Should I Have a Neck Lift or Would Lasers Work for Me?

I am 45 and would like to improve the appearance of my neck. As you can see in the pictures, my jaw line isn't too bad but the neck itself is looking a little 'stringy' and wrinkly. Would lasers help improve things for me or should I go straight for a neck lift? Thank you

Doctor Answers 11

Minimimum Incision face Lift with neck lift

Your pictures show, IMHO, signs of Jowls as well as excess skin of the neck.  In these cases, the best and least invasive solutions are to think of each as an isolated area. 

  1. The neck could be treated using a formal Neck Lift which is quite extensive surgery (3 1/2 hours), with incisions that go from 3 inches inside the posterior scalp across the entire neck into the same place on the opposite scalp.  This is combined with an incision under the chin.  If you want a completely smooth neck without signs of anterior bands, this is the only procedure that can give you that result.  Lasers or RF treatments will tighten the skin a few mm's but not 2 inches, which the amount of excess skin showing in the photos.  If you would be happy with ~ 80% of the skin removed from the neck this skin can be removed through an incision under the chin alone.  This has the advantage of being far less invasive with a rapid recovery.
  2. The jowls can be reduced using a minimum incision Face Lift with a rapid recovery

Hope this helps.


Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Neck Rejuvenation

I have reviewed your pictures.  I would suggest from photos only, that you proceed to a neck lift.  There are many laser and radio frequency modalities which will provide minimal degrees of skin tightening, but none will help to modify the neck to the degree you are looking for.  From the photos, it appears you have a mild degree of platysmal banding.  These muscles will be tightened during the neck lift procedure to improve your neck contour.  I do not feel you would benefit from liposuction as it doesn't appear any excess fatty deposits exist.  I would also suggest a mini-lower facelift at the time of the procedure to provide you with more comprehensive total lower facial and neck rejuvenation.  Good Luck... Dr. Corrado

Anthony Corrado, DO
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Neck Lift over the Laser

I would go straight to the neck lift and save yourself from the disappointment and the expense of a laser treatment.  Since your jaw line is well defined, the incision can be much smaller than if it was not, and the expense reduced.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 134 reviews

Neck/face lifts for saggy necks.

Although some non-invasive skin tightening procedures can create subtle improvements, the majority of them give little to no benefit.  For most patients, a surgical neck lift combined with a lower face lift yields the best improvements and longevity of result. Although you may have only a little sagging in the jawline now, if you undergo just a neck lift, it is likely that in a few years, sagging in your jowls will become more significant and you will be left with a tighter neck with jowls hanging over.  My recommendation would be for you to wait until you are comfortable with doing your lower face and neck at the same time and getting the more comprehensive procedure then.  Good luck in your quest.

Adam D. Stein, MD
Raleigh-Durham Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Limited neck lift over laser treatment

Sally, even the most aggressive laser treatment is not going to smooth out your neck contour. If your only concern are the vertical bands, then a fairly limited procedure can be performed under your chin to eliminate them (edges of platysma muscle). From the photos you posted, it is difficult to judge how much excess skin you have in your neck. It appears minimal, and if it is so on physical exam, you may not need additional incisions around your ears. 

Grigoriy Mashkevich, MD. New York Facial Plastic Surgeon.

Grigoriy Mashkevich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

A neck lift is a better option than laser for loose neck skin


After reviewing your photos, I feel that the procedure that will give you the best and longest-lasting results will be surgical. While lasers can help slightly with the skin component, they are not going to affect the muscle that definitely needs to be addressed in your case. I think a neck lift  will serve your current concerns. A neck lift generally involves tightening the platysma, the muscle that is causing the vertical bands on your neck. It can also address some excess skin of the neck. The downside with doing a neck lift alone is that inevitably patients desire a lower facelift a few years later becuase their jowls have started to form, and their face looks older than their necks! 

If you are not ready for surgery yet, the only noninvasive technology I would consider for tightening the tissues of the neck would be Ultherapy. In my practice, we have seen promising results with Ulthera in patients with mild to moderate tissue laxity, such as in your case. Ulthera, unlike lasers, also achieves some muscle tightening. However, it is not a substitute for surgery and the results do not last as long as surgical results. One option would be try Ultherapy now so that it "buys you a couple of years" and then if you notice some jowls over the next few years, you can proceed with a facelift to address your neck and jowls at the same time.  

Hope this helps!


Sarmela Sunder, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Neck lift or laser

Hi SallyAnn. I concur with the consensus thus far. Laser treatments will not substantially improve the neck characteristics that are of concern to you. Any effect of laser treatment would be very modest. Unfortunately, this is sometimes not communicated adequately to patients resulting in high expectations for a more dramatic result and subsequent disappointment. Good luck.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

Short Scar Facelift to treat neck

You are an excellent candidate for a short scar facelift like the MACS Lift. This will suspend the neck back to where it belongs as well as reverse the early signs of aging in the face with a minimal recovery. There is no laser that will accomplish this.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Should I Have a Neck Lift or Would Lasers Work for Me?

Based solely upon the photos posted I recommend a neck lift as a better choice than any type of laser therapy. Best of luck. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Neck lines

The standard is physical examination with a diagnosis, surgical treatment plan with a review of options, patient and surgeon deciding on the most appropriate surgical option, the actual surgery etc.

Before saying what surgery you should have you need to know what you have or what needs to be treated. Your posted photos show some lax neck skin but are mostly significant for the 2 platysmal bands that run vertically down your neck on either side of the midline. This bands are the edges of the right and left platysma muscles closes to the midline. They have been caused over time by the way your body activates that muscle in daily life. The standard treatment for that is suturing the edges of the muscle together after separating them from the overlying skin via an incision under the neck. This in and of itself does not address excess skin should you have that or desire it to be addressed. For excess neck skin the traditional approach has been a facelift via an incision around the ear. Nowadays we have additional non-surgical options for the excess skin using laser and/or radiofrequency devices. These are only useful if the skin excess is not severe. That may be your case with respect to the skin but these devices will not reach or affect the edges of the muscle which lie at a deeper level. Some doctors place sutures from one side of the neck to the other to tighten this muscle but I prefer the direct approach of looking a the bands after separating them from the skin and then suturing them across the midline. No operation is perfect though and after sometime (it could be as long as 5 or 10 years) some of the banding does return. No surgery can stop the aging process cold.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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.