Facelift vs. Laser Resurfacing

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am trying to decide between having a facelift or getting laser resurfacing. I am using Retin A religiously and have seen improvement . Have been using it for a little over a month. I am supposed to have CO2 laser next month but I am not sure if I want to do that or have a face lift. I cant afford both so will have to decide which I want more. I know the laser will do nothing for the turkey neck or jowls but I also know the facelift won’t help my wrinkles. I guess what I am asking is what do you think I should do.

A: In discussion of the debate between laser resurfacing and a facelift, the question is what did you want to achieve. What each one can accomplish is going to be dramatically different. A lower facelift with improve the neck and jowls/jawline as well as help with some of the wrinkles around the jowls and at the side of the mouth. It will provide no improvements in the cheek or around the eye area. Conversely laser resurfacing can be done all over the face (but not the neck) and its improvements is to fine wrinkles and skin texture with very limited skin tightening properties.

The overall facial rejuvenation effect is far greater with a lower facelift as you may have suspected. I would think one would choose full face laser resurfacing instead of a facelift for surely economic considerations where the skin’s appearance can be improved even though the jowls and the neck sag will not be.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana