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Non-surgical Neck Lift

Until recently, there have been no effective ways to treat the sagging unless someone was willing to undergo a full surgical neck lift. This procedure is done under anesthesia, with a scalpel cutting out the excess sagging skin, and results in scars behind and often in front of the ears and under the chin. The procedure has about 2 weeks downtime with swelling, bruising and also with surgical risks including those of the anesthesia and of inadvertently ending up with a nerve cut bringing on long-term damage.

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The neck sagging is a result of a number of different problems. One is loss of elasticity of the skin; another is the turkey neck that wobbles in front with the two “cords”, which are in reality the platysma muscles under the skin that loosen up with time and show up in front of the neck like two ridges sticking out in front.

The Fractora can provide an excellent non-surgical neck lift and it is one of the best of all the modalities I have come across so far in my professional life. The Fractora can deliver the tightening effect into the thin neck skin 3 mm deep, which helps shrink the sagging skin as well as prompts long-term collagen production. The new collagen adds structure to the skin and, as a result, helps tighten the skin and restore the youthful look of both the neck and the face above.

Does non-surgical neck lift have downtime?

A: There are two ways to go about the procedure. One, the more aggressive way, involves using a treatment head that has little pins and leaves pinpoint red marks for a period of 3-7 days after the treatment. It’s always good to time these treatments on a Friday, to allow most of the healing to take place by Monday. At that point, if needed, either foundation can be used or a turtleneck will cover up most of the visible after treatment spots. This modality is great for patients who are looking for faster and more aggressive treatment regimens and can cope with the few days of downtime after each treatment.

Is there an option to have no downtime at all and still have a non-surgical neck lift?

A: Yes, indeed there is! The Fractora also has a modality, Fractora Forma, which can treat sagging skin without downtime. This treatment delivers heat into the skin and feels like a warm massage. After each treatment, most patients report visible improvement, noting a tighter and more youthful appearance of the skin. In addition, after each treatment, the skin is prompted to produce more collagen in response to the heat during the treatment. This treatment is best suited to patients who do not have the possibility of any downtime and/or are willing to have a more gradual improvement over a longer treatment period. Also, these treatments can be combined with the more aggressive Fractora treatments for an optimal outcome.

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Before & After Photos

Non-surgical Neck Lift - Before and After Photos: Female (neck, frontal view)
Non-surgical Neck Lift - Before and After Photos: Female (neck, left side view)

*Results may vary

Is the treatment painful?

A: The more aggressive modality, which involves the treatment head with the little pins, requires the use of a topical numbing cream. If needed, oral pain medications can also be offered to those who are very squeamish. The second modality is completely free of pain and works by the effect of the heating of the skin over a period of 6 or more treatments. So each patient can pick the modality best suited to his or her needs in terms of downtime and pain tolerance.

How many treatments are needed?

A: The more aggressive treatment mentioned above is usually one that we do 2-4 times, depending on the patient’s improvement from one treatment to the next. Some patients respond very quickly and experience tightening very soon. Some others show more slow improvements and need more treatments.

The second modality is a regimen of 6-8 treatments, about 2 weeks apart, on a regular basis, until the end of the treatment series. Dr. Hellman recommends a maintenance treatment every 2-3 months to maintain the tightening effect at the end of the series.

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Why do you prefer this treatment to Ultherapy?

Ultherapy utilized ultrasound waves that are used to treatment the skin. Experience has shown that one-third of Ultherapy treatments show good results, but one-third of patients have no results at all, and the rest have some improvement but not to the degree that they feel satisfied with. Ultherapy also involves pain and some patients are disappointed with the outcome. The more aggressive form of Fractora treatments, which are closest to the Ultherapy in terms of the treatment itself, tends to be highly effective in most of our patients. Ultherapy also has been known to involve lingering soreness for several weeks, which is not something that Fractora patients experience.

Can you combine the two ways of Fractora treatments if needed?

Yes. It’s actually very common that we do an aggressive Fractora first, then a series of no downtime Fractora treatments to follow. Also at times, after a series of the no downtime treatments, we opt to perform an aggressive Fractora to maximize the skin tightening. Many of our patients like to do a combination of both, as they recognize the benefits of each modality and the potential to enhance results by combining the two techniques. Dr. Hellman recommends an individualized plan for each patient, depending on their goals, downtime requirements, and the condition of their skin.

What about someone who has a lot of fat under the skin of the neck and under the chin?

These patients can still experience an improvement in the sagging and loose skin on the neck. Additionally, there is a treatment option that we use to reduce fat deposits on the body, called Body Fx. This treatment can be performed to “fat blast” the unwanted deposits under the chin and provide skin tightening benefits.

Written by Dr. Hellman on 2/5/2020

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Judith Hellman

About the Author

Dr. Judith Hellman is a board-certified dermatologist and an associate professor at Mt. Sinai Medical Center. Her passion for people shines through when consulting on a diverse range of medical skin conditions and how these may affect health, aesthetics, and self-esteem. Dr. Hellman has lectured globally and has authored many journal articles. Her fluency in English, Hungarian, and Hebrew helps enhance multilingual communication for many dermatology patients in NYC.

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