Facelift or fillers? This is a common question from patients wishing to achieve a more youthful facial appearance. Facial aging is influenced by many factors – genetics, sun exposure, and smoking to name a few. Signs of facial aging are often most apparent in the mid- and lower face. Over time the jowls become more prominent, skin less elastic, and volume loss occurs within the midface region. These changes all relate to the effects of gravity on the skin and soft tissues of the face. The angle of the neckline may also become less defined. A localized fatty deposit commonly develops under the chin region in many patients.

Facelift or fillers?  Is the minimally invasive option right for me?

In my practice, many patients considering facial rejuvenation first inquire about facial fillers. As a minimally invasive procedure with little downtime and eliminating associated risks of surgery, filler is appealing to many patients. How effective are hyaluronic acid fillers in correcting signs of facial aging? In my experience fillers may be used to address early signs of facial aging. They can be injected to plump up the marionette lines and nasolabial folds and to restore volume in the cheeks. The lips also lose volume through the aging process and may be effectively augmented using fillers.

Facelift or fillers?  Are results comparable at every age?

After a certain age, filler will not be able to achieve results comparable with a facelift. Although the downtime is less following filler injections, results are temporary. Most hyaluronic acid fillers resorb within approximately one year. If fillers are injected in the lower face to correct marionette lines and to smoothen the jawline (filling in the prejowl sulcus), this may lead to excessive fullness in the lower face.

Facelift or fillers? Which is more effective in addressing signs of aging in the neck?

Facelift surgery may resuspend the facial muscles to restore volume in the midface while decreasing fullness in the lower face. Fillers do not address signs of aging in the neck. Facelift surgery may add further definition to the neck angle by resuspending the neck muscles. Fat may also be removed under the chin region during facelift surgery through liposuction or direct excision to increase definition.

How do you determine whether facelift or fillers are right for me?

When determining whether facelift or fillers are more appropriate to achieve a patient’s goals, clinical examination is paramount. Younger patients may be treated with fillers to successfully correct early signs of facial aging.  Although fillers may seem more attractive to many patients and less invasive, after a certain age they will not achieve the desired results and may be more costly in the long-term given temporary results. It is not possible to “stop the clock” through facelift surgery either as a patient recently suggested. Results are not permanent following facelift.  Patients will continue to age appropriately following surgery.  I once heard that a facelift seems to reverse the clock by 10 years…but from that point onward, the clock keeps on ticking!

One of the most important responsibilities as a plastic surgeon is determining the correct treatment or surgery for the correct patient. While filler may seem more appealing to many on first glance, it may not always be the most appropriate treatment.

Please contact us to schedule your consultation. Dr. Power wishes to learn more about your specific concerns and will make an individualized treatment plan based on your clinical appearance.

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