Understanding The Limitations Of Facelift Surgery
Posted: 6:00 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016
By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I’ve had a few plastic surgery consultations and been told that if I don’t want surgery, I need many thousands of dollars worth of fillers, lasers and Botox. Having all these non-surgical procedures will end up costing me the same or probably more than a surgical facelift. Should I just go for it and have a facelift?
Answer: Comparing the results of minimal invasive treatments like fillers and lasers to a facelift, which is surgery and more extensive, is like comparing apples to oranges. While there is some overlap in the end results of these two different treatment, fillers and lasers do not not typically correct the same type of concerns as a surgical facelift can.
A facelift will not treat facial wrinkles such as those around the lips, eyes and cheeks. When you have sagging skin, the wrinkles can appear worse. In such cases, lifting sagging tissue with a facelift or non-surgical Infini facelift can soften the wrinkles to some degree. However, wrinkles are primarily treated with Botox, lasers, such as the Infini, or injectable fillers. Which option to use depends on the location and depth of the wrinkles as all wrinkles are different.
A facelift does not typically lift droopy mouth corners which can be effectively improved with an injectable filler. Droopy mouth corners are due to aging of tissues at the lip corners which must be lifted. A facelift can tighten sagging jowls which sit just lateral to the mouth corner so that combining a 5 year filler like Bellafill to lift the mouth corners with a surgical facelift or the non-surgical Infini to lift sagging jowls can be the most effective long term approach.
A facelift does treat hollows under the eyes which cause dark eye circles, hollows of the cheeks or temples or deep smile lines. Facelifts are designed to pull the tissues and tighten. Significant deepening of the facial grooves or facial hollowing is due to loss of fat and/bone. Such loss is corrected by restoring volume with either temporary fillers like Juvederm or Radiesse or long term fillers like Bellafill.
While facelifts can be very effective in lifting and tightening facial and neck tissues, one has to be ready for surgery and understand the limitations of a facelift. Many patients who undergo facelift surgery still require lasers, Botox and injectable fillers to treat hollowing cheeks, wrinkles, lower eyelid circles, thinning lips and droopy mouth corners.
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