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Fillers vs. Facelift: Which Is Right for Me?

Posted on Saturday, May 20th, 2017 by Douglas Stevens

Fillers and facelift are two of the most popular ways to rejuvenate an aging face and restore an attractive appearance. However, they are completely different and have their own set of benefits and limitations. Here, Fort Myers facial plastic surgeon Douglas Stevens explains both options in more detail to give you a better idea of the choice that is best for your needs.

Understanding Fillers

Dermal fillers are a group of different injectable products that can minimize the appearance of minor signs of aging. Each product is specially formulated to accomplish different objectives. For example: hyaluronic acid-based fillers like Juvederm can add volume to smooth wrinkles and plump up the lips or cheeks, and Bellafill (a combination of collagen and PMMA) fills in nasolabial folds and smile lines.

Administering fillers takes less than an hour and is a minimally invasive experience. Anesthesia and downtime are not needed. The results are temporary and the body eventually absorbs the product, returning to its pre-treatment appearance. Regular treatment is needed to maintain the effects.

Advantages of Fillers

  • Quick treatment
  • Does not require anesthesia or downtime
  • Results appear quickly
  • Cost-effective

Drawbacks of Fillers

  • Results last several months up to a year (except Bellafill, which can last five years)
  • Primarily used to add volume and smooth mild to moderate wrinkles and facial folds
  • Does not address loose tissues, sagging skin or muscle laxity
  • Results are not as dramatic as surgical treatment
  • Repeat treatment is required to maintain the effects long-term

Understanding Facelift

Facelift is a surgical procedure that addresses multiple signs of aging in the middle and lower regions of the face, including tissue laxity, loosening of the muscles, relaxing of the skin, fat displacement and other problems brought about by the aging process.

A well-performed facelift restores youthful and attractive contours of the face. During the operation, Dr. Stevens smoothes deep wrinkles and folds around the nose, mouth and chin, repositions fat that has fallen or displaced, minimizes jowls and treats excess skin and vertical bands on the neck.

Facelift is performed under anesthesia. Patients need at least one to two weeks to recover and cannot work or attend social activities during that time. Common side effects include bruising, swelling and slight discomfort. The outcomes are very long-lasting, and touch-up or repeat treatment is not needed.

Advantages of Facelift

  • Gold standard of facial rejuvenation
  • Comprehensively improves multiple areas of the face
  • Results last years
  • No repeat treatment needed
  • Can be combined with other procedures (e.g., eyelid surgery) for even more transformative results

Drawbacks of Facelift

  • Surgical operation that requires anesthesia
  • One- to two-week recovery period with limitations
  • Incision lines leave scarring (although the scarring can be concealed within the hairline)
  • A financial investment

Hopefully, this information has given you an idea of which treatment is better suited to your needs. However, to be sure of the best approach, it is recommended that you discuss your personal goals with a trusted facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Douglas Stevens. Please call or email our practice to book a consultation with Dr. Stevens today.

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Douglas Stevens, MD
Facial Plastic & Laser Center

15721 New Hampshire Court
Fort Myers, FL 33908

(239) 481-9292

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