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Update on the Neck

Posted May 02, 2016 in Nonsurgical Procedures

Some of the new treatments for the neck have been out for several months, so what are we finding?  As expected, there is some good news, but nothing is perfect.


We have talked about Ultherapy in my blog a few times.  This is a noninvasive skin tightening treatment that uses microfocused ultrasound to stimulate collagen.  Over a period of months, the skin of the face and neck tightens.  This does produce improvement in the cheeks, jawline, neck and brows on a pretty consistent basis.  The patient satisfaction ratings range from 80-90%, depending on the site you look at.  This is consistent with the results and patient satisfaction that we have seen, also.  The results are good, but obviously not close to being as dramatic as surgical results.   The treatment lasts on average 18 months.  So, better than injections(9-12months), but not as long as surgery (~10 years).

Ulthera before and after social


Fat reduction by means of injection sounded really exciting.  They have FDA approval for the area under the chin, but let’s be honest, we were all mentally thinking of all the areas we could inject!  However, this causes a fair amount of swelling for several weeks.  Across multiple practices, the swelling has been noticed to last from 3-8 weeks.  So, imagine taking an area that you aren’t crazy about and enlarging it for that period of time.  For comparison, most people can go back to their usual activities, work, etc in a week after liposuction.  In some people, the injections can cause firmness for a few months, which can also be less than desirable.  The other concern is cost.  This can cost significantly more than liposuction depending on the physician offices that you consult with for each.  So definitely do your homework on this one.



The treatment has been around for several years, but just got a new hand piece and FDA approval for the area under the chin. This treatment uses the theory that fat freezes at a higher temperature than skin to freeze and disrupt fat cells without affecting the skin.  This only addresses fat, not excess skin.   So, this is good for younger people, under 40 and people with elastic skin.  This causes swelling for several weeks, but not as much as Kybella, and numbness under the chin that usually resolves.  The results are not as dramatic as liposuction, but can be a low downtime alternative.

Always consult with a Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon that you trust before any procedure to get a full evaluation of your options.  In general, we are still looking for that noninvasive “golden bullet” for the neck, but you can have some skin tightening with Ulthera or fat reduction with CoolSculpting depending on what works best for you.

Posted in: Nonsurgical Procedures