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The Role of Skin Elasticity in Necklift Surgery

Posted: 12:01 a.m. Monday, Feb. 11, 2019

By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I am in my mid 70?s with sagging neck skin. One plastic surgeon advised a necklift. Another said I might not get the best result from surgery since my neck has poor skin elasticity. Why was there such a difference in opinion from two board certified plastic surgeons?

Answer: Firstly, it is not uncommon to get completely different opinions regarding a cosmetic procedure, even if both doctors are board certified plastic surgeons. There is a wide variation in knowledge base, experience and skill level even between 2 similarly trained, board certified surgeons. Some plastic surgeons focus on the body whereas others mainly work on the face. If you are looking for face or neck work, you may want to consider a Facial Plastic Surgeon who specializes in that area of the body.

Second, face and neck lifts are the bread and butter for many plastic surgeons who are, thus, highly motivated to sell these procedures. Many patients are reluctant to have aggressive surgery with it’s higher risk, making facelifts a tougher sell. In fact, some surgeons may not fully disclose all of the facts regarding how good of a candidate you are for a particular surgery.

It is worthwhile for you, as a patient, to take time to educate yourself on the pros and cons of face and necklift surgery so that you can make a well-informed decision. In regards to your question, a facelift or necklift is not a simple equation between loose or sagging skin and surgery. If you have poor skin elasticity, your facelift may not last as long. In fact, patients with poor skin elasticity tend to “drop” or sag sooner than patients with adequate skin elasticity. If you’ve ever known anyone who had a facelift but dropped or looked almost the same 6 months to a 1 year after surgery, this is more likely to happen with poor skin elasticity.

If you have poor skin elasticity, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should rule out a facelift. However, your surgeon should advise you of a possibility of a poorer outcome. Additional procedures should also be considered such as the Infini RF to tighten the skin by stimulating collagen and elastin. In fact, patients with mild to moderate sagging who may not need or be ready for a facelift, may benefit from the Infini RF “non-surgical facelift” as a substitute for a face or necklift.

Consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who specializes in the procedures that you are interested in is the first step in addressing your rejuvenation needs.


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