The Pros and Cons of Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Facelifts

The decision to have plastic surgery is not one that is just made overnight usually. There are many factors that have to be considered and many options the patient should review prior to undergoing any procedure. One decision that should be measured is whether to have a surgical procedure or choose from one of the many non-surgical routes that are available.

Plastic surgery involves restoration or correction of the form and/or function of a part of the body. This includes not only beautifying procedures, but also reconstructive surgery, microsurgery, hand surgery and treatment of burns. A facelift is one of the types of beautifying plastic surgeries.

Facelifts can also be performed non-surgically though. There are three main non-surgical procedures for the removal of wrinkles to make the face look younger: heat, lasers and liquid injections. Thermage uses heat to stimulate problem layers of the dermis, causing the body to produce collagen which tightens and firms skin. Laser treatment resurfaces and tightens the outer layer of skin. A liquid face lift involves the injection of adermal filler, which plumps and slightly lifts sections of the face. All three of these procedures are non-invasive alternatives to a surgical facelift.

When deciding whether to have a traditional facelift, or opt for one of the non-surgical procedures, remember there are differences in the results from the different options. Consider the pros and cons of each. Because everyone is different, the results obtained from any procedure will vary. In general though, all plastic surgery patients can expect some scarring (con), although it should be minimal and in an inconspicuous area. Immediately after surgery there will be some swelling and bruising but that will go away fairly quickly. It should take about three weeks for all the obvious signs of surgery to fade (con). The benefits of a face lift can last for 10 years or more and can allow the patient to look 10- 15 years younger (pro). While a facelift does not stop the aging process, with proper skin care the effects can keep a person looking younger for a very long time (pro).

One large positive aspect of choosing a non-surgical procedure, especially for someone with reservations about anesthesia is the fact that these choices do not involve surgery (pro). The results obtained will not be as dramatic as they would with the surgical option (con), however great success at reducing wrinkles is made (pro). The results will not last as long, and may have to be repeated (con); however the cost is much less than surgery (pro).

The non-surgical options are usually best for younger people trying to ward off the need for a surgical facelift for a few years and those for whom surgery is not a viable option.