Should I Have Facelift Instead of Pearl "Fusion"?

I have a doctor recommending Pearl "Fusion" for photo aging and some skin tightening. How long do the results last? Should I save my money for a facelift instead? I'm 50 years old.

Doctor Answers 16

Lasers do NOT replace Facelifts

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You probably need both a laser and a facelift for optimal results. 
Of course without photos and an exam it is difficult to render an opinion but I can give you general information as to my answer.
Here is why: You age in 3 ways redundant skin and underlying supporting structure laxity,volume shifts (loss of volume in the cheeks, gain in the jowls and submental), and skin surface aging - wrinkles, large pores, age spots). It is important to understand that facelifts are meant to remove major folds and wrinkles, not fine wrinkles. A facelift which removed every line and fold would be too aggressive and would result in an unnatural result. The goal of our surgeons is to make your facelift look as natural as possible. Face lifts do not change the quality of the skin and volume issues are best managed by fillers or fat transfer. Skin aging is accelerated by smoking .

Fine lines and wrinkles are better addressed by skin treatments such as chemical peels or microdermabrasion, which we also offer at our office. Many of our facelift patients enhance their surgical result with these nonsurgical procedure.

Pearl Laser

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See a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and they will guide your decision.  They are two different procedures and if you need muscle tightening, a facelift is the only option here.  If you have a lot of facial brown spots, blood vessels, then another laser is needed.  Skin quality is helped with a laser, skin laxity and muscle laxity is surgery.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Pearl Fusion vs. Facelift

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A facelift and Pearl Fusion are really not comparable.  It really depends are what your needs are and what problems you are trying to address.  We will often do a Pearl Fusion treatment on patients after a facelift just to complete a patient's 'tune up'.   A facelift is really for skin laxity and the problems that come with it.  Pearl Fusion addresses sun damage, brown spots and texture, which no amount of facelifting will address.  If you have a great deal of sun damage and spots, it seems almost a shame to have a facelift and not address the spots...because spots and texture can be as aging as sagging skin.   So, for most patients considering a facelift, I would actually have them consider both surgery and laser treatment.


Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Facelift results last longer

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A face/neck lift is going to address much more of the aging issues and provide longer lasting rejuvenation results than a noninvasive skin tightening procedure. It would be best to save your money and do a face/neck lift when the time is appropriate. The face/neck lift addresses fat in the neck, lifting the jowls, reducing excess facial and neck skin, tightening of the muscles in the front and back portion of the neck, as well as tightening the SMAS layer at the level of the cheekbone.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Facelift is very different from "Pearl Fusion" or any other laser procedure

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There is no such thing as laser or non-surgical facelift, even though there are many claims. In my practice we have available a full range of laser resurfacing, non-ablative skin tightening, HA fillers, etc. in addition to standard and short-scar or limited facelifts. We offer specific procedures to patients based on each patient's needs or wants. Your age alone is not a determinate of what procedure will give you the best result.

We recommend facelift for 3-dimensional improvement of facial aging changes (loose skin, jowling, prominent naso-labial folds, cheek flattening, under-cheek hollowing, poor jawline definition, under-chin bands or folds, etc.)

We recommend non-surgical skin tightening for textural skin changes. Treatment of surface looseness can improve your appearance. This is often combined with injectables.

Both types of procedures may be useful for some patients. They do not achieve the same kinds of results: they can be complimentary. I suggest you seek other in-person consultations. The education should help you choose.

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon

Pearl Fusion vs Facelift

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While the two approaches are complimentary, they treat very different problems. Laser and light modalities are used to improve skin quality and pigment irregularities with minimal skin tightening.

If the main goal is facial contouring to lift and tighten relaxed skin and muscle, a facelift is the procedure of choice.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Save your money for a facelift rather than Pearl Fusion

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The marketing terms "Pearl Fusion" should scare you off. Combining superficial skin peels or photofacial with any non-surgical skin tihghtening procedure under the best circumstance (young thick skin) and in the best hands can only achieve 20 % of a face lift result if that.

The facelift will give you a nice tight jawline and neck and when done properly can last 10-12 years.

Save your money for a facelift!

See before and after photos of facelift.

Pearl laser and facelift.

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I agree with Dr. Rand.  For most women, a well done facelift gives major, long lasting improvement and is a far better investment than Pearl "fusion".

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Save for the facelift

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The results of the non-surgical therapy will not come even close to the results of a beautifully done facelift.  So, I'd suggest waiting and saving for the facelift. There are many fine plastic surgeons in Atlanta.  You might want to start by visiting Dr. Rod Hester. 

Laser and light based therapies unlikely to replace facelift

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There has been an explosion in the number of laser and light based therapies offered to reduce facial laxity, fine lines, and improve the quality and texture of the skin. These proposed nonsurgical facelift procedures can become expensive and require multiple treatments to produce a noticeable result. There is no evidence to suggest that these therapies will replace the need for facelift. The current thinking is that laser combined with fillers may delay the need for a more traditional facelift.

Facelift procedures have been around for over 40 years and withstood the 'test of time' because they work. Facelift is safe, and provides substantial improvement in the neck, jowl, and cheek not duplicated by nonsurgical techniques. Remember facelift is a catch-all term and only careful examination can determine the type right for you.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.