The Truth About Non-Surgical Facelifts

If you follow the field of aesthetics long enough, you will notice a plethora of devices and treatments claiming to provide the results of a facelift without the pain, cost and downtime of surgery. But do these non-invasive alternatives live up to their claims? The simple answer, unfortunately, is no.

Facelifts are specifically effective at tightening sagging of the cheeks, jaw line or neck. This is accomplished by surgically tightening, repositioning, and suspending the connective tissue layer below the skin . This simply cannot be accomplished without surgical intervention. While there is still no substitute for a surgical facelift, don’t entirely abandon the notion of non-surgical aesthetics as a legitimate treatment. There are some non-invasive alternatives that may prove worth your time. Just be sure to keep your expectations realistic…don’t expect to walk away from a laser resurfacing session looking as though you just received a mini-facelift.

Although there are few good reproducible non-surgical fixes for turkey neck and sagging jowls, non-surgical rejuvenation can provide dermal volume, smooth fine lines or improve complexion. Below are some treatments you may want to consider if you are looking for a little aesthetic intervention but not yet ready to go under the knife.

Liquid Facelift

If all you are looking for is a little volume, a “liquid facelift” may provide the results you desire. “Liquid facelift” is simply a term referring to the use of dermal injectables like Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse or Perlane to rejuvenate the dermis. Such fillers can volumize sunken cheeks and under-eye hollows as well as smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Results of this treatment can last anywhere from 3 to 12 months and require virtually no downtime. A true liquid facelift, where multiple areas are addressed, will most likely require 2 to 3 syringes of filler. The cost of filler in our office starts around $400 a syringe.

Laser Lift

While a “laser lift” does not do much in terms of lifting or correcting sagging jowls, lasers like Erbium, YAG and CO2 are great tools for resurfacing sun damaged skin, correcting sun spots and treating wrinkles. Essentially, lasers work by burning the upper, damaged layers of skin like a second-degree skin burn. The upper layers of skin slough off over a period of three to four weeks and are replaced by new “smooth” skin. Most laser treatments are more invasive than injection fillers yet still less invasive than a surgical facelift. Following any laser treatment, swelling and redness will be present. As a result, many patients will not feel comfortable being seen in public for 1 to 2 weeks. Depending on the type of laser used, laser treatment cost starts around $300-$2000 per session.

Ultherapy/ “Radiofrequency Lift”

Recently introduced to the aesthetic market, non-surgical skin tightening devices such as Ultherapy, Exilis and Viora seem to be causing quite a splash, claiming to tighten skin through the use of ultrasound technology…no downtime or anesthesia required. To test this new technology, we conducted trial studies of these devices in our practice. After achieving less than mediocre results, we decided not to offer these devices to the patients in our practice. While many cosmetic practices continue to invest in such technology, we did not feel comfortable selling our patients a treatment which can cost around $500 a session,and require as many as 8 sessions, with only subtle outcomes to show for the time and financial investment.

Not to burst anyone’s bubble , but technology has still not advanced to the point of forcing surgical facelifts as old school or obsolete. This is not to say that all non-invasive rejuvenation technology is a scam; as many nonsurgical alternatives do produce valuable results. Just don’t come into the treatment with expectations that you will achieve results as dramatic as those from surgery. Look at all before and after photographs of any rejuvenation technology with a critical eye. If the lighting has changed, the background has changed or the patient is wearing makeup in the after images; laugh and run in the opposite direction.

If you are interested in exploring facial rejuvenation solutions, call 423-648-4011 to book a complimentary consultation with our Board Certified Surgeons. Real people, real expectations and real results.  

For a complimentary consultation call 423-648-4011.