The Non-Invasive Neck Lift: Achieve a Tighter Neck Without the Scalpel



Last Updated On: 2024-01-12

Advances in techniques and technologies have paved the way for compelling non-surgical alternatives with successful neck lift outcomes.

Doctor Medica team

A youthful appearance is often associated with smooth, firm skin and a well-defined jawline. However, one area that can betray the signs of aging and detract from an otherwise youthful look is the neck.

Over time, the skin on the neck may lose its elasticity, leading to sagging, wrinkles, and the dreaded “turkey neck” appearance. Although surgical neck lift procedures have long been an option, non-invasive alternatives have been made possible by advancements in cosmetic medicine, and patients are now increasingly considering those options. 

What Is a Non-Invasive Neck Lift?

It’s a non-surgical alternative to the popular neck lift procedure. As the name suggests, it does not involve surgery or incisions. Instead, it uses advanced techniques and technologies, such as radiofrequency or ultherapy, to stimulate collagen production and promote skin tightening, which in turn reduces the appearance of neck folds and wrinkles. Other techniques, such as Kybella injections and CoolSculpting, are used to remove excess fat on the lower jaw and help eliminate the double chin

The only drawback is that the non-surgical alternative might not yield as impressive results as surgical methods. Depending on the specific situation, a non-surgical procedure alone might not be sufficient to achieve the patient’s desired outcome. In such cases, it may be necessary to undergo a surgical neck lift procedure, or even a combination of both, to achieve the desired results.

Benefits of Non-Invasive Neck Tightening

Except for the most obvious ones, the ones that make people decide to get a neck lift in the first place, there are other key benefits. One of them being in the name: non-invasive. The whole procedure is done without an incision or general anesthesia. While local or regional anesthesia is required for some non-invasive procedures, they are much less risky than general ones. 

In most cases, non-surgical procedures have a short procedure time, ranging from 30 to 90 minutes. The same is true for recovery time. The recovery time varies from an hour to a few days, depending on the method. In most cases, patients will be ready to continue their daily lives with only a basic skincare routine and, most importantly, no stitches or other traces visible on their necks. 

On top of it all, a non-surgical procedure is less expensive than a surgical variant. However, it is important to note that some methods may require multiple treatments to achieve the desired results. 

Types of Non-Surgical Neck Lifts

With surgery, the process is pretty straightforward. They remove excess fat and skin while tightening the skin to achieve a more youthful appearance. Depending on the case and the patient’s wishes, additional procedures like soft tissue augmentation and facelifts may be required. 

When it comes to alternative methods, several types of neck lifts can be employed without having to go under full anesthesia or use a scalpel. Those are: 

  • Botox
  • Injectable dermal fillers
  • Kybella
  • CoolSculpting 
  • Fractionated ablative laser treatment
  • Radiofrequency based treatments 
  • Ultherapy


Everyone has heard about Botox, and for good reason. Botox is a versatile treatment that finds applications in both medical and cosmetic procedures, including neck tightening procedures. 

Botox works to relax the facial muscles by utilizing neurotoxic protein, effectively diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and lines. The procedure is quick, virtually painless, 

and—most importantly—recovery time is minimal to nonexistent. The only drawback is that the treatment has to be repeated every three to four months

Injectable Dermal Fillers

While Botox relaxes muscles, injectable dermal fillers are injected beneath the skin to restore volume and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines. There are two types of dermal fillers: biocompatible and non-biodegradable. The first must be re-treated on a regular basis, whereas the second is a permanent type of filler.

Like Botox, it’s fast, painless, and without downtime. Depending on the biocompatible type, each treatment lasts anywhere between six months and two years


Kybella is a popular neck lift alternative to remove excess fat under the chin. It uses deoxycholic acids, naturally found in our bodies, to break down the buildup of fat cells below the chin or in other areas. The procedure is done in 20 to 30 minutes, but the results will start showing after four to six weeks. On average, people require between three and six treatments to achieve the desired results. 


CoolSculpting works similarly to Kybella, but doesn’t rely on any acids or other chemicals. It employs a technique known as cryolipolysis, in which fat cell buildups are destroyed using cold temperatures

The fat cells are cooled to 39°F for about 45 minutes before the practitioner massages the area to optimize the effect of the treatment. The whole procedure is harmless because other cells in the chin have a higher freezing point, so they’ll remain unaffected by the treatment. When it comes to getting a neck lift without surgery, this is probably the safest method since it doesn’t require any needles or anesthetics. 

During the process, a patient can experience slight discomfort due to the low temperatures, but once the process is done, everything should be back to normal in no time. The treatment, like Kybella, takes four to six weeks to see results and may take several treatments to get rid of unwanted fat. 

Fractionated Ablative Laser Treatment

When broken down to its very basics, the fractionated ablative laser treatment works by stimulating collagen growth in the skin. To achieve this, it uses the laser to heat the dermis layer of the skin, which in turn stimulates collagen growth. 

The procedure lasts between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on the treated area. While this is a non-surgical neck tightening method, unlike most, it has to be done under local or regional anesthesia. 

Once done, one to two weeks is necessary for the skin to heal. The area will require additional skin care products like Vaseline or Bactroban and may even need a bandage. Results will start to show once the skin begins to heal, and they’ll last for years before another procedure is necessary

Radiofrequency Based Treatments 

Radiofrequency (RF) based skin tightening treatment works on the same principle as fractionated ablative laser treatment but uses different technologies to achieve its results. They are both used to stimulate collagen growth and rejuvenate the skin.

The difference between the RF neck lift alternative and the laser treatment one is in the aftercare. With the RF treatment, there is no need for special skin care. Just a regular skin care regimen is more than enough. 

The procedure takes approximately the same time, but the results can be seen a couple of days after, with the maximum effect visible after 6 months. Usually, there is no need for follow-up treatments for at least several years. 


Just like the last two non-invasive methods, ultherapy also stimulates deeper layers of skin to stimulate collagen production, but this time it’s done using ultrasound technology. This is one of the best non-invasive neck lifts, and it’s FDA-approved

The whole process lasts from 30 to 90 minutes, with minimal side effects. There are minimal prep requirements and no downtime. The patient may start noticing improvements after 48 hours, but the full effects will be seen after three to six months. 

The drawback is that it’s one of the most expensive alternatives. 


In conclusion, remarkable advances in techniques and technologies have paved the way for compelling non-surgical alternatives with successful neck lift outcomes. These innovative approaches allow both patients and healthcare providers to achieve a youthful appearance without needing invasive surgery

By harnessing these modern alternatives, individuals can confidently pursue their aesthetic goals and experience transformative results with enhanced neck aesthetics. No matter which non-invasive neck tightening method a patient chooses, they can safely say goodbye to saggy skin and wrinkles. 


What is the best non-invasive treatment for a sagging neck?

Kybella and CoolSculpting are great ways to deal with a saggy neck caused by excess fat, but if your skin is saggy due to the effects of gravity and aging, you may want to check out other methods like dermal fillers or ultherapy. 

Can a neck lift go wrong?

Non-invasive neck lift procedures can go wrong, and the consequences can range from not achieving your desired goals to having serious side effects from the treatment. But as long as you are open with your healthcare provider and follow its instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. 

What age does turkey neck start?

The notorious “turkey neck” typically starts appearing in most individuals in their late 30s or early 40s.


  1. The Role of Subcutaneous Radiofrequency-Assisted Liposculpture in the Facial Plastic Surgeon’s Practice; Demetri Arnaoutakis, Amit Kochhar, Isabelle Magro, Kian Karimil; Sep 2022
  2. Radiofrequency in Facial Rejuvenation; Lyu, Jia-Jie; Liu, Sheng-Xiul; June 2022
  3. Fractional photothermolysis: a new concept for cutaneous remodeling using microscopic patterns of thermal injury; Dieter Manstein, G Scott Herron, R Kehl Sink, Heather Tanner, R Rox Anderson; 2004
  4. Adjustable Depth Fractional Radiofrequency Combined With Bipolar Radiofrequency: A Minimally Invasive Combination Treatment for Skin Laxity; Erez Dayan (MD), Christopher Chia (MD), A Jay Burns (MD), and Spero Theodorou(MD) ; April 2019
  5. The Single Incision Minimally Invasive (SIMI) Neck Lift; Jonathan L. Kaplan (MD, MPH); May 2019
  6. Non-Surgical Neck Contouring; Firas Al-Niaimi and Saif Badran; July 2019
  7. Nonsurgical Tissue Repositioning: Analysis of Long-Term Results and Patient Satisfaction From 100 Absorbable Suture Suspension Cases; Julius W Few (MD), Ginny Vachon (PhD), Stephanie Pintas (BA), and Jesse R Smith (MD, MS)
  8. Isolated Management of the Aging Neck; Juan D. Mejia (MD), Farzad R. Nahai (MD), Foad Nahai (MD, FACS) and Adeyiza O. Momoh (MD) 

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