Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Facelift: Which is Right for You?

As you get older, you can expect your skin to lose its elasticity and to begin to sag over time. How quickly your skin ages depends on a variety of factors, including your genes, lifestyle habits, and sun exposure.

No matter how old you are when they first occur, seeing those first visible signs of aging or of skin laxity can be upsetting. You might wonder what you can do to turn back the hands of time or at least to look a bit more youthful.

For decades, the go-to procedure for people who wanted smoother, tighter skin was a facelift. Although surgical facelifts are effective, they do have some drawbacks, such as requiring a lengthy recovery period.

These days, there are more minimally-invasive options available than ever before for fighting the signs of aging and for rejuvenating the skin. A non-surgical facelift can help to tighten skin by stimulating the production of collagen, which improves skin's texture and elasticity.

Should you go the surgical route or non-surgical route if you're looking to rejuvenate your appearance? Understanding the differences between the two options will help you decide which one is right for you.

What Happens During a Facelift?

Before beginning facelift surgery, the surgeon will give the patient an anesthetic. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, they'll either provide IV sedation or general anesthesia.

With general anesthesia, the patient is completely under and won't be able to hear, see or remember anything that went on during their facelift. Their breathing will also be monitored and controlled.

Once the anesthesia is working, the surgeon will make incisions at several locations, usually by the ears and hairline. After making the incisions, they will reposition the tissues of the face, including the skin and underlying muscle and fascia to create a smoother, tighter look. The surgeon might then remove excess skin and fat before closing the incisions.

What Happens During a Non-Surgical Facelift?

During a non-surgical facelift, or "Minimally Invasive Nonsurgical Thread" (MINT) facelift, the surgeon uses a barbed suture material to lift the patient's skin. The sutures also create tiny injuries in the skin, which stimulate the production of collagen and help to make skin firmer and tighter.

The sutures are absorbable and will continue to increase the production of collagen for as long as they remain in place, usually for at least a year.

How Is Recovery Time Different?

There is a substantial difference between the recovery time for a MINT lift and the recovery time needed for a traditional facelift. Many people need at least a week or two to rest up and recover after facelift surgery. After the first two weeks, they often need a bit more time before they feel fully 100% again.

In contrast, many people can go back to their regular activities pretty quickly after a MINT lift. Patients might want to take it easy for the first week or so after the procedure, but some people get back to the daily grind almost immediately.

How Do Results Differ?

Another key difference between a surgical facelift and a non-surgical facelift is the type of results you can expect. Usually, a surgical facelift provides long-lasting results. Patients can look up to a decade younger and continue to look more youthful for years to come.

The results from a MINT lift usually aren't as dramatic as the results from a facelift and don't last as long. For that reason, a MINT lift is usually recommended for people who are just beginning to notice some signs of aging and sagging. If you have considerable skin laxity, you're more likely to be more satisfied with the results you get from facelift surgery.

Schedule Your Facelift Consultation Today

Dr. Haitham Masri and Dr. Fatina Masri each have more than two decades of experience performing plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures. They can help you choose between a surgical or non-surgical facelift based your concerns and your goals. To schedule your free patient consultation at Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, call (866) 487-3223 today.

Facial plastic surgery can make some truly amazing changes. It can minimize signs of aging. It can change the shape or size of certain features, such as the nose or chin. Because there are so many different options, it's important to choose your procedure carefully, based on your goals. If you're considering facial surgery, the first question to ask yourself is fairly simple, but not always easy: which surgery is right for you?

Knowing what you want from the procedure, what your specific concerns are and how much time you have to devote to surgical recovery will help you choose the facial surgery that will best help you reach your aesthetic goals.

What Are Your Concerns?

One of the first things to consider when you're deciding on plastic surgery is your particular concerns. For example, some facial procedures are designed to minimize the signs of aging by tightening the skin and underlying tissues. Others, such as rhinoplasty, are designed to permanently change the size or shape of a feature (in this case, the nose). Rhinoplasty and some other plastic surgeries, such as blepharoplasty, can also improve the function of some facial features.

For example, rhinoplasty might help to improve your ability to breathe and an eyelid lift can help to improve your vision if your eyelids droop and hang down too low over your eyes.

It's worth understanding that different facial procedures are designed to tackle aging in different areas. A facelift, for example, is meant to improve signs of aging on the lower part of the face. A forehead lift will help to minimize signs of aging in the brow.

What Are Your Goals?

Another factor worth considering when you're choosing a facial procedure is what you hope to get from the surgery. Are you looking for long-term results or do you want something less invasive and less permanent? If your goal is to rejuvenate your entire face, it might be in your best interest to choose a series of surgeries, such as combining a facelift and a forehead lift or a forehead lift and an eyelid lift. If you're only seeing the beginnings of aging, however, a single surgery might be more appropriate.

Is Surgery the Best Option?

Surgery isn't the only choice available if you're looking to reduce visible signs of aging. Many effective non-surgical treatment options are available to treat problems like lines and wrinkles. In some cases, these non-surgical options might be a better fit for you than surgery. For example, if you're only dealing with a few small lines and minor volume loss, a filler might be more appropriate than a facelift.

When weighing the pros and cons of surgery vs. minimally-invasive treatments, it helps to think about your schedule and commitments. Facial surgery often requires some preparation and days to weeks of recovery afterward. Before the surgery, you might need to make changes to your habits or adjust the medications you take. After surgery, you'll most likely need to take time off from work and might have to avoid some activities for several weeks.

For many patients, however, the recovery and preparation time required for surgery is worth it. Surgery provides long-lasting results and more dramatic anti-aging when compared to non-surgical alternatives. But for others, it's a better option to choose a less invasive procedure that doesn't require nearly as much as in the way of commitment.

Ask Your Plastic Surgeon

If you're still not sure which facial plastic surgery is right for you, your plastic surgeon can be a good resource. They're the experts, and they'll be happy to guide you as you make your decision. They can explain the differences between each procedure and go over what you can expect. They can also review your specific concerns and offer you their professional opinion.

To help you get an even better understanding of what to expect from a particular surgery, a plastic surgeon can show you before and after photos from previous patients and might even put you in touch with former patients so you can hear firsthand what it's like to have the surgery you're considering.

Schedule Your Facial Surgery Consultation Today

Dr. Haitham Masri and Dr. Fatina Masri each have more than two decades of experience performing plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures. They can help you choose the facial plastic surgery that will address your concerns and help you achieve your goals. To schedule your free patient consultation at Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, call (866) 487-3223 today.

Facelift FAQsBefore you make the final decision to have a facelift, it's important to sit down with at least one facial plastic surgeon and find out as much about the surgery as you can, as well as much about the surgeon as possible. Since it's easy to get overwhelmed when meeting a doctor face to face, it's a good idea to prepare a few questions about the facelift in advance, so that you leave no stone unturned during your consultation.

Where Will the Incisions Be?

You might be concerned about the possibility of visible scars after your surgery or about other changes that can occur based on the location of the incisions. For that reason, it helps to ask the surgeon where he plans on make the incisions during the procedure. Making them along the hairline, instead of in the hairline, and in front and behind the ears helps to make scarring less visible as you heal. It also reduces the chance that you'll have any major changes in the shape of your hairline or any hair loss due to the scarring.

What Technique Do You Use?

There are several ways of performing a facelift, and some are more advanced than others. Talk to the surgeon about the technique he uses for the procedure and why he uses that technique. The more advanced the surgeon's technique is, the more likely it is to produce results that look natural, rather than the windswept look associated with facelifts of years past.

Generally speaking, the deeper the surgeon works, the better the results. A facelift that focuses on the skin only will produce short-term results that might not look as natural as they could.

What is Recovery Like?

Don't forget to ask the surgeon about the recovery period after the procedure. While after patient is somewhat different, and some are ready to get back into the swing of things almost right away and others need a bit more time, ask your surgeon how long he recommends that you take off from work or other commitments and what you can expect during your initial downtime.

Are There Any Things You Should Avoid Before or After Surgery?

You might have to make a few changes to your lifestyle and habits before the surgery and continue to avoid certain habits afterwards. Your surgeon will give you a fair idea of what is off limits before and after a facelift. For example, smoking is typically a big no-no starting at least two weeks before surgery and for several weeks after it. Nicotine affects your body's ability to heal and can make scarring worse.

Some medications need to be avoided before and after a facelift, too. You might be surprised to see the list of medications and supplements that are on the "do not take" list before any type of facial plastic surgery procedure. To make sure you don't accidentally take a medication that can interfere with the procedure or after your healing, give your surgeon a list of everything you take regularly or semi-regularly, including herbal supplements and vitamins.

How Many Surgeries Has the Surgeon Performed?

You want to get a feel for your surgeon's experience performing facelift procedures. Ask him how often he performs facelifts, particularly the type of facelift you are considering, if you are thinking about a mid-facelift or are seeing a surgeon for a mini-facelift. Ask how long he's been performing facelifts, for pictures of past patients, and for references from past patients, too.

This is also a good moment to find out more about your surgeon's training and qualifications. Find out if he is board certified in facial plastic surgery, where he completed his residency, and anything else you can you about his training and experience. Most board certified surgeons are proud of that fact and will happily show you the proof when you ask.

What Type of Anesthetic Will Be Used?

Also take a moment to ask about the type of anesthetic a surgeon plans on using during the facelift. The type of anesthetic typically varies based on the surgeon's preference, the type of facelift he'll be performing, and in some cases, your preference. For example, local anesthesia is often used during a mini facelift because the incisions are smaller and the procedure is much less invasive than a standard facelift. IV sedation or general anesthesia might be used during a standard facelift or mid-facelift. Your surgeon will let you know what you can expect from each option and what sort of preparation is required.

Choosing the Right Surgeon

There are many reasons to choose a board certified plastic surgeon to perform your procedure. Facelift is a serious procedure; doctors must be able to predict outcomes and sculpt beautiful new contours of the face.

If you’d like to discuss the possibility of a facelift at Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, call our offices in Birmingham or Dearborn, MI (866-487-3223) to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Haitham Masri.

10 Tips for a Smooth Facelift RecoveryFacelift surgery is a comprehensive procedure that’s been popular for many years. It’s not surprising—the surgery is extremely effective for producing long-lasting anti-aging results that look very natural. With those great results, however, comes a price—a fairly significant recovery period that lasts for several weeks. Why? Because traditional facelift surgery involves some fairly large incisions as well as repositioning of the skin, muscle, and fat in the face.

The good news is that facelift recovery doesn’t have to be an obstacle to getting the results you want. With gentler surgical techniques and enhanced knowledge about the healing process, you can minimize the inconvenience of facelift surgery and be back on your feet in no time. Here are 10 tips for a smooth facelift recovery and great results.

1. Rest

Clear out your to-do list, clear out your schedule, and make time to rest. You may be on-the-go and on call all the time, but this is not the time to even do computer-based work. De-stress, focus on healing, and don’t be tempted to work or do too much during your recovery. There’s plenty of time to gradually increase your activity level, but your first few days should be devoted to resting up.

2. Don’t Panic

Panicking doesn’t help you heal—in fact, it does the opposite. Don’t get paranoid by looking out for complications 24/7. It’s absolutely important to notify your surgeon if you see signs of infection or other problems, but don’t overanalyze every little change.

3. Monitor Your Progress

Just because you’re not sweating the small stuff, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t monitor your progress or keep an eye out for potential problems. It can be helpful to keep a log of how you feel, how you look, and what you notice each day, in case you need to remember how your healing progressed.

4. Be Patient

Remember: results take time. The first few days and weeks, you’ll be uncomfortable, and probably dismayed by your appearance. You will look worse before you look better! Don’t panic if you don’t like what you see—it takes time to heal and see the real results.

5. Nourish Yourself

Good food will help your body bounce back quickly, and junk food does you no favors in your recovery. But how do you cook when you’re resting up from surgery? Easy: you don’t. Make sure your fridge is stocked with healthy, easy-to-prepare meals and snacks before your surgery. Many patients make meals and freeze them in advance, to be reheated during recovery.

6. Stay Elevated

Keeping your head elevated following the procedure accomplishes a couple of things: it helps keep swelling down, and it helps keep you comfortable. Sleeping in a recliner or using lots of extra pillows are great ways to keep your head elevated during recovery as much as possible.

7. Be Cool

Colder temperatures are great for reducing swelling, which is why you should be careful during your facelift recovery to avoid taking too-hot showers, sitting next to heaters, or otherwise exposing your face to excess heat.

8. Take Your Meds

Recovery is not always going to be comfortable—and that’s where your pain meds come in. Don’t feel like you need to avoid them as long as you can—they’re there to help ease you through the recovery process. Take them according to direction if you need to, there’s no reason not to.

9. Protect Your Skin

Once you’ve undergone facial surgery, your skin will be very sensitive for a while. This means, you’ll need to protect it—specifically, from the sun. Sun exposure is bad for sensitive, recovering skin, and your skin may respond with hyperpigmentation—darkening of the skin. Be sure to use sunscreen and a hat when outdoors to minimize the risk to your skin.

10. Follow Instructions—and Take Things Slow

Your plastic surgeon will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for yourself following facelift surgery, and you should follow this information to a T. Your surgeon has all the knowledge you need to heal properly and set yourself up for success; don’t jeopardize your results by ignoring your doctor’s advice.

Finally, take things slow—you should ease back into your normal routine slowly, and there’s no shame in taking extra time to heal.

A Knowledgeable Surgeon to Guide You

If you’re thinking about facelift surgery but don’t know how to get started, your first step is to find a knowledgeable surgeon to guide you through the process. Your plastic surgeon will be the main deciding factor in the success of your procedure, so it’s important you consult with several board certified experts before you decide on the best surgeon for you.

If you’re looking for a skilled plastic surgeon to answer your questions in the Birmingham or Dearborn, MI areas, come to Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery to meet with our esteemed, board certified plastic surgeons. Dr. Masri and his colleagues offer the best in facial rejuvenation, and offer complimentary consultations to help you plan your treatment. Call () today to schedule your appointment.

General Longevity of Facelift ResultsThe facelift is a powerful procedure that can help turn back the aging clock and provide comprehensive anti-aging results for people concerned about sagging skin, wrinkles, and lost facial volume. However, in order to achieve those great results, there is a surgical and recovery process that is quite invasive and costly for most patients. Because of this, many would-be patients are unsure as to whether or not the procedure is a worthwhile investment. The longevity of the facelift is important to take into account when determining whether a facelift is a good option for you. Naturally, long-lasting results are a must when it comes to an in-depth anti-aging procedure, but how long does a facelift last on average? It all depends on a number of factors.

General Longevity of Facelift Results

A quality facelift is expensive, but the results should last for several years at a minimum, and ideally, improvement should be visible for at least 10 years. However, since every person and every procedure is unique, there are many different factors that can contribute to how long the results of a facelift will last. These include:

Type of Facelift

Though many people think of the facelift procedure as a set surgery with clearly defined steps, the procedure is actually very custom and is tailored to suit each patient’s needs. There are many different types of facelifts, including “mini” lifts, limited incision facelifts, and the classic deep plane facelifts. More invasive procedures are more expensive and require increased recovery time, but the results are more dramatic and often last longer.

SMAS Manipulation

Addressing the aging of the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS) is an important part of many facelifts, and the way the surgeon attends to this will affect the longevity of the results. These facial muscles are lifted and tightened for a more youthful look, and are just as important, if not more, than the skin tightening that takes place during the procedure.

Skin Type

It has been observed that some skin types retain the results of a facelift longer than others. In general, patients with darker skin tend to see improvement for a longer period of time than fair-skinned people with thinner skin.

Lifestyle

Certain lifestyle choices, including smoking, sun exposure, and past weight fluctuation affect the skin’s health and overall elasticity in a negative way. Unhealthy skin has a harder time bouncing back from facelift surgery and results may deteriorate more quickly following the procedure than patients with normal skin, especially if these habits are continued following surgery.

Age

While a facelift is appropriate for many patients from middle age and older who are experiencing moderate to severe facial aging and are in general good health, there are some caveats for having the procedure performed at a more advanced age. First, the results may not be as dramatic, since more improvement will have to be made, but may be less noticeable, depending on the degree of aging. Second, good skin elasticity is a factor in the success of facelift surgery, and this tends to decrease with age. Finally, healing is often slower and aging often progresses more quickly as time goes on.

Surgeon’s Skill

One of the most important factors in your facelift’s success is the surgeon’s skill. This is not only due to the quality of the initial results themselves, but how long those results will last after the surgery. When researching prospective plastic surgeons to perform the procedure, you should only select from board certified facial plastic surgeons with significant experience in facelift surgery. A natural, long-lasting result is the goal for facelift surgery, but it takes immense skill to deliver these results to suit each patient’s individual needs.

Dr. Haitham Masri of Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery is a triple board certified surgeon with over 25 years of experience in helping patients reach their goals. If you would like to consult with a facial surgery specialist about your dreams for a younger look, call (866-487-3223) to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Masri in Birmingham or Dearborn, MI.

Defining Facelift TermsWhen it comes to plastic surgery, there are a lot of different options. Today, the emphasis is on customization, which is a great development in the field of cosmetic surgery, as it allows patients to get the best results possible. However, that can make the process of a procedure such as a facelift somewhat daunting. The best way for prospective patients to overcome this is to do research on the procedure and choose a knowledgeable surgeon who will be able to simplify the process a great deal. When starting your research, you may come across some unfamiliar terms, so let's take a look at some of them to help you navigate your research.

SMAS

SMAS stands for the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system, the underlying muscle structure of the face, and this is the facial layer addressed by many different facelift techniques. What most people don't know is that facelift surgery does far more than just tighten the skin. There is also significant muscle manipulation and tightening of the SMAS. Fat is also repositioned to help with any volume loss that may have occurred, and skin is removed and tightened as needed.

Mini Facelift

The mini facelift is a less invasive, but less effective version of the facelift procedure. It involves smaller scars and shorter recovery time, but the results are less comprehensive. Typically, mini lifts can help with sagging skin, but not deeper facial folds. While traditional facelift results last about 10 years, mini lifts tend to produce improvement that lasts around 5 years. There are also many different types of mini lifts that focus only on specific areas of the face.

Deep Plane Facelift

A comprehensive facelift technique that combines many different lifting procedures to address sagging in the face and neck, the deep plane facelift is the most invasive and effective facelift technique available. All areas of the face are addressed, and the results of this procedure are typically very lasting.

Non-Surgical Facelift

Not a technical term, a non-surgical facelift is often used to describe a procedure known as Thermage, a non-invasive radiofrequency treatment that is used to tighten the skin and improve overall facial contour. The treatment is non-invasive and effective, but does not produce the same level of results as a surgical facelift.

Liquid Facelift

Much like the “non-surgical facelift” the liquid facelift is simply a term used to describe a specific use of common facial filler treatments (usually hyaluronic acid. This treatment is injectable, and can produce subtle improvement in the overall youth of the face, but the amount of filler needed to produce the kind of results expected from a “liquid facelift” can be very expensive, and the results are temporary, lasting only about six months or so. Facial fillers are much better for filling in wrinkles or adding subtle volume to the face.

Keep Informed

The best way to stay informed and be knowledgeable about your procedure is to team up with a skilled and knowledgeable plastic surgeon who can help guide you through the process and answer your questions. Facelift surgery is difficult and complex, and only an expert, board certified surgeon can give you lasting, natural-looking results.

If you would like to talk to a surgeon with over 25 years of experience and triple board certification, call Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery and schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Haitham Masri, an expert in facial surgery. Call 866-487-3223 today to schedule a consultation in Birmingham or Dearborn, Michigan.

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