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Is a surgical or non-surgical facelift better?

Posted:8:14 a.m. Monday, Nov. 10, 2014

By Anita Mandal, M.D.

Question: I’ve seen a few plastic surgeons. I know my options are facelift surgery or a combination of fillers with laser without surgery? How do I know whether to go with a surgical or non-surgical procedure?

Answer: It is important to realize that a surgical facelift does not usually address all of the same facial aging concerns as a non-surgical approach. While both approaches can make you look more youthful, different procedures give results in different areas of the face.
For instance, a surgical facelift can lift sagging skin of the face. In some patients, however, a good portion of the sagging is due to loss of bone and fat volume in the face. This loss results in poor structural support for the skin, causing it to sag. In this case, a facelift alone may not be a suitable treatment. Volume replacement with a long term injectable filler, like Bellafill®, to restore facial support is needed. A surgeon who has overlooked volume loss of the upper face may not achieve the desired results with a facelift.
Patients with poor skin elasticity who undergo facelift surgery are also less likely to have a lasting result from surgery. These patients may benefit from a pre-treatment with Infini or Ultherapy, prior to surgery, for enhanced facelift results. Such pre-treatments can intrinsically tighten the skin to help counter the downward pull of gravity on the skin.
Additionally, the procedures of choice depend on the degree of aging. Severe facial sagging requires more aggressive procedures such as a facelift, whereas mild to moderate sagging may improve with Ultherapy or Infini alone.
A thorough consultation with a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who understands the complexities of the aging process and the intricate facial anatomy is the first step in determining the best options for you.

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