Achieving Facial Rejuvenation with Facelift Surgery, Injections, or Both

While facelift surgery and injectables both offer age-defying benefits, each procedure addresses different aspects in regards to the signs of aging and yields diverse results.

With advances in modern healthcare and nutrition, more people are maintaining their youthful edge and high energy levels well into their later years. But what happens when the outside doesn’t reflect feelings on the inside? Facial rejuvenation procedures, such as facelifts or injectables like Botox, are consistently rising in popularity among men and women who want keep their youthful glow. As a whole, facial rejuvenation has become a potential solution to that age-defying dilemma.

While facelift surgery and injectables both offer age-defying benefits, each procedure addresses different aspects in regards to the signs of aging and yields diverse results. That's why the first step to figuring out which approach to facial rejuvenation is best is learning the differences between the two available techniques.

Facelift Surgery

Rhytidectomy, which is more commonly known as a facelift procedure, is a full facial surgery performed to remove excess, sagging skin and reshape the facial structure to achieve a brighter, more youthful appearance. Nothing can be done to shrink or reduce loose, sagging skin short of a facelift. In order to correct this, the skin must be repositioned, the excess skin needs to get removed, and the remaining skin has to be repaired.

But facelift surgery doesn’t necessarily treat all areas of the face. Therefore, further lift procedures should be done in conjunction with the surgery to correct additional facial areas and provide the patient with a more rested and youthful appearance.

Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, can address sagging or puffiness in the upper lid, lower lid, or both lids to provide a more well rested look. A forehead or brow lift can make forehead wrinkles or creases between the eyes a thing of the past. For those who have sagging neck skin or jowls, a neck lift surgery is definitely an option. Deep under-eye creases, drooping eyebrows, and deep folds and creases along the nose are some of the other areas that can be addressed with these procedures, and the outcomes offer a nicely proportioned effect to compliment a facelift.

Injectables and Fillers

Botox is a neurotoxin that’s used to relax the tense muscles that are associated with fine lines and wrinkles. By injecting Botox into tight areas of the skin, the muscles are able to relax, which leaves the area smooth and with a more youthful appearance. Botox is often used in the upper areas of the face to treat forehead creases, crow’s feet, and creases between the eyebrows. However, Botox doesn’t change the existing tissue; it simply allows tense muscles to relax which, in turn, allows the skin to lie in a more natural position. Results can last anywhere from 6 to 9 months.

Fillers are another type of injectable. While neurotoxins block the nerve impulses that cause wrinkles, fillers help plump up the facial tissue to provide a more supple, youthful look. One such filler is Juvederm, and the key areas where it can be used are the fine lines leading to the lips, as well as folds that form in the cheeks. When the procedure is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, the effects are quite impressive.

Botox, Juvederm, and other injectables are often referred to as non-surgical facelifts, but they aren’t a facelift at all, as the injections do little to address the actual skin.

Two-Tier Approach

Many people have a combination of age signs that include sagging jowls, forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, and loose skin in the neck. Fortunately, facelift procedures work well in addition to Botox treatments, and vice versa. By combining the techniques, patients are able to get a more complete, well-balanced facial rejuvenation experience.

Robert T. Grant, MD, MSc, FACS, is Chief of the combined Divisions of Plastic Surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. He is also Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. For more information about Dr. Grant or to contact him, visit his website at www.robertgrantmd.com.