Submit your question below about any cosmetic procedure to be considered for posting with an answer from one of our board-certified plastic surgeons.
Note: ASAPS cannot give advice about specific medical problems nor should answers provided by responding surgeons be substituted for a complete medical history, work-up and an in-personal medical/surgical consultation. Sorry we can't answer all questions. We try to select questions that have the widest general interest.
Can skin resurfacing be an alternative to a face lift?
I have deep wrinkles and a lot of excess skin, especially in the neck area. I don't want a facelift, but I am curious if any laser or exfoliation techniques could help. All advertisements that I read mention fine wrinkles. Mine are very deep. I've looked at fillers but I've been told that it will take a lot and the cost will equal a face lift in just a couple of years.
Yes, something can be done with your face. Often deep treatments with either Laser Resurfacing or Chemical Peels (Phenol) can be of assistance. Recovery from such procedures can take many weeks. Consider starting with your primary care physician for Cardio-Pulmonary clearance to make sure you are healthy enough for such procedures often administered under local with IV Sedation.
The neck is a different issue. Laser resurfacing and Chemical peels are often administered to the neck with great caution. If you do not want a face or neck lift, then which is your best option - sometimes Serial Radio Frequency or skin tightening treatments are the best alternative with less risk if administered correctly.
Consider a consult with one of the many members of the ASAPS to address your issues and determine your options.
Gary R. Culbertson, MD, FACS
Although Lasers and some peels can correct significant wrinkles, the only thing that will correct "a lot of excess skin, especially in the neck area ," is a facelift. To do anything else would be wasting your time and money. The new facelifts are much more natural than their predecessors and the recovery is frequently about a week, less than a Laser procedure or Peel for significant wrinkles.
Skin Resurfacing versus A Facelift – These are completely different operations. A facelift is “lifting and filling” of the deep structures and skin re-shaping versus skin resurfacing which mainly manages deep wrinkles and improves pigmentation problems, but it is not an alternative to a facelift. It does not overall tighten the skin significantly, if at all. They are two procedures that work well as an adjunct, but certainly are not considered alternatives one to the other.