Ask Dr. Pane: Questions about a neck lift procedure

The Question

As we age, our bodies change. Gravity, environmental factors, loss of skin elasticity and more can and often do impact our bodies, meaning that nothing is truly permanent. This is especially true of cosmetic surgery, as the subject of this week’s Ask Dr. Pane segment is learning. The patient, from Boca Raton, reached out to us on Facebook and asks, “I had a lower facelift at age 48 and am not happy any more with my neck. Would a neck lift help me?”

The Case

The patient included photographs, which Dr. Pane reviewed. He notes the patient appears to be in her late 60s now and there is some visible neck banding present. Overall, the skin appears to be in good condition, but patients are reminded that photographs are a very distant second best to an in-person clinical consultation and evaluation.

The Answer

In this case, Dr. Pane says he would not recommend a neck lift by itself. The reason for this is because it may actually interfere with redraping the skin once the surgery is complete, lessening its effectiveness. What he would suggest instead is a combination face and neck lift procedure to correct the neck banding and help reduce the likelihood of it coming back.
Unlike most other surgeries, a facelift is unusual in that it is often easier the second time around. This is because the skin of the face is very forgiving and, assuming the initial procedure was done by a competent surgeon, the face will rebound from a subsequent surgery far better than most revision procedures. In addition, most secondary facelifts are painless and can even be done without anesthesia, if the patient wishes, without any more risk than would be expected of any other surgical procedure.
In this scenario, Dr. Pane recommends following the scars from the initial procedure to perform the lift. The excess skin of the neck could be removed and sutured back together following the original scar lines, and the skin of the face could also be tightened and firmed at the same time. This would help to assure that the banding does not reassert itself and that the skin of the neck and face remain firm, giving the patient a longer-lasting result which minimizes the likelihood of further issues.
One thing patients should be aware of is that many practitioners will offer so-called “mini” procedures, such as mini facelifts or mini neck lifts. While in some cases these practitioners may be telling the truth, that is not always the reality of the situation. Many practitioners use the idea of “mini” procedures to convince patients what they are doing is actually less invasive than a full facelift, for example, but in reality are simply doing the same procedure under a different name. Because of this sort of practice, patients should never be afraid to ask questions and make sure they are familiar with the differences between a “mini” procedure and the full version, so they can be sure they aren’t being hoodwinked. This is not necessarily commonplace, but does happen often enough to warrant commentary.
Another thing to be aware of when having a face and neck lift done is that it is important to avoid tension on the earlobes or around the scars, to prevent complications or damage to the scars while they are in the healing stages. Overall, facelift is a very safe and easy procedure when compared against other cosmetic surgeries, which can offer fantastic results with minimal downtime and discomfort. In this case, as long as the patient adheres to all postoperative aftercare directives and is conscientious about avoiding environmental and habitual factors which may be problematic, Dr. Pane says he feels confident the patient can expect excellent results and no issues. However, as always, this is contingent upon the outcome of an in-person clinical evaluation.

RealSelf Patient Reviews of Thomas A. Pane, MD


If you have an interest, concern or question about anything related to cosmetic surgery, the staff of Atlantic Coast Aesthetics welcome the opportunity to talk with you. Simply call us at (561) 422-4116; follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn; or email us though the ACA website. Your question may even be chosen as the subject of an upcoming Ask Dr. Pane segment, helping us inform and educate other patients while giving you the information you need to make sound choices about your cosmetic surgery options. Remember, at ACA we believe the only bad question is the one you don’t ask!


*Individual results may vary

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