Would Injectable Fillers Or A Limited Facelift (Lifestyle Lift) Be Better For Me?

Q: I am interested in what a limited facelift or lifestyle lift might do for me or if I can get away with fillers or something like that. What is the comparative recovery time? Costs? How long do they last?

A: One of the common misconceptions in management of the aging face is that injectable fillers and some form of a facelift treat the same problems. They do not and, as a result, are not comparable treatments. They are often companions (done together or in separate stages) but are never substitutes for each other. Injectable treatment are for the central part of the face and do things that surgery generally can not either achieve or do very well. These include Botox for forehead and eye wrinkles and fillers for nasolabial fold depth reduction and lip wrinkle reduction and lip size increase. Any form of a facelift deals only with the sagging skin and excess fat in the neck and jowls, lower third of the face sagging.

There are procedures touted as ‘liquid facelifts’ but these are a bit (or maybe a lot) misleading and are associated, in my opinion, with a relatively poor value. By using injectable fillers, the sides of the face and cheeks can be puffed up which does create a mild temporary lifting effect due to the expansion of the tissues. The operative word is temporary (six months or less) and, when one compares the cost of numerous syringes of injectable fillers, one could already be more than halfway to one of the variations of a facelift. This injectable approach will also do nothing for the neck area which is the primary target of facelift surgery.

For the patient with lesser amounts of facial aging, the combination of a limited facelift (aka Lifestyle Lift) and injectable fillers can create a very dynamic effect by being able to treat the entire face more effectively. There is a very definite role and benefit to injectable fillers but their results are not comparable to facelift surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana