lasers are gentler than other laser skin resurfacing treatments, there is minimal downtime required after treatment sessions.

The best candidates for these nonsurgical treatments are younger patients with minimal degrees of skin laxity, fatty deposits, and muscle deformations. The results are less pronounced and are less durable than surgical options. The cost of serial procedures to keep up with the aging process must be considered until such time that surgical intervention becomes the only realistic option.

Neck Lift Surgery

Nonsurgical options aren’t usually suitable for women and men with very lax skin or jowls. When performed by a skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon, neck lift surgery is much more effective at tightening loose neck skin. To address sagging in the cheeks and midface, I often combine a neck lift with facelift surgery at my Los Angeles-area practice. Most patients address both the face and neck because of advanced changes. In some cases, I also combine a neck lift with liposuction to reduce neck fat or laser skin resurfacing to minimize sun damage or other signs of aging.

The best way to learn what treatment approach is best for you is to contact our office and request a consultation using the online form or call us at (626) 796-3373. Take a look at our before-and-after photos to see the results of neck lift surgery.

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