Can Injectables or Injectable Fillers Take Place of a Facelift?

 Do they work as well?

Doctor Answers 14

Liquid Facelift versus Facelift

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The difference between a liquid facelift and a surgical facelift is that a surgical one is able to remove excess skin. A liquid facelift can replace facial volume through products like Voluma or Sculptra. There are many times that both are required for the best results. 

Fillers Do Not take the place of a Facelift.

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The aging process involves 3 things ; downward decent from facial soft tissue laxity, skin surface aging characterized by wrinkles and discoloration, and loss of volume especially in the cheek area.
Failure to treat all three may make you more aware of what is not treated.

Lifting procedures (from a mini facelift to the full facelift procedure) take care of the sagging. Fillers take care of the deflation or loss of volume, and resurfacing by peels or lasers take care of the surface aging. Not all people age alike. You and your plastic surgeon will determine what is best for you.

The Aging Process

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As we get older the face descends and deflates. In essence, we loose facial volume and develop skin laxity (excess). Much of this is determined by your personal ancestry, sun exposure, smoking and other other health related factors. Although the terminology of "liquid facelift" has become popularized, it is misleading. Volume that was one missing is replaced, but this can never substitute, or obtain the results, of a proper facelift procedure to deal with the soft tissue excess. It is often a combination of the two that really produces a rejuvenated look.
Be healthy and be well,
James M. Ridgway, MD, FACS

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Can Injectables or Injectable Fillers Take Place of a Facelift?

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 No, fillers add volume to the face and can be used to shape and contour the cheeks, chin, jaw line as well as fill in the NLF's an marionette lines.  This is typically done along with removal and shaping of excess facial fat during a Face Lift...who's primary function is to tighten, trim and lift the SMAS muscle layer allowing for the removal of excess skin.  In my mind fillers and Face Lifts should be performed together and are not mutually exclusive at all.  It's all about understanding and following the proper aesthetics of facial beauty for the creation of a naturally, more attractive face.

Fillers vs. Face Lift

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Facial aging is characterized by loss of volume and sagging.  Fillers such as the many different types of HA fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane, etc) or fat help restore volume and can give an illusion of lifting, especially in the area between the chin and the lower cheek, the so-called prejowl sulcus.  Fillers can also help the areas around the mouth that do not improve much with even the best face lift.  When fat is used for volume restoration, there is also often an impressive improvement in the quality of the overlying skin which is likely secondary to stem cells that are transfered along with the fat.

Face lifts mostly address the gravitational changes that occur with aging although they may also help with increasing the volume of the mid face by pulling up the fat that used to be in the mid face but has fallen.

I often use lifing procedures with fillers to give the patients the benefit of filling and lifting. 



Facelift and fillers are different

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Facelift and fillers are different and achieve different results. Depending on your anatomy and goals one or the other may be indicated for you. A facelift removes extra skin thereby tightening the skin that is left and repositioning the remaining tissue. A filler restores volume either in the skin to decrease wrinkles or in the deeper tissues for recontouring and replacing the volume that is lost as part of the aging process. Your best bet will be to see a board certified plastic surgeon who both does surgery and uses fillers and who can talk with you about your concerns and goals and evaluate your anatomy. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Fillers or face lift

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No. Have the face lift first. Then have fillers if and as needed.  

Face lifts surgically replace tissues that have drooped as the support tissue has stretched. The surgery these days has a speedy recovery and excellent results. It restores tissues to their normal position.

Research shows that you will get a much better and longer lasting result from a face lift if you do it early. You should not use fillers to put off having a face lift. It will not serve you well.  Remember:

  • Face lift for correction
  • Fillers for maintenance. Best wishes and enjoy your result, whatever you decide.

Fillers instead of a facelift?

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This is an excellent question. Fillers are not a substitute for a facelift but fillers in the right hands can certainly improve one's appearance and if you are young and have excellent skin tone, fillers certainly can push back a facelift. Difficult to answer without a picture and an exam. Be sure that whoever is telling you this has the ability to offer both, I often find that some practitioners will over promise fillers because they are not trained to perform facelifts. i.e. non-surgeons.

Injectable fillers for aging face

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The answer is no! As a result of aging , in addition to laxity of skin and its migration down south, one will loose some volume, nasolabial folds become deeper and creases forms around mouth, lips and chin. These areas will respond to injections of fillers and fat grafts, sagging skins need tightening with some type of face lifting.   

Fat and Fillers vs. Facelift

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Part of the aging process is the loss of facial volume. This can be restored with the the injection of fat or fillers. Relaxed muscles and large quantities of redundant skin are best treated with a facelift. Sometimes both techniques are used at the same time.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 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.