In years past, facial rejuvenation often required a commitment to full facial surgery and extensive recovery. Today, our goals and ability to recover are different. Many of our facial plastic surgery patients in Dallas and Frisco, TX, who are concerned about neck aging are more comfortable with localized and focal changes and less dramatic and noticeable transformations. This has led to an increased demand for office-based, nonsurgical procedures to enhance facial appearance attempting to avoid surgery.
Do Non Surgical Neck Lifts Work?
Unfortunately, many of these non surgical neck tightening devices have not lived up to the hype surrounding them. We have tried very hard to critically assess these devices objectively to determine a few things:
- Do they work?
- How much improvement can one expect?
- How long will the treatment last?
- What type of recovery is expected?
When Is a Neck Lift Surgery Better Than Non Surgical Neck Tightening?
While there are a few devices that may result in improvement in selected patients, many of our patients are likely not candidates for these minimally invasive skin tightening procedures. Patients with the following may have to seek surgical alternatives for neck rejuvenation:
- Excessive neck skin or thin, inelastic skin
- Prominence to the muscular bands beneath the neck
- Excessive fat associated with loose skin
These patients are better served with a definitive surgical procedure.
What Are the 5 Benefits of a Neck Lift?
1. Neck lift surgery provides a more definitive and predictable result.
You really cannot compare the result obtained from a surgical procedure to anything we can achieve with devices in the office. Surgery provides patients with a more predictable result that leads to a greater change for our patients, as you can see in the before and after pictures below. Surgical results can last 5 to 10 years depending on the patient and their tissues.
2. It addresses all components of the aging neck.
There are 4 things that can contribute to the fullness of the neck:
- Loose skin
- Superficial and deep fat
- Prominence to the muscle edges resulting in “banding”
- Enlarged or droopy salivary glands
A surgical neck lift addresses each of these 4 components, whereas office-based devices can only address one of these problem areas at a time. Occasionally, heat-based devices can address loose skin and underlying fat simultaneously, but never as aggressively as surgery can. Patients of all ages request a surgical neck lift.
3. Its scars are well hidden.
A typical neck lift involves an incision that begins at the base of the ear (lobule) and extends behind the ear and back along the hairline. It often involves a small incision under the chin. The incisions behind the ears are nicely hidden by your hair during the recovery phase until they mature. Most of us have an old scar under the chin from a fall we have taken at some point during our childhood. These are easily concealed given their location and how well they heal. There is no stigmata or surgical appearance. Many of our patients state that people comment they look “refreshed” or like they “lost some weight,” as you can see in the before and after photos below.
4. Recovery is quick.
Most of our patients are back in public or even at work after 7 to 10 days. There is minimal swelling associated with the procedure. Occasionally, patients experience bruising in the lower neck that can be covered with camouflage makeup or more concealing clothing. Things are tight, particularly deeper in the neck, but there is no distorted appearance or significant swelling associated with a neck lift.
5. It’s a day surgery.
The procedure takes around 2.5 hours and is a day surgery. If our anesthesiologist agrees, the procedure can be done under sedation if so desired. Most of our patients prefer to be put completely asleep.
We send you home with a chin strap that you wear for most of the first week. There is a drain tube that stays in 3 to 4 days and sutures that need to come out around 1 week’s time. Once the sutures are removed, we start you on some scar cream to help with the healing process. At 2 weeks, we let you start to increase your activities. Driving can commence around 1 week’s time.
Total Facial Rejuvenation
A neck lift can also be combined with other procedures such as a facelift, brow lift, or eyelid surgery for total facial rejuvenation. I talk about some of the procedures we often include with a facelift in this related blog post.
Who’s a Good Candidate for Neck Lift Surgery?
A surgical procedure is an order of magnitude greater commitment than any office-based one. That being said, in a healthy individual, the outcome and longevity of the procedure cannot be matched with any device-based neck treatment.
Your safety and well-being are always our primary concerns. We have an incredible team at UT Southwestern to help me care for you and get you through the procedure and its recovery. Surgical neck lifts are a much more common request in my practice than a traditional facelift and in selected patients can provide the kind of improvement that some patients are looking for without a considerable recovery.
Who Can Perform Neck Lift Surgery?
Remember, board-certified plastic surgeons with a focus in cosmetic surgery are best trained to care for your needs. If you have questions about whether a doctor is board-certified in plastic surgery you can check credentials on the American Board of Plastic Surgery’s website.
Get Started Rejuvenating Your Neck
Ready to see more amazing neck lift transformations? Browse our full photo gallery. If you would like to learn more about your best rejuvenation options from an experienced plastic surgeon in Dallas, TX, please contact us online or call (214) 645-3112 to request a consultation.
Updated July 2022