A surgical neck lift used to be the only option for rejuvenating the skin and tissues of the neck. In recent years, however, there has been a proliferation of minimally invasive and non-surgical neck lift procedures that can be extremely effective for turning back the clock. The key is choosing the right procedure or procedures for your individual needs, anatomy and lifestyle. The internet is an excellent resource for patients, but it can also be misleading. There is no one-size-fits-all procedure for improving the look of your neck because aging in the neck is multi-factorial. It can be the result of excess fatty deposits, poor skin texture, lax muscles or a loss of skin tone that results in sagging. This is why it is important to see a plastic surgeon with a lot of experience in all aspects of neck rejuvenation.
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Sean Doherty, has long recognized the importance of the neck as more than just an extension of the face. He prides himself on staying up-to-date on the latest innovations and technologies such as the radiofrequency (RF) treatment Renuvion®, and is an expert at combining the exact right procedures to create a natural looking, long, lean neck with as little downtime as possible. In the era of Zoom and FaceTime, this skill has proven to be invaluable to his patients.
Non-Surgical Neck Lift Consultation
The skin and tissues of the neck have always been one of the first areas on the body to show the earliest signs of aging yet it was often overlooked in favor of the face. This is no longer the case in our current digital age. The neck has moved center stage. In fact, younger and younger patients are inquiring about neck rejuvenation. Today, there are a lot of options including surgical and minimally invasive procedures such as a:
- Neck lift
- Thread Lift
- Renuvion®/J Plasma radiofrequency
And non-surgical procedures such as:
All of this choice makes it imperative that you be assessed in-person for a physical exam as the key to any successful outcome is matching the right procedure to the right patient. During your consultation in his Boston area office, Dr. Doherty will listen closely to what is bothering you about your neck. He will inquire into your medical history, family history, skin care regime as well as any prior procedures that you may have had done including surgery, Botox, fillers and lasers. Then, he will perform a thorough physical examination to assess the:
- Texture of the skin on your neck
- Areas of sun damage
- Muscle laxity, if any
- Elasticity of the skin
- Degree of sag or droop in the skin of your neck and lower face
- Previous scars
Procedures to Address Excess Fat in the Neck
One of the defining features of a youthful looking neck is a crisp jawline. Unfortunately, many patients have a genetic predisposition to carry excess fat under the chin. Furthermore, with age, the skin and tissues of the neck weaken and hidden pockets of fat become suddenly more apparent. This is particularly problematic for men who wear collared shirts and ties. Neck liposuction is the gold standard for removing excess fat. It gives Dr. Doherty the most access so that he can re-sculpt your neck into a more youthful looking contour. Neck liposuction can be an excellent standalone procedure in younger patients with good skin tone. However, if you also have a mild to moderate degree of sagging in the skin, Dr. Doherty will combine liposuction with a radiofrequency (RF) procedure to tighten the skin. One of his favorite combinations is neck liposuction and Renuvion®.
Dr. Doherty is sensitive to the fact that some patients simply do not want surgery. For them, he offers a trio of non-surgical fat reduction options. Kybella® is an injectable that literally melts fat. As one of the first surgeons in Massachusetts to offer Kybella®, Dr. Doherty has extensive experience in both the pros and cons of this treatment. It works best in patients with a minimal amount of loose skin and only an isolated pocket of fat. While there is no surgical downtime associated with the procedure, Kybella® does require multiple treatments, spaced 4-6 weeks apart, and you may need anywhere from 2-4 treatments to achieve your final results. Though you can return to your daily routine immediately, you will experience swelling in the treated area for a few days after each treatment.
Non-Surgical Neck Lift Real Patient Testimonial in Boston
SculpSure® and CoolSculpting®
Two other non-surgical procedures for addressing excess fat are SculpSure® and CoolSculpting®. The first is a laser that heats the unwanted fat, permanently destroying the fat cells, while the latter works by reducing the temperature of the targeted fat. Once the fat cells are gone, they are gone for good, but both require multiple treatments to achieve your final result. Of the two, Dr. Doherty is more inclined towards SculpSure® as he has found the heat of the laser to deliver some degree of skin tightening in addition to the fat removal. However, neither SculpSure® nor CoolSculpting® is ideal for anyone with a large degree of excess fat and/or loose skin. These patients will be better served with neck liposuction, a surgical neck lift or a thread lift.
Thread Lift for the Neck
A thread lift is a minimally invasive procedure that uses barbed suture material to lift the skin and tissues of the neck without cutting the skin. It has gained a lot of traction lately as it has become a go-to procedure for many celebrities. The advantage of a neck thread lift is that there are no incisions so there is no significant downtime. However, the results are not nearly as effective or long-lasting as what you can achieve with a surgical neck lift, but, in the right patient, it can be a nice in-between procedure. Dr. Doherty will often combine a thread lift with neck liposuction and/or a filler such as Voluma® or Radiesse®. Properly placed filler can help to create a stronger looking jawline by subtly altering the proportion of your face.
Non-Surgical Neck Lift: Skin Tightening
Finding a way to tighten the skin without excising the skin has always been a unicorn in plastic surgery. Over the last decade, however, some very effective non-surgical options for tightening the skin on your neck have come on the market including:
- EndyMed Intensif Microneedling®
Best for patients with only a mild to moderate degree of sagging in the skin, radiofrequency (RF) treatments such as Renuvion® and TempSure® use RF energy to improve your skin tone and texture while Profound® and EndyMed® combine the RF with microneedling for even more “uumph”.
All of these modalities are extremely effective for improving skin texture issues such as crepiness, brown spots and redness while also delivering a slight lift to your skin. Some, such as Profound®, are more invasive and require more cost and recovery, but also produce a more rejuvenating effect. The right choice for you is going to depend on your needs and tolerance for downtime.
Bottom line, when it comes to your neck, there is no reason to suffer in silence. With so many choices, it’s easy to find one that will fit your lifestyle and have you looking like yourself again in no time.
To find out more about a surgical neck lift or non-surgical neck lift procedures with Dr. Sean Doherty at his Boston or Brookline office, contact us today or call (617) 935-0801 to schedule a consultation.
Non-Surgical Neck Lift FAQs
Without seeing you in-person, it is impossible to say. The best procedure for eliminating serious folds in the neck is going to be a surgical neck lift. It just gives me the greatest ability to lift and tighten. However, if you really don’t want surgery, Profound® will deliver some results. It tends to be most effective for the lower face and jawline. The results just won’t be as dramatic as a neck lift so it’s important that you adjust your expectations accordingly. Combining Profound® with a thread lift can also be quite effective in the right patient.
Yes. Microneedling works by promoting your own body to produce more collagen and elastin, which are two of the essential building blocks of youthful looking skin. When the needles penetrate the skin, they cause damage which kick starts your body’s natural healing process. The end result is that the skin and tissues of your neck will appear more plump, supple and lifted. There are degrees of microneedling from a mild procedure such as the SkinPen® to something more intense such as Profound®. The right one for you is going to depend on your needs and tolerance for downtime.
Kybella®, SculpSure® and CoolSculpting® are the non-surgical procedures that I use to address a double chin. The right one for you is really going to depend on your anatomy and tolerance for downtime. Kybella® was actually designed specifically to address submental fat under the chin and can be the ideal option for localized fat in the area. But if you have a higher degree of excess fat, SculpSure® or CoolSculpting® may be a better option. My best advice is that you schedule a consultation with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area to be assessed in person.
You are numb during the procedure so there is minimal discomfort. Afterwards, most patients describe the recovery as more uncomfortable than painful. My neck liposuction patients are typically able to manage any side effects with over-the-counter pain medications.
No. The incisions through which I place the threads are tiny and heal without incident.