Are You Ready for a Facelift?

A facelift could give you significant results, but there are many factors at play. To figure out if you’re ready for a facelift, consider all of your options.

March 7, 2022

5 min read


The facelift is the original, tried-and-true solution for facial rejuvenation. These days, we have our choice of many options if we want to look younger and have a more toned appearance. A facelift is surgical, but there are several other nonsurgical procedures that are noninvasive, but don’t last quite as long. These include injectables, radiofrequency treatments, ultrasound treatments, and collagen-stimulating treatments.

Browsing our face lift before and after photos, you may have seen some results you can achieve — but before you rush into anything, consider all of your options. You may find a solution that addresses the issues you want to target, but without the recovery time and expense of a facelift. Of course, you might also be best served with a face lift.

Let’s go over some of your options:


Botox (onabotulinum toxin A) is a popular injectable neuromodulator known for eliminating fine lines and wrinkles. It does this by blocking the nerve signals from the muscle to the brain. This prevents the muscle from contracting, and stops it from folding and creasing. The most popular areas to treat are forehead creases, frown lines, and crows feet.

The procedure

The number of injections varies from person to person, depending on which areas of the face are receiving treatment. 

How long does it take?

The procedure could take as little as a few minutes and there’s very little recovery time.

Risks and side effects

There are mild risks associated with the procedure:

  • Swelling or bruising at the injection site
  • Headaches
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Droopy eyelid
  • Drooling
  • Dryness or excessive moisture in the eyes

How soon will I see results?

You’ll notice results two to three days after the procedure. It could take anywhere from one to two weeks to notice the full effects. Then you can get an assessment to see if you need a touch-up. Since the muscles are relaxed, the fine lines continue to improve over time. The longer you have Botox injections, the more of an improvement there will be.

How long does it last?

The effects of Botox could last anywhere from two to six months. The effects wear off over time.

Who should consider Botox?

Botox is recommended for people in their 20s and older as a preventative and treatment measure for fine lines and wrinkles.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers (like Juvederm) are injectable gels that smooth fine lines and wrinkles, plump lips, fill in under-eye hollows, add volume to cheeks, even out acne pits, and more.

The most common types of dermal fillers:

  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Calcium hydroxylapatite
  • Polyalkylimide
  • Polylactic acid
  • Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres

The procedure

It’s a quick and relatively painless procedure performed while you’re under local anesthetic. The number of injections depends on how many facial areas are treated.

How long does it take?

It could take anywhere between 15 minutes to one hour.

Risks and side effects

When done correctly, dermal fillers come with minor risks. Common side effects include:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Rash

How soon will I see results?

Results may vary from subtle to dramatic, and you will probably notice results as soon as the procedure is over.

How long does it last?

Some dermal fillers last six to 12 months, while others may last two to five years.

Who should consider dermal fillers?

The ideal candidate for dermal fillers is physically healthy, doesn’t smoke, has realistic goals, and takes care of their skin.


Ultherapy is a noninvasive procedure for skin tightening. It uses high-focus ultrasonic energy to heat the treatment area and stimulate collagen production. It has FDA approval to tighten skin on the jawline, brow, neck, chin, and fine lines and wrinkles on the décolletage and some doctors treat the abdomen, knees, and elbows off-label.

The procedure

After applying a topical numbing agent, your doctor uses an ultrasound conductive gel and an ultrasound device to focus ultrasonic heat to your skin, which penetrates to the proper depth for stimulating collagen. The ultrasound machine allows your doctor to see the connective tissue underneath and target the depth of precise areas using a variety of attachments. There is little-to-no downtime after the procedure.

How long does it take?

A treatment usually takes between 30 and 90 minutes.

Risks and side effects

There are some risks with ultherapy, particularly in the hands of someone who’s inexperienced:

  • Too much heat can cause welts
  • Burns or blisters
  • Nerve weakness, in extreme cases
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Atrophy or necrosis, rarely

How soon will I see results?

You may notice results immediately after the treatment, but you’ll see more significant results over the next three to six months when your body has produced more collagen.

How long does it last?

The results of an ultherapy treatment usually last one to two years. You can prolong the effects by protecting yourself from the sun and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s common for people to return for another treatment after two years, but in most cases, you may return for another treatment after six months.

Who should consider ultherapy?

A good candidate for Ultherapy is someone who is just starting to notice sagging in their face and wants lift but isn’t looking for anything too drastic.

Facial Fat transfer

A facial fat transfer is a procedure where fat is taken from another part of your body, such as your hips, thighs, or abdomen, and injected into your face for a more plump, youthful appearance. It’s often used to fill in hollow eyes, sunken cheeks, thin lips, or to smooth deep lines between the nose and mouth.

The procedure

The procedure has three stages: harvesting the fat, purifying the fat, and transferring the fat. The fat is harvested through a liposuction procedure. Then it’s processed to remove any impurities. When it’s time to do the transfer, your doctor numbs your face and inserts a small tube called a cannula into the treatment area, and passes it through multiple times, until achieving the desired effects.

How long does it take?

A facial fat transfer usually takes about two hours.

Risks and side effects

A facial fat transfer carries the following risks and potential side effects:

  • Infection
  • Bruising
  • Scarring
  • Asymmetry

How soon will I see results?

You’ll notice the results immediately, but some of it is due to swelling. Stable long term results are after about nine months. With all fat transfers, some of the fat cells don’t survive, so your surgeon will often “over-fill” to anticipate the volume loss. Even so, some people will want a second treatment.

How long does it last?

After nine months, the results you see will be permanent. However, any changes to your body, such as weight gain/loss, will affect the look of your face.

Who should consider a facial fat transfer?

A good candidate for a facial fat transfer is over the age of 30, is someone who has enough fat on another part of their body to transfer to their face, and who might consider combining it with another form of treatment.


A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure to correct sagging and wrinkles. The procedure may lift tissues, tighten the underlying muscles, remove excess skin, and reposition the remaining skin to make your face and neck look younger and more toned. It’s the more expensive option for facial rejuvenation, but the results are permanent.

The procedure

There are two primary methods of facelift surgery: SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) facelift and deep plane facelift.

A SMAS facelift works by lifting sagging skin, repositioning the fat in the cheeks, tightening the underlying muscles in the bottom half of the face, and removing excess skin.

A deep plane facelift is the most effective solution for significant facial sagging. It lifts the jowls and folds as well as the fat pads and muscles in the cheeks, giving the face a younger-looking shape.

How long does it take?

A facelift procedure typically takes between three and five hours to complete. Since they use general anesthesia, you’ll need additional time to allow it to wear off and to make sure you’re okay to leave the clinic.

Risks and side effects

There are some risks that go along with having a facelift procedure:

  • Hematoma (blood collecting under the skin)
  • Infection
  • Mild bleeding
  • Facial nerve injury, rarely

How soon will I see results?

Results are immediate, but you won’t see them until your face has healed. It may take up to one year to experience the full effects, but you’ll be party-ready after six weeks.

How long does it last?

The results of a facelift is permanent. However, it doesn’t stop you from continuing to age — what it does is it unwinds and brings you back in time.

Who should consider a facelift?

A good candidate for a facelift is someone who’s healthy and doesn’t smoke, with no medical conditions that slow the healing process,  and who has a positive outlook and realistic expectations.

To book a consultation so you can have your questions answered and find out which treatment is right for you, contact the Advanced Institute for Plastic Surgery today.

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