I had a facelift to tighten neck in 2009, but the skin is loose again and not matching my face. Do I have any options?

The skin is loose and crepey but there isn't extra fat or heavy jowls or a turkey neck. I really don't want the FULL procedure again because it was painful and the scars in hairline caused loss of hair for me. (And I had fine hair to begin with). I wear my hair short, so a vertical scar at back of neck is not an option.

Doctor Answers 31

Loose neck skin after surgery

 Facelift in my experience last 7 to 10 years.  It does not stop the sands of time, it only resets them . When things start to droop again different areas of the face and neck may be the first to show  in your case it is the neck. It is possible that a neck lift only may be what you need.  It is also quite possible that despite your wishes you may need a full facelift again to get the best result. You should see a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in  facelift surgery. When he examines you he will be able to give you your best options 

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Do I have other options seven years after a facelift?

I usually tell my patients that the results of a facelift is permanent however, it will not stop time.  You probably still look better today than if you hadn't had a facelift at all.  Time has passed and unfortunately you've gotten a little older.  Typically patients who were happy with their facelift will want another one about 10 years later. Some a little sooner, some a little later.
Your options today vary depending on how much loose skin you have, what problem areas bother you, and what you are willing to go through.  You can get a full facelift, fat grafting and skin resurfacing, or any combination of the above. 
The incisions shouldn't really make a difference.  Usually after a few weeks of healing they are very difficult to see even with the hair up.  You really have to decide if the recovery time is worth it for you.  Just remember, the less you do the lesser the results will be and the shorter the time they will last. 

Adam Hamawy, MD
Princeton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Treatment for neck skin

It seems to me from your description that the neck overall itself is not hanging. Without a picture it is difficult to say for sure, but it sounds like you are more concerned with the texture of the skin describing it as "crepey". If this is indeed the case, you may be able to get the result you want with noninvasive treatments such as laser resurfacing. There are lasers which act on the surface of the skin, on the deeper layers of the skin, and other devices which work deeper yet using radiofrequency. I think your first step is to visit with a board certified plastic surgeon who has options in the noninvasive category. It is important to see a surgeon so that you receive all options from nonsurgical to surgical to get the best one that is tailored to your situation.
Best of luck!
Dr. Subbio
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Newtown Square/Philadelphia, PA

Christian Subbio, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Droopy neck 9 years after facelift

Factors that come into play when talking about how long a facelift lasts include the actual procedure performed, skin quality, sun damage, diet, stress, overall health, and most importantly heredity.  After 9 years, it is not uncommon to have some laxity in the neck area.  What to do about it really depends on the degree and whether it is just skin or a recurrent laxity in the muscle as well.  I agree that noninvasive methods tend to be expensive and not very effective unless the laxity is minimal.  I do think however that maximizing your skin care and really getting your skin healthy is crucial and you can achieve this with good diet, sun protection,  skin care, and peels and/or fraxel laser therapy. 

Ask you plastic surgeon what surgical options are available but do optimize your skin quality as well.  Without pictures that's about all I can offer.  Good luck!

Edward J. Ricciardelli, MD
Wilmington Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Secondary Facelifts

Each facelift has a different lifespan. In my practice, I most commonly perform a facelift that lasts a decade, or sometimes longer, by focusing support on the deeper muscle layer. In your case, you may need a targeted surgery to support the neck. It is hard to say though without pictures. In my experience, patients who have had a facelift are generally not satisfied by non-invasive techniques (like ultherapy) afterwards because the results are so much less impressive.

Best of luck finding a solution to your loose skin.

Benjamin C. Paul, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

I had a facelift to tighten neck in 2009, but the skin is loose again and not matching my face. Do I have any options?

Hello Embeau,

If you are having only crepey skin and not jowls or fat and want to avoid surgeyr, you may consider Ultherapy.  It is a non invasive treatment approved for mild skin tightening.  It is important to realize the results are not the same as surgery, but it does avoid surgery.  It also takes about 4 months to start seeing the full result with some minimal immediate tightening.  

I'd recommend you consult with a facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon to go over your options.  

I hope this helps and good luck.  

William Marshall Guy, MD
The Woodlands Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews


Thank you for your question.  It would be best to speak to a board certified plastic surgeon to properly examine you.  As you age, even after a facelift, there is going to be eventual relaxation of the skin and tissue. It does not completely stop the aging process.  an option may be to do a skin only excision which would be less intense than a full facelift.  All the best,

Keshav Magge, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Modified Neck Lift Could Help

The neck is the first area to relax after a facelift, for two reasons: 1) The skin and underlying SMAS muscle layer is thinner there and more stretchy, and 2) with normal head turning, there is considerable tension, which results in more stretching. I think it is quite likely that a modified neck lift procedure, which is less involved than a full lower facelift, could give you the results you are looking for, with less recovery. The technique is important: If the deeper tissues are released and elevated, then there will be minimal tension on the skin, and the scars should be fine without risk of hair loss. I suspect that, in your first procedure, the skin was placed under a lot of tension, which can result in hair loss, heavier scarring, and pain.

Nonsurgical alternatives for skin tightening

For skin tightening, there are a variety of non-surgical options. ThermiTight is injectable radio-frequency, which works to target the collagen in the skin, and produces a very nice, noticeable tightening result. Thermage and Ulthera offer non-invasive tightening with Radio-Frequency and Ultrasound, respectively. Fractionated Radiofrequency (Infini or Intensif ) is another treatment for mild- moderate skin laxity in the neck. These are a few options that are worth researching. You will also want to make sure that whoever is developing your treatment plan has a good understanding of your goals and expectations. Nonsurgical treatments are very beneficia; however, they typically do not achieve results that would compare with surgery. After being evaluated by your surgeon, you may find that a necklift, with or without another facelift, may still end up being your best choice.

Mark Karolak, DO, FAOCO
Bridgewater Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Surgery Slows, But Doesn't Stop, the Clock

Thanks for your question. As you've already discovered, the results of facelift surgery are not permanent -- but it's wonderful that you enjoyed 7 years of results! Without a photo or in-person consultation, it's impossible to know exactly which procedures would best suit you. However, keep in mind that most neck lift procedures don't require a scar at the back of the neck. Instead, they're typically rather small and made beneath the chin. Please seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon near you to learn more about your options.

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 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.