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Facelift vs Fillers New York

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Non-surgical facelift, can you get away with it or do you need the real thing?

New York, N.Y.

There is much buzz in the media and on the internet about non-surgical or alternative less invasive procedures instead of facelifts. These treatments include fillers, neurotoxins (Botox and Dysport), and devices such as lasers and radiofrequency machines. Many of these procedures can help restore a more youthful look, but none really lifts the face. You can follow this link to my website for a more comprehensive discussion of the 5 ways the face ages: 

  1. Skin changes
  2. Dynamic lines from muscles underneath
  3. Loss of volume
  4. Effects of gravity
  5. Loss of tissue elasticity

To treat these aging causes, treatment needs to be targeted to the cause. Of course, most patients experience all 5 in some capacity. I then break down their priorities by need, time frame, importance to them, time off to heal and cost.

Targeted treatment for each or some combination is really what is best: 

  1. Skin changes             Lasers and peels for the skin
  2. Dynamic lines            Botox or Dysport to relax muscles
  3. Loss of volume          Facial Fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, Sculptra, Fat)
  4. Effects of gravity       Surgery
  5. Loss of elasticity        Surgery

Fillers, Botox and Lasers can go far to make someone look younger, but to lift a drooping jowl, treat a “turkey neck” or low brow, nothing works like a surgical facelift or browlift.

Don’t get me wrong, my new techniques in facial fillers are really getting beautiful results. Now that I target cheeks and the mid-face with fillers, entire faces light up. But this is not a lift. There is a doctor in New York advertising a “insert letter here” lift (I am leaving out the letter as not to offend); but all he is doing is placing many syringes of facial filler deep in the face and under the skin. It’s not a lift but volumizing the face.  Fillers are a good thing, but more is not better. Plump is good but so is lifting.

Lasers and RF machines don’t really lift the face either. Most reports have been disappointing and based more on subjective findings instead of objective long term results.

So, for comprehensive facial rejuvenation, all 5 areas of the face need to be examined and treated.

Steven Pearlman, MD, FACS

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