Wrinkles, loss of volume, and sagging skin are some of the most common signs of aging. But the best solution isn’t necessarily a facelift. At my Charlotte, N.C., practice, I carefully evaluate a patient’s skin and listen to his or her goals and concerns before recommending a specific treatment plan.
Most patients naturally prefer the least invasive option when considering cosmetic treatments, which is my preference, too. But my job also involves providing patients with my honest assessment and educating them about the results they can realistically expect from different procedures. In other words, if someone comes in wanting injectables but I believe that only facial plastic surgery can create the desired results, then that’s what I’ll recommend.
The decision, of course, is up to the patient. So how do you know whether a facelift or injectables are right for you? Knowing the pros and cons of each approach is a good place to start. It’s also good to remember that the best results often can be produced by combining surgery with nonsurgical treatments.
Here’s a look at the benefits and limitations of each treatment approach:
A facelift improves the appearance of the lower portion of the face, including the cheeks, jawline, and neck. Many people need additional treatments to address concerns around the eyes and the forehead.
The advantages of a facelift include:
- Long-lasting results: A facelift actually lifts, repositions, and tightens the tissues and muscles beneath the skin. Even though a facelift cannot stop the aging process, it usually provides effective results for about 10 years.
- More convenient: Because injectable treatments don’t last for the long-term, you will need to schedule maintenance appointments at least annually and possibly more frequently, depending on what product you use. In comparison, a facelift is a one-time procedure with long-lasting results.
- Ideal for moderate to severe signs of aging: A facelift is typically the best approach for women and men with sagging skin that causes jowls and moderate to severe wrinkling on the neck.
What are the drawbacks of a facelift?
- More invasive: Because the procedure involves incisions and repositioning tissue, the recovery time can be between 1 and 2 weeks. Some patients may even need to stay overnight in the hospital.
- Cost: A facelift is more expensive than nonsurgical treatments, although the cost of injectables can add up over time. We do offer special financing to help patients pay for surgical procedures.
When performed by skilled injectors, BOTOX® Cosmetic and the dermal fillers we offer at our Charlotte, N.C., practice can produce excellent results with no downtime. However, it’s important to know that BOTOX works differently than fillers such as JUVÉDERM®.
For example, our muscles contract when we make a facial expression, and over time, these repetitive contractions can produce wrinkles. Many people are especially concerned with the development of crow’s feet and “worry lines” around their eyes. BOTOX temporarily immobilizes selected muscles so they don’t contract, which helps to reduce the look of wrinkles. Fillers, on the other hand, restore volume to create a more youthful appearance and are used in areas such as the cheeks, nasolabial folds, and around the mouth.
The advantages of injectable treatments include:
- Nonsurgical procedure: Injectable treatments involve virtually no downtime and few side effects. If redness or swelling does occur, it resolves quickly.
- Quick treatments: BOTOX and filler injection treatments typically take only a few minutes. An entire appointment can easily be completed on your lunch hour.
- Ideal for minimal to moderate signs of aging: The fine lines and loss of volume that tend to begin showing up in your 30s can be treated with fillers and BOTOX.
What are the drawbacks of injectables?
- Temporary results: The newest fillers last longer than earlier generations of the products, but they still provide only temporary results. Depending on the filler used, results usually last between 6 months and 2 years. The results of BOTOX injections typically fade after about 4 months, but you can schedule periodic treatments to maintain the results.
- Ongoing cost: Even though injectable treatments are much less expensive than surgery, the costs can add up over time.
As I mentioned earlier, combining a facelift, fillers, and BOTOX injections is often the best way to create the desired results. For example, a facelift can be combined with BOTOX to treat crow’s feet and with fillers to reduce dark circles under the eyes. Using multiple approaches often produces more satisfying, comprehensive results. Scheduling a consultation with me is the first step to deciding which facial rejuvenation procedures will work best for your desired outcome.