Plastic Surgery Vs Non-surgical Treatment: How to Choose?

like every one I know...I do not relish the notion of going under the knife for a facelift, browlift or neck lift.  So my research is finding lots of doctors selling minimal surgery or "nonsurgical treatments".  Why wouldn't I do these non-invasive treatments first or instead of plastic surgery?

Doctor Answers (4)

Plastic Surgery Vs Non-surgical Treatment

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The treatment must meet the patient's objectives. In some cases, minimal surgery or nonsurgical treatments may be the answer. However, you should consult with experienced, respected, and expert physicians who can offer a variety of options so you are not sold an inappropriate or ineffective treatment.


West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Surgical versus non-Surgical Treatments

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Several cliches can be applied to this question, most notably that there is "No free lunch".  Although there are some very good minimally invasive treatments such as Intense Pulse Light, Ulthera, Fillers, and of course Botox, the end result  of these treatments are more limited than surgical results.  Therefore if a patient has aging changes such as jowls and neck laxity (and is bothered by these changes), the only adequate solution is a Facelift.  However, it is not unusual for a patient to try a number of minimally invasive treatments until they reach this conclusion themselves.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Treatment to match problem

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Any sane person would prefer a "treatment" to an operation to fix a problem. Unfortunately, there is a lot of snake oil out there preying on these natural inclinations.

You can't shrink skin. If you have too much skin, an operation will be necessary to fix the problem.

You can paralyze a muscle to achieve a desired effect (botox for chemical browlift). However, it is temporary and cannot do all the things that a surgical browlift does.

You really need to be a prudent consumer and make sure you get good information. At my website, there is a Buyer Beware section that separates treatment concepts. There are certain truths that cannot be violated and anyone who claims they can is trying to sell you some snake oil.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

A Plastic Surgery Medical Spa Can Answer Questions about All Aesthetic Procedures

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Over the last ten or fifteen years, aesthetic medical technology has grown at an explosive rate. A scientific approach to skin care that includes prevention and maintenance, in addition to treatment of the damaging effects of sun exposure, now allows us to achieve results that were not previously possible. We can now also provide pre- and post-operative treatments which speed recovery and improve surgical results.

For any given aesthetic concern, there are both medical and surgical enhancements which are possible. Additionally, skin care treatment options are also available which are less invasive than surgery, but more invasive than typical medical spa treatments: Botox injection for facial wrinkles and lines, Dermal fillers for lip enhancement and softening of deep facial folds and creases, laser treatment of facial veins, rosacea, laser skin tightening and IPL for permanent improvement of fine wrinkles and increasing skin tone.

This explosion in medical aesthetic technology has resulted in a market that is literally flooded with new products, devices and procedures all claiming to be the ‘latest and greatest’ or the ‘next big thing’. A great deal of dedication (and caution!) is required to sort through all of the new (and often not-so-new) technology which is marketed simultaneously to aesthetic professionals and to the public. We take great pride in carefully investigating new technologies, and in offering only those skin care treatments which we feel are safe, reproducible, and not associated with prolonged ‘downtime’.

A plastic surgery medical spa thus combines pampering spa treatments with medical-grade skin care treatments and products that provide visible results. As a plastic surgeon. I believe wholeheartedly in the importance of a professional, scientifically-based skin care regimen. In my California practice, I frequently referred surgical patients to local medical aestheticians in order to prepare their skin for surgery, and to maintain the health and vitality of the skin following surgery, facial resurfacing or other procedures.

The advantage of this approach is that all of an individual’s aesthetic needs can be met in one location, where the combined expertise of the surgeon, nursing staff and medical aestheticians is used to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for each skin care client.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 41 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.