You’ve probably heard your share of exciting and enticing claims that the day of the non-surgical facelift is here — in publications, on TV, on the Internet and even from your friends. Plastic surgeons themselves thought it was time to debate the validity of the non-surgical facelift and did so at last year’s annual conference of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).
A panel convened at the meeting in hopes of coming up with a definitive answer to that question, “Is there such a thing as a non-surgical facelift?”
Defining what a facelift is by what it’s intended to accomplish
The majority of the panel members agreed that a true facelift should address multiple problems, including:
- Wrinkled and sun-damaged skin
- Loss of volume
- Fat under the chin
Laxity of facial muscles
They concurred that the difference between a surgical and a non-surgical facelift also has to do with the tools that are necessary to achieve the desired result — 1.) a scalpel or 2.) a combination of injectable fillers and laser- or other energy-based technology. Conclusion: both can accomplish desired effects, but to varying degrees.
One prominent member of the group said she doesn’t believe that there’s such a thing as a non-surgical facelift, but only that the signs of aging can be effectively treated using non-surgical tools that can serve to postpone the need for a facelift.
Protecting against, preventing and treating facial aging
All the experts agreed that the best strategy for facial aging is an early and long-term maintenance plan that includes:
- Skincare products such as sunblock and retinoids
Light-energy-based treatments can be employed to tighten the skin around the jowl and neck areas and fillers to restore volume.
Face and neck lift surgery when less-invasive procedures can’t do the job
A non-surgical approach to facial rejuvenation won’t work for everyone or in every situation. If you have excess, hanging skin, a treatment can’t tighten it enough to produce the desired outcome. And at this point, it’s time to talk about a surgical procedure.
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