Older model touching her shoulder

Advances in facial plastic surgery are now delivering improved results with shorter scars and quicker recovery. For some patients however, the idea of surgery may elicit negative reaction, and some would prefer trying non-surgical options to improve their appearance. Facelift surgery remains the best option to address loose skin and reposition sagging soft tissues of the face with long-lasting results. Non-surgical methods – sometimes called “liquid facelift” or “lunchtime facelift” – generally involve the use of fillers, suture suspension, or noninvasive energy-based technologies, providing more modest and temporary results that require repeat treatments. Comparing procedures can help patients decide which option is best for them.

Will Results be Similar After Facelift With or Without Surgery?

Patient satisfaction depends on understanding what results may reasonably be achieved with cosmetic procedures, including considerations such as:

  • Facelift surgery is best for permanent facial tightening by removing significant excess skin, whereas non-surgical treatments often provide minor skin tightening
  • Facial contour can be improved by surgically lifting soft tissues with facelift surgery, whereas non-surgical techniques only produce minimal lifting
  • Additional improvement in facial contour is possible by adding fat injections at the time of surgery, which results in permanent replacement of fat lost due to aging, whereas fillers are a temporary solution for fat loss 
  • Recovery including post-operative activity limitation is a necessary component of surgical facelift, whereas non-surgical treatments require no downtime 
  • Some swelling and bruising are normal after surgery, whereas these are less common after noninvasive treatments
  • Scars are expected after facelift surgery and can be camouflaged inconspicuously, whereas non-surgical procedures generally leave no scars whatsoever
  • Facelift surgery may be combined with other facial cosmetic procedures such as neck lift and eyelid lift [insert appropriate procedure links] for overall improvement of facial appearance, whereas this is not an option without surgery

All plastic surgery procedures that require anesthesia, including facelift surgery, must be performed in a fully accredited surgical facility, such as the certified AAAASF in-office Operating Room where Dr. Hutchinson performs cosmetic surgery. This is essential for patient safety and comfort.

 What Type of Facelift Will Produce Natural Results?

A full assessment of individual patient characteristics and desired outcomes will help determine the best treatment option for them. There are numerous different types of surgical facelifts, all of which can result in significant improvement in appearance while maintaining the patient’s natural look. These include:

  • Skin-only, SMAS, and Deep Plane facelift techniques
  • Limited incision, short scar, and extended facelift options
  • Midface, lower face, or full facelift and neck lift

Additional treatments with skin resurfacing such as dermabrasion, microneedling, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) [insert appropriate page links] may also improve the overall results of a facelift.

Non-surgical interventions often involve one of the following approaches:

  • Energy-based devices such as ultrasound, radiofrequency, or different types of lasers
  • Thread lifts or suture suspension placed under the skin

Unlike surgery, these treatments may also be performed by dermatologists or non-physicians outside medical offices, including at medspas.

Can I Have Facelift Surgery After Non-Surgical Facelift?

Some patients may be hesitant to proceed with surgery due to any number of concerns. For those who have previously opted to undergo non-surgical treatments, they may decide to improve their appearance with facelift surgery at a later date. In these cases, it is important to realize there may be residual effects on facial tissues, namely:

  • Some non-surgical treatments may create scarring in the skin and soft tissues
  • Fillers may cause an inflammatory process in areas where they were previously injected
  • Products that are expected to only produce temporary effects may persist for years

It is imperative for patients to fully disclose all prior surgeries and non-surgical procedures in order to ensure the best outcome from their facelift surgery.

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