Lasers for skin tightening will never replace surgery. But, for the right person, they can improve skin quality and delay the ned for surgery. In fact, lasers can sometimes enhance the result of surgery by making the surface of the skin smoother and more youthful. In my practice it is not uncommon for me to include some laser and skin care services before and after surgery to help improve the quality of the skin.
Alot of the lasers for skin tightening are not great. If you wnat bout a 20-30% improvement then this may be right for you.
Laser (or other wavelength energy) treatment vs. necklift
There is no such thing as laser or non-surgical neck lift, even though there are many claims. In my practice we have available a full range of laser resurfacing, non-ablative skin tightening, HA fillers, etc. in addition to standard and short-scar or limited facelifts. We offer specific procedures to patients based on each patient's needs or wants. Your age alone is not a determinate of what procedure will give you the best result.
We recommend neck lift for 3-dimensional improvement of facial and neck aging changes (loose skin, jowling, poor jawline definition, under-chin bands or folds, etc.). In your post, it does not sound like these are your issues, but I suspect you would be surprised that the procedure is less onerous than you imply.
We recommend non-surgical skin tightening for textural skin changes. Treatment of surface looseness can improve your appearance. Crepey skin is in this category. A series of laser and intense-pulsed light treatments, and periodic maintenance treatments, can give moderate improvement.
Both types of procedures may be useful for some patients. They do not achieve the same kinds of results: they can be complimentary. I suggest you seek other in-person consultations. The education should help you choose.
PS: Allow me to clarify one point. A "mini facelift" is a procedure to improve the cheeks without much done for the neck. A surgical neck treatment would either be a neck-lift (alone) or a part of a standard facelift.
Crepey neck skin
Very common problem !
From your description, I believe skin tightening with Ulthera would give the most benefit without surgery.
Further external skin tightening could then be achieved with the Fractional Laser
it is impossible to reverse the changes of aging at the skin level. ematirx and ulthera can be helpful , but are an adjunct to surgery, not a rpelacement.
Neck Treatment Options
I would recommend scheduling an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your concerns. During the consultation, the doctor should assess your face and neck and be able to present the treatment options that are specific to you. Deka Laser resurfacing on light mode can help if there is significant sun damage and superficial fine lines. Not everyone is a good candidate for Laser treatments, however there are other options that might be worth considering. Ulthera is a non-invasive treatment that helps to tighten the face and/or neck by using ultrasound to stimulate collagen at a very deep level under the skins surface. After a consultation, you will know exactly what it is that you are a candidate for which will make exploring your options much easier.
Laser treatment for neck laxity
Laser treatments are not good option for neck skin laxity. They improve the quality of superficial skin but not the overall laxity of skin. Your best option at this age is a minimally invasive lower face and neck lift to have a long lasting results. This can be performed with local anesthesia and twilight sedation.
Lasers are not very effective for tightening neck skin.
We have been using what I consider to the be the best skin tightening laser available, the Active FX/Deep Fx laser, for 7 years now. While it is very effective around the eyes and mouth, the settings have to be turned down very low to safely use on the neck, otherwise scarring can result. It can be used on the neck but the tightening at low power setting is minimal. You may look into one of the RF tightening systems but most patients do not get long term results from those devices.
Good luck and I hope this helps.
Crepey neck skin or excess neck skin
Nonsurgical treatments for crepey neck skin work very well. They usually involve a combination of resurfacing techniques, tightening procedures, and a touch of patience. Treating the neck with a fractionated CO2 laser followed by using a tightening cream works well. The laser may have to be repeated a second time about 6-12 months later to maximize the result. In our practice, combining the laser treatment with volumizers such as Perlane, Radiesse, or Voluma in the area in front of the ear creates a nice lifted appearance.
Neck lift or laser for crepey neck skin?
It all depends on how much laxity you have in your skin and how much tightening you are looking for. For a dramatic result, hands down, a combination of a neck lift with selective fat grafting and resurfacing will give you the best result. If you are in no mood to have surgery, and are only looking for a mild change, a laser treatment with one of several tightening technologies may buy you some time until you may be ready to commit to a more invasive procedure.