Can my face be lifted with a laser? (photo)

My dermatologist feels like I can get some lift in my jowls with titan laser treatments. I would like to improve the sagginess and condition of my skin overall. Does anyone have any suggestions regarding their successful experience with lasers and skin tightening? Also if you are in the metro Atlanta area that would really help. Thanks !

Doctor Answers 20

Tightening jowls

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Jowls are composed of lax tissues beneath the skin.  A laser lightening procedure will not be of any benefit.  A facelift with High SMAS will re-suspend the jowls and tighten the skin

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Lifting with a Laser

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One cannot “Lift” a person's face using a laser technique alone. That is simply a myth and marketing ploy.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Lasers can improve skin quality and texture, but they can't lift. A combination procedure is best

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Jowls are the loose skin below the jawline. This phenomenon is a facial aging issue that is related to volume loss due to loss of fat, muscle and bone. This is also related to sagging of the skin and the deeper tissue called the SMAS which is responsible for the support of the skin.  Very often when people start to get jowls, they look at the mirror and they look up to straighten up the jawline, which is commonly called that the "mirror lift".

A laser is really appropriate for skin tightening in terms of helping contour the face. It also helps the tautness of the skin and decrease wrinkling. A typical laser that we use in our practice is a fractional CO2 laser, and our patients have very nice results with it. However, when someone comes to me and asks if I can get a facelift with a laser, my answer is always no because the laser can smooth the skin but it can’t lift the skin in one direction. When we do a full face CO2 laser, the skin contour and texture is improved but it doesn’t in any way lift the skin upward.

With laser, there may be a slight improvement with the jowl. To test your jowl if it has improved with laser, you can pull your skin -if you can pinch a certain amount of skin between your thumb and your finger, then that usually means that there is too much skin to have a meaningful difference with a laser alone. Typically, I would do a combination of a facelift with a fractional CO2 laser. This way we can address the lift as well as the skin quality and texture.

Looking at your photo, I did notice that there was also some looseness in the skin in your neck area and there was some volume loss in your face. I think you should meet with your surgeon and understand what exactly the overall plan is before you move forward with a single procedure. I hope that was helpful, and thank you for your question.

Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

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Lasers don't work on jowls

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Lasers use light energy and are great for resurfacing of the skin, but they don't penetrate the skin.  Jowls are from laxity below the skin.  The only noninvasive thing I know that helps is Ultherapy, though this will provide a more subtle improvement than definitive surgical lifting which will get you the best result.  If minimal recovery is your emphasis- find a plastic surgeon with Ultherapy nearby.  If you want the best improvement, surgery is the way to go!

Facelift is the gold standard treatment for jowls and excess neck tissue

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Facial jowls and neck laxity (loose tissues) are best improved with a facelift. A laser works superficially and does not address the deeper issues such as fat and muscle. While lasers can improve the quality of the skin, a large amount of excess skin is not going to go away with this treatment. 

Richard A. Zoumalan, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Laser and Facelift

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     Laser can be used to augment the effects of a facelift with regard to skin quality, but moderate jowling will not be corrected without a lift.

Jowls need a good facelift, Lasers are for skin tightening and resurfacing,

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From your photo, you have moderate jowls and laxity in your neck which are best treated by a good facelift. Not all facelifts are the same!  superficial lifts where surgeons pull on your skin to achieve the lift is not natural and will not last.  A deeper plane facelift, such as a Pema-Lift performed in our practice, gives more predictable, natural, and long lasting results.  Lasers are limited to skin tightening and resurfacing.  Don't waste your money trying to correct jowls with laser. See our website for more information on this topic. 

C. Carson Huynh, MD, DMD
Atlanta Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Facelift works best for rejuvination of jowls

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Laser treatments are generally best for improvement of surface irregularities of the skin.  Some types of lasers (CO2, for example) may provide a very small amount of tightening as well, through heating of the collagen layer. However, in order to correct visible jowls and sagging of the cheeks and neck, the best treatment option is a facelift.  Facelift surgery (which should include SMAS and platysmaplasty) will not only tighten neck and facial skin, it will also correct drooping of the muscles and fatty tissues for many years to come.  Be sure to consult with at least one board certified plastic surgeon before undertaking any facial rejuvination , as an incorrect choice in these procedures may be expensive and disappointing in the long term.

Pamela B. Rosen, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon

Face lift

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Dear susano22,

   Thanks for submitting your picture. The aging process is defined by the 3D's : Deterioration, Deflation and Descent. Skin Deterioration can  be helped with laser , however not the last 2 D's.  From your picture the following is noticed : hollowing of the cheeks, peri oral folds, down turn of the corner of the mouth , joweling and platysma bands. The MACS face lift will address all the above mentioned findings. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced with that technique and can show you before and after pictures to you liking.

        Best of luck,

                             Dr Widder


Will laser treatments lift my jowls?

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Hi susano22. It is my opinion that laser resurfacing would provide very little improvement in jowling. Jowling results from laxity in the muscle layer of the face which results in sagging of the muscle and fat in the cheek below the jaw bone. The result is that the jawline is much less defined and creates a tired, aged appearance. I would consider a facelift and neck lift for the best results. Make sure to consult with a couple of qualified and experienced surgeons who will do a thorough analysis and give you options. 

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.