The neck is not just a stand for your face. The two work as a team. The skin and tissues of the neck, however, are actually more delicate than those on your face. This is why the neck is often one of the first areas to show the earliest signs of aging, but it is often not treated as well or cared for as the face. This sagging, crepe looking neck skin can be devastating to a patient’s self-esteem. Furthermore, in our current “selfies” driven culture, the neck is always on display. And let’s be honest, these photos are often taken at a less than flattering angle. All of which helps to explain why neck lift procedures are in high demand.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Sean Doherty, is adamant about always delivering natural looking results. The best compliment that he can receive about his work is for your friends and colleagues to not notice it. He is proud to offer his Boston area patients a wide range of options, both surgical and non-surgical, for rejuvenating the neck. The right one for you is going to depend on your individual anatomy, lifestyle and needs.
Neck Lift Consultation
It is crucial when considering any kind of aesthetic procedure that you first be assessed in-person. Plastic surgery is a field of innovation. We are constantly coming up with new and better ways to address a patient’s concerns. So, with concerns about enhancing the look of your neck, there are a lot of choices. These include surgical procedures such as a:
- Neck lift
And non-surgical procedures such 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
Ideal Candidate for a Neck Lift
Neck lift procedures really cut across all age, gender and ethnic lines. Today, it seems as if everyone is bothered by their neck. So, if you look in the mirror and notice:
- Excess, loose skin and fatty tissue on the neck
- “Skin bands” which run from beneath your chin to your lower neck
- Prominent vertical platysma muscles
- Double chin
- Poorly defined chin-neck angle
- Decreased definition at the jaw line
Then it may be time to come in and discuss your neck lift options. The right one for you is going to depend on your neck rejuvenation goals, ability to tolerate downtime and individual anatomy.
Surgical Neck Lift
A surgical neck lift is the gold standard for addressing loose, sagging skin on the neck. It gives Dr. Doherty the most access in order to lift and tighten the tissues, remove excess skin and address loose neck muscles if necessary. The end result is a smooth, long, youthful looking neck. Since the neck and the lower face work in tandem, a neck lift will also rejuvenate the lower part of your face, minimizing jowling and producing a more defined jawline.
During your surgical neck lift, Dr. Doherty will make small incisions behind and in front of the ear. The goal is for any resultant scar to be well hidden by your hair or curve of the ear. Then, he will lift your skin, tissues and muscles, if needed, trimming away any excess. If you also have excess pockets of fat in the neck, Dr. Doherty may combine your neck lift with liposuction.
Neck and Chin Liposuction
Two of the defining features of a youthful looking face are a:
- Well-defined jaw line
- Pleasing angle where the neck and chin meet
This is why a fullness in the neck and chin can create the illusion of excess weight or premature aging when, in fact, neither is true. Fatty deposits in the neck and/or under the chin can be especially aging for men who have to wear buttoned-up shirts or neckties. Liposuction is a surgical procedure in which Dr. Doherty removes excess fat, sculpting a crisper, more youthful looking neck, chin and jawline.
This minimally invasive surgical procedure is best suited for patients who have a moderate to severe amount of excess fatty tissue in the neck, but little to no sagging in the skin. During your neck liposuction procedure, Dr. Doherty will make three small, well-concealed incisions. He practices a couple of different liposuction techniques including laser liposuction, power assisted liposuction and syringe liposuction. The latter is often the treatment of choice for the delicate tissues of the neck, but the best option for you will be discussed in detail during your initial consultation.
He is amazing!!! I have had several different treatments with Dr. Doherty and have been 100% satisfied with all of them. I was bothered by some fullness in my neck and he recommended kybella. The results are incredible!!!! My neck and jawline have never looked so defined and tight. I will absolutely be back for other treatments. I recommend Dr. Doherty to everyone
Non-Surgical Neck Rejuvenation: Kybella & SculpSure
Some patients, however, simply do not want surgery. Dr. Doherty offers them two non-surgical options for removing fat: Kybella and SculpSure. Made of deoxycholic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance in the body, Kybella is an injectable that literally melts fat. As the first surgeon 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 downtime associated with Kybella, it does require multiple treatments, unlike liposuction which is a one-and-done procedure. You may need anywhere from 2-4 Kybella treatments, done every 2 months, before you see your final results.
SculpSure is another non-surgical procedure for addressing excess fat. It is a laser that heats the unwanted fat and destroys the fat cells. With time, these cells are eliminated through the body’s lymphatic system. Extremely effective, most patients require more than one treatment to attain their final results. Like Kybella, however, this is not ideal for anyone with a large degree of excess fat and/or loose skin.
In addition to liposuction, Kybella and SculpSure, Dr. Doherty will often add a filler such as Voluma to your jawline and/or chin as combining non-surgical procedures can be a recipe for success for the right patient. Properly placed filler can help to create a stronger looking jawline by subtly altering your facial proportion. In addition, he may also perform radiofrequency for skin tightening or add PDO threads to encourage a non-surgical facelift.
Non-Surgical Neck Lift: Skin Tightening
There are also some really effective non-surgical options for tightening the skin on your neck. In patients with only a mild to moderate degree of sagging in the skin or who simply do not or cannot have surgery, Dr. Doherty offers his patients the following options:
- Pellevé and TempSure
- EndyMed Intensif Microneedling
Pellevé and TempSure use radiofrequency (RF) energy to improve both 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 addressing skin texture issues such as crepiness and uneven texture while also giving a slight lift to your skin. Some are more invasive than others and have more cost and 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 neck lift procedures with Dr. Sean Doherty at his Boston or Brookline office, contact us today or call (617) 450-0070 to schedule a consultation.
The bottom of my neck looks like a Shar-Pei, but I am scared of surgery. Will something like Profound help?
Without seeing you in-person, it is literally impossible to say. However, 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. But if you really don’t want surgery, Profound will deliver some results. They just won’t be as dramatic so you need to make certain that you adjust your expectations accordingly. Combining Profound with PDO threads can also be quite effective in the right patient.
Will a neck lift give me visible scars?
I do everything in my power to make any scars as inconspicuous as possible. I will spend a lot of time during the initial consultation studying a patient’s hair growth. With men, this also includes your side burns. My goal is to place the incisions where they will be the most concealed. I also stay up-to-date on the latest surgical techniques in order to minimize any pull on the skin. This is one of the factors that can contribute to scarring. Some patients simply scar more than others, however. For them, I have a few more tricks up my sleeve such as silicone gel, certain lasers and/or needling devices.
How can microneedling help the skin on my neck?
When the needles penetrate the skin, they cause damage. The body’s natural healing response to any kind of threat is to produce more collagen and elastin. These two provide both structure and “bounce back” to the skin. More of both, therefore, can make your skin more plump, supple and lifted. The end result is a younger looking neck. This is a great initial procedure for some patients. The PICO laser is also a nice “intro” laser for new patients.
Which is better for a severe double chin— Kybella, SculpSure or liposuction?
It is going to depend on your skin elasticity, the degree of excess fat and ability to tolerate downtime. A severe amount of extra fat is probably going to be best served by liposuction and/or a neck lift, but not every patient wants to deal with the downtime. For them, Kybella or SculpSure may not deliver as much of a “Wow” result, but they also don’t require days lost from work. Patients with loose skin may be better served by SculpSure as the heat from the laser has been shown to deliver a bit of skin tightening. However, none of these will help a patient with a lot of sagging skin because when you remove the fat, the skin will actually droop more. In order to deliver a crisp jawline in these cases, I must address both the loose skin and the extra fat in the neck with a neck lift and liposuction.
Will a neck lift improve the look of my jowls?
Yes. When I lift the skin and tissues of the neck, I am also addressing the skin and tissues on the lower face. I often will remove a little fat in the jowl area via delicate liposuction at the time of the surgical procedure.