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Can a Fractional Laser Be Used for a Mini-lift?

I live in Texas and a doctor near me is offering an Energy lift that seems to help with a mini-lift. He says the fractional lazer is used to shrink connective tissue. Is this procedure worth it? long lasting? safe?

Doctor Answers 23

Laser will give you minimal tightening.

Yes, laser does tighten the skin. However, the effect is minimal and cannot in any way be compared to the gold standard of a traditional facelift. Based on your pictures, you could probably get a nice result with the combination of laser, Botox and fat grafting if you do not want to undergo a facelift. Good luck.

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

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Fractional Laser Primarily Helps Texture, Fine Lines

The Fractional Laser helps improve fine lines and texture. The stimulation of the collagen layer in the skin does help with the appearance of the skin.

How much shrinkage or tightening we see is hard to measure: we do see some tightening.

It's hard to say that it really makes a facelift any tighter, though. The good clinical research studies haven't proven that yet.

It can be hard to separate facts from cool sounding uses of technology.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Fractional laser best suited to rejuvenate the skin, not lift

A fractional laser is best suited to rejuvenate the skin, but does not perform a facelift. If your main concern is lax skin and jowls, I would recommend you undergo a facelift. You can achieve some tightening from a fractional laser or other non-ablative laser such as ReFirme or Titan, however, the results are not the same as with a facelift.

Sanjay Grover, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Energy Lift

Fractional laser provides a small amount of skin tightening. For the right patient, such as a patient with minimal looseness who had undergone a mini-lift with good results, this might be an excellent procedure. In experienced hands, the procedure has a high safety factor.

In general fractional laser has less downtime than traditional CO2 laser, but the results are less as well. Both fractional and CO2 lasers tighten the skin effectively.

Lasers of any type do not fix jowls. Jowls are caused by drooping of deep tissues (SMAS) plus significant skin looseness, problems that can best be addressed with a skillfully performed facelift.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

You will be Disappointed

Fractional laser is good for skin texture, slight static wrinkles and sun damage. Gravitational change will be addressed with a Facelift-type procedure.  This is where you should invest you money. You must not be fooled by marketing gimmicks

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Fractional Laser Resurfacing and a Facelift address two different issues

Although both treatments can definitely help improve your appearance and rejuvenate your face, they do so in very different ways. Laser resurfacing treatments are used to address the skin itself: lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, etc. Although it can have some tightening effect on the skin, this is very modest compared to what a Facelift cam achieve. A Facelift is used to reverse a sagging neck or treat jowls that are forming along the jawline. Depending on the extent of the lift, you can achieve results that will far surpass any tightening that a laser can do. Having said that, a Facelift does not improve the quality of the skin itself. That is why these two procedures can be very effective when used to complement each other.

Hope this helps!

Dr. Y

Haresh Yalamanchili, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Fractionated lasers and facelifts solve two different things

Fractionated lasers, like skin peels, help remedy superficial skin problems. These are a great option for someone who has sun-damaged skin or skin that's very thin and loose. However, a facelift serves a different function. A facelift and any "lifting"-type operation serve to tighten deeper tissues and muscles.  This can help improve jawline definition and soften deeper wrinkles. The two procedures are used for very different problems and accomplish very different things. 

Corey S. Maas, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Energy lift?

Using a fractional CO2 laser for the deeper tissues with a facelift is a novel approach that may offer some contouring advantages.  This particular approach is not a mainstream procedure and I would check the credentials of the physician suggesting this approach and ask to speak to some of his/her patients that have had this procedure.

All the best,

Tal Raine MD

Talmage J. Raine, MD
Champaign Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Fractional Lasers Resurface skin but are NOT a substitute for a Facelift

I love lasers and use them in my practice. But - to obtain a great result, a good Plastic surgeon knows which tool he needs to pull out of his tool box.

I would venture to say that the doctor near you offering that exotic sounding " Energy lift" is NOT a real Plastic surgeons. His experience and repertoire are limited to his laser and that is why he tries selling it as a bogus magical lifting tool.

A fractional laser, in the right hands, will smooth the skin and minimally tighten it. It will not tighten or lift it anything remotely close to what a properly done Facelift would.

I would advise you to look for a REAL Plastic surgeon to explore all your options.

Dr. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Lasers and face lift

Fractional laser and mini face lift are two different things. I perform various laser treatments of facial skin, depends on what is needed. Fractional lasers have a place in facial rejuvenation, but they do not created dramatic effect. Any laser treatment of facial skin will not create any meaningful tightening of the face, nor create any appreciable face lift effect.

The field of facial surgery is full of gimmicks and sub-par procedures. An experienced and expert facial rejuvenation surgeon will carefully assess each patients individual anatomy and aging process to design a unique surgical approach. Only in this fashion can a beautiful, dramatic, natural and lasting result can be obtained. Make sure your surgeon carefully explains to you what procedure is being contemplated and what is the expected result. Only then can you avoid disappointment after surgery. You might find it insightful to ready my article on "Fast Tract Facelift" which can be found on my web site under "publications".

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.