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Facelift vs. Botox: Which is Best for You?


Posted August 04, 2022 in Facelift

When it comes to delaying and preventing the signs of aging, the options seem pretty much endless. On one end of the spectrum are non-invasive, quick fixes like Botox and Filler, which smooth out lines and wrinkles for a younger appearance. And then there’s a Facelift, which is hands down the most invasive option of them all. But truth be told, there are a lot of differences between Botox and a Facelift—more so than just the costs and recovery time of surgery—and knowing the ins and outs of each will help you decide which solution is right for you.

Facelifts and Botox often go hand in hand, and to achieve the best possible results, your plastic surgeon may recommend that you opt for both. However, the two are entirely different in every sense of the word imaginable, and Botox is never an appropriate substitute for a Facelift.

Botox 101

Botox is an injectable that belongs to the neuromodulator family. All neuromodulators temporarily decrease and relax the muscles responsible for wrinkles in lines, creating smoother skin. The most common areas to use Botox on the face are between the eyebrows, the forehead, and the outer corners of the eyes. Even if you have a Facelift, plenty of fine lines and wrinkles may exist post-surgery, which is why your plastic surgeon may recommend regular Botox treatments.

Patients enjoy the effects of Botox and the ease of the procedure. In about 15 minutes, the treatment is complete, and there’s no downtime. Although some patients experience post-injection headaches that last a few hours and minimal bruising, you can resume your regular activities quickly. Makeup can be used immediately after Botox to conceal any bruises, too. From a cost perspective, Botox will always be less expensive than surgery since additional expenses like anesthesia, operating room costs, and the expense of a surgical staff are not necessary. But unlike a Facelift, the results of Botox are short-lived at best (expect them to last about three months), so you’ll need to repeat the treatment every few months to stay looking wrinkle-free.

What is a Facelift?

A Facelift is an invasive surgical procedure that addresses aging and slack muscle, tissue, and skin. Surgical incisions allow your plastic surgeon to undermine the tissue and lift it and the muscle layer back to a more youthful position. At the same time, loose skin is removed permanently to give a smoother, tighter, younger look. During a Facelift, your plastic surgeon may address deeper wrinkles and lines via skin excision.

The results from a Facelift, which is still the gold standard to address aging and turn back the hands of time, are usually more dramatic than other procedures and treatments. Since it is surgery, the results are permanent, and improvement can be seen for years. Plus, there are age-related concerns, like the loss of lower face definition, looseness in the neck, and the removal of excess skin that only a Facelift can address.

The Similarities

No matter which procedure you are interested in, a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is imperative to determine if you are an ideal candidate.

The Differences

  • Botox uses a needle to deliver the neuromodulator into the skin. Because of its delivery system, there’s no need for incisions, stitches, or recovery. This makes it a much more accessible option for those who don’t have the downtime or budget for surgery.

A Facelift is an invasive surgery and requires incisions to be made around the ear and in the hairline. All surgeries, no matter how complex or minimal, necessitate a recovery period to heal. Surgery is never a downtime-free option and will always have a much higher price tag than non-invasive options. You can expect to be in the recovery phase of your surgery from one to two weeks, accompanied by swelling and bruising.

  • A Facelift surgically addresses sagging skin and loose muscles and tissues. Botox cannot tighten the skin, tissue, or muscle. It can, however, reduce the look of movement-related wrinkles and lines.
  • The goals of a Facelift and Botox treatment are quite different. Facelift patients want to smooth out their jawline, restore a youthful appearance, and eliminate loose skin and lax muscle and tissue. Botox patients often look to erase minor wrinkles and lines while still looking like themselves.
  • Botox needs to be done repeatedly to maintain the results. Most patients usually only need one Facelift throughout their lifetime, although some choose to have the procedure performed again later in life.

Which One to Choose?

Choosing between a Facelift and Botox can be difficult, but outlining your concerns and goals during a professional consultation will help determine which option is best for you. For example, if budget, downtime, scars, and all the factors that come with surgery aren’t in the cards, then Botox may be the right fit if it’s just lines and wrinkles that bother you. On the other hand, if those lines and wrinkles are accompanied by sagging skin, volume loss, and loose facial muscles and tissue, then a Facelift may be a better option if it fits your schedule and budget. And don’t be surprised if your plastic surgeon recommends a combination of the two to create a more harmonious and youthful appearance. The key to youthful aging often follows a mix and match approach of various treatments, procedures, and surgeries to create the best version of yourself.

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Atlanta, GA 30342

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Atlanta, GA 30342

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