Board Certifications: American Board of Facial Plastic and
Reconstructive Surgery American Board of Otolaryngology - ABO

The Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Facelift

The "non-surgical facelift" has been hailed by the media and many physicians as a viable alternative to a traditional surgical facelift. After all, it is cheaper, quicker and requires no recovery time. But what exactly is a non-surgical facelift?

Non-Surgical Facelift Defined

Basically there are three major types of facial aging: loss of volume in the face; photo-damage from the sun; and an abundance of sagging skin. A non-surgical facelift can address the loss of volume and photo-damage. Fillers such as Restylane are used to replace lost volume while toxins such as Botox are used to paralyze small muscles to eliminate lines and wrinkles such as frown lines or crow's feet. Fillers come in two types: absorbable, which are temporary and non-absorbable, which are permanent. The area to be filled determines the type that is used. Typically they are used in areas where wrinkles or creases have developed such as the nasolabial folds or the cheeks. Temporary fillers are made of hyaluronic acid, a substance that occurs in the body naturally. Fillers have an immediate effect with results that last approximately 9 to 10 months.

Toxins on the other hand temporarily paralyze muscles responsible for lines and wrinkles. They prohibit the muscle from contracting, and therefore prevent wrinkles from forming. Muscles can no longer make the movement or expression responsible for a wrinkle so lines gradually smooth out and new creases cannot form. Toxin injections are a quick procedure taking just 15 to 30 minutes, with results that typically remain for 4 to 6 months.

If uneven skin tone from photo aging is a concern, lasers can be used to reduce spots and even the complexion. Topical treatment creams also are used to reduce hyperpigmentation due to the effects of UV from the sun.

Surgical Facelift Defined

Make no mistake there is quite a difference between surgical and non-surgical facelifts. The sagging skin that begins to develop as patients enter their 40s, 50s and 60 cannot be reversed with toxins and fillers. Thankfully, gone are the days of the wind tunnel look resulting from over pulled facelift surgery. Advanced facelift techniques now permit plastic surgeons to work safer, faster and create extremely natural looks. Dr. Rizk uses a 3-D endoscopic telescope to allow for more precise and smaller incisions, which help create a more natural look with smaller incisions, lessening the recovery time required.

A variety of types of facelifts are performed by Dr. Rizk and available for patients to choose. They include a full facelift, a mid facelift, lower facelift and facelift and neck lift combined. Dr. Rizk specializes in the deep plane lift, which means he lifts from under the muscle and slides it back into its original youthful position. This technique also promotes less bruising and swelling since the procedure takes place deeper beneath the muscle.

Since Dr. Rizk's technique addresses the deeper tissues and fat layers in the face and neck, his facelifts typically last for 10 years. Compare this to the mere months long results of a non-surgical lift and you will see why a surgical lift is quite different. A non-surgical facelift will offer immediate results that last at most 12 months, but a surgical facelift will create a more youthful appearance that will maintain its correction for a decade or longer.

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