Now for a Neck Lift?

The problem with plastic surgery is that once you have one thing fixed, it shows up its neighboring features.  A bit like a fancy mansion next to a rundown ruin.  The neck can be a bit like that. You may have had a great facelift but now your neck is looking much worse by comparison.  What to do?

Sagging in the neck area betrays age a bit like the rings on a tree.  Fortunately these days, less-invasive options exist to improve the appearance of the neck. Necks are highly sensitive to changes in weight gain and genetics may lead to a double chin. Loose skin can be compounded by underlying lax muscle. There are numerous potential solutions:

  • Liposuctioning of excess fat can help streamline the full necked, especially those who still have relatively youthful elastic skin that can bounce back after the procedure.
  • Injecting Botox into the neck muscle can also make sagging less conspicuous in a patient with great skin tone.
  • Ulthera is a new skin-lifting procedure using focused ultrasound to spur collagen growth deep under the epidermis. A single treatment may improve the contours of under-chin laxity. The jury is still out on this new treatment with more research being needed although there are some very satisfied patients.
  • There is also a procedure called an “isolated neck lift” which plastic surgeons have noted that are more popular with men which is somewhat surprising.

A man’s face may age gracefully, but “there’s no way a man’s neck, with all that tissue hanging down, can be graceful,” said Dr. Phil Haeck, the president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, who has done two neck-only-lifts for every three face-lifts in his practice in Seattle this year.

“That was the only part that made me look old,” said Walter Dowgiallo, 73, the chief executive of a label-printing company, referring to what he used to call a “rooster thing” under his chin. That was five years ago, before he was operated on by Dr. Joel Feldman, a plastic surgeon in Cambridge, Mass., who wrote a 2006 book, “Neck Lift.”

“You’re out a week, but, boy, I tell you, I’ve got 20 years of looking great,” Mr. Dowgiallo said. Two decades may be an exaggeration, and two-week recovery is more common. But, Dr. Feldman said, “The way I put the muscle together lasts years and years, and usually patients have a better-looking neck for the rest of their life.”

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