Ready to Put Your Best Face Forward? Breaking Down a Facelift vs Fillers

Eventually, we all start showing some signs of age. Usually, these age markers are most apparent on the face, taking the form of wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, and lost volume. The two most common choices are facelift vs fillers.

Nobody likes looking older, but the good news is that there are more options than ever before to turn back the years and rejuvenate your facial appearance. Two of the most popular options are the facelift (a surgical option) and the use of dermal fillers (non-surgical).

The question is, which treatment is right for you? Join us as we consider some of the pros and cons of getting a facelift vs fillers.

Facelift vs Fillers: An Overview

To begin with, let’s consider what can be achieved with each of these treatment options.

What Can You Achieve with a Facelift?

A facelift is a common surgical procedure. When you have this procedure done, your surgeon will make a few minor incisions, typically behind the ears and behind the hairline. The goal is to place them so they are easily concealed.

Once these incisions have been made, your surgeon may remove excess skin, repositioning the remaining skin to provide a more youthful appearance. This often results in a more contoured jawline, eliminating wrinkles and fine lines, and an overall smoother, firmer, rejuvenated facial appearance.

A facelift can be ideal for those who notice that their skin has lost some of its elasticity, that it has started sagging, or that they have excess skin around the jowls.

Facelift Patient Results

faclift vs fillers


What Can You Achieve with Dermal Fillers?

By contrast, fillers are hyaluronic acid products that are injected into your face, where they have a “plumping” effect. Basically, they add volume to help smooth out wrinkles and fine lines, to fill in areas of the face that have become hollow, or sunken, and to produce more rounded facial contours. Dermal fillers are most commonly used in the lips, cheeks, temples, and forehead.

Generally speaking, a facelift is recommended when patients are experiencing more advanced signs of aging, whereas dermal fillers might be more suitable in treating the early stages of facial aging.

Choosing Between a Facelift vs Fillers

As you consider the anti-aging treatments best for you, there are a number of factors to evaluate. These factors should include expectation – aesthetic outcomes, the longevity of the product thereby how often retreatment is required, and the recovery process. Below are a few core distinctions between the facelift and dermal fillers.

Scope of Results

While both treatments can help you minimize signs of the aging process, including wrinkles and fine lines, fillers are a little bit more limited in what they can accomplish. For example, fillers do not address skin laxity – they cannot remove sagging or excess skin or tissue from your face. Fillers also do not lift facial muscles or fat pads, something a surgical facelift does provide.

Fillers provide more modest results; and for some patients, that’s more than enough. If you’re looking for more comprehensive or dramatic changes, however, then a facelift may be necessary.

Longevity of Results

Something else to consider is that, if you choose a surgical facelift over dermal fillers, your results are going to last a lot longer. In fact, most patients who have a surgical facelift find that their results last for a decade or more.

With fillers, you will not experience nearly that kind of longevity. The specific duration of your results depends on the type of fillers used, and on how well your body tolerates and metabolizes fillers. This varies from patient to patient. Usually, fillers last between 12-18 months and some up to two years. Maintenance injections may be scheduled to “touch up” your results, extending them for longer periods of time.

Recovery from the Procedure

Another important consideration as you contemplate facelift vs fillers: A facelift is a significant surgery, which means you should anticipate a prolonged recovery time. By contrast, recovering from fillers is much faster and easier since it is usually no more than minor bruising and/or swelling.

Following a facelift, it may take up to two weeks or more before you feel ready to return to work or participate in other day-to-day activities, and it will likely be a month before you’re cleared to resume exercise. You can expect some swelling, bruising, and tenderness, all of which can last for a few weeks. Most patients report that the discomfort is minor yet the benefits are long-lasting making it well worth having had the procedure.

With fillers, you may have some bruising and swelling, but it will likely be milder in nature. Most patients are ready to resume their normal activities within a day or two.

Cost of Treatment

Another important consideration is cost.

When you choose fillers, you’ll essentially pay per syringe; as such, the cost will depend on the area being treated (there are several product options when treating specific areas), how much correction is required (meaning how many syringes are required for correction), and how often you return for maintenance doses. A general rule of thumb is 1 syringe per decade.

The cost of a facelift is a one-time expense and will include factors such as the surgeon’s fees, the cost of the operating room, expenses related to anesthesia, and more.

Risk and Convenience

Perhaps the most significant distinction between a facelift vs fillers is that having a facelift requires surgery, is performed under anesthesia; is a bit riskier, and will also require you to have someone drive you home from the operation and help you around the house for a few days.

Fillers are performed in-office and usually only take mere minutes. There are some risks associated with fillers, but when you choose an experienced nurse injector, these risks are minimized.

Choosing Both Options

One final note is that some patients use fillers as a way to “try on” a new face and to help them decide whether they want to move forward with a full facelift. This is an option worth considering when you talk with your provider.

Choosing the Right Facial Procedure

The best way to determine which procedure best suits your needs is to schedule a consultation with an experienced provider. At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we’re happy to discuss your desired goals, answer your questions, and help you determine which treatment is ideal to meet your objectives.

To schedule an appointment with Charlotte Plastic Surgery, please call us at your earliest convenience.