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Steven J. Pearlman, MD, FACS Dual Board Certified in Facial Plastic Surgery

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What is a Non-Surgical Facelift?

03Your face often is the first to tell your story. It shows if your life has been one of happiness or sadness, stress or relaxation. It tells how old you are, if you’ve spent your time outdoors or indoors and a slew of other stories about your life. While we all agree that telling our stories can be enjoyable, not all of us want it written all over our faces.

As you age, you may notice these changes to your face that you’d rather not have:

  • Fat loss in the face

Body fat is the substance that gives your face a youthful appearance. Adults that have lost facial volume will have a hollow appearance under the eyes, on the cheeks and through the lips. This will make you look much older than you are — or want to — look.

  • Facial sun damage

Repeated exposure to sun over the years causes less elasticity in the skin fibers. Fine wrinkles often appear as you age, and your skin is often referred to as leathery. If you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun, went tanning a lot when you were younger, or just forgot to wear your sunscreen, you may begin noticing this unsightly change to your skin’s appearance.

  • Extra hanging skin

The loss of elasticity due to less collagen production in the aging body often affects your eyebrows and neck. It can also cause the phenomenon commonly referred to as jowls along the jawline.

Although you may wish to ease these effects of aging, you may also be reluctant to go through surgery. Fortunately, there are newer technologies available which provide a facelift while eliminating the need for surgery.

Fat Injections and Fillers
Though you may have joked about it, a fat transplant really is possible! Plastic surgeons are able to inject fat from your abodomen below the facial skin and plump up the areas that have become hollowed out. However, with all the fabulous new facial fillers we now have, Dr. Pearlman is finding less and less of a need for fat transfer. Why not take something off the shelf that lasts close to a year instead of an invasive fat transfer that requires time off and healing?

A liquid facelift product called Sculptra is also used as an injection to fill in sagging areas. It helps the body create its own collagen with no scarring or negative lasting effects.

Although not technically a filler, Botox relaxes facial muscles. It is best if you have fine wrinkle lines such as those caused by sun damage.

Facial Rejuvenation
The popular product available to stimulate your own body’s collagen production is Thermage. This is a helpful procedure if you have lost elasticity in the face. It applies heat therapy, and the procedure typically only takes an hour. The results are very minor. 

Laser Skin Tightening
The use of lasers has proven successful in everything from correcting vision to removing offending gallbladders. It can also be used for general skin tightening. This is the alternative to the traditional facelift which required cutting and anesthesia and often produced scarring. Again, this is skin tightening and can work great for your skin but won’t lift jowls or saggy neck skin.


Ultherapy is the only non-invasive FDA approved treatment that can specifically target the deep foundation below the skin that is addressed in cosmetic surgery without cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin. It is also the only procedure to use ultrasound imaging, which allows us to actually see the layers of tissue we target during treatment and ensure the energy is deposited precisely to where it will be most effective. Generally patients see about  30% to 50% of the result of a surgical facelift for a quarter of the price.

 Improving your appearance as you age has never been easier.  Remember, in truth there is no such thing as a “non-surgical facelift.” However, marked improvements can be made in skin color, texture, wrinkles and volume loss. Plastic surgery may be just the option for you, except there might not be a need for a scalpel, should you choose to avoid that route.


Copyright 2013. As licensed to Pearlman Aesthetic Surgery. All rights reserved

What an Ulthera Treatment Looks Like


In this Youtube video Theresa demonstrates what an Ulthera treatment looks like. As well as giving information on Ultherapy as well as describing what she does for each patient.

Ultherapy, the first ever FDA approved non-surgical facial and neck tightening procedure that uses ultrasonic technology to tighten all 4 1/2 MM of facial tissue. Ultherapy gives 30% to 50% of the result of a facelift for a quarter of the price, with no incisions, minimal bruising if any, and patients can return to work the very next day.

If you’re interested in Ultherapy schedule a consultation with us, which can be done through our website:

Facelift vs Fillers New York

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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