Facial plastic surgery comprises a wide range of procedures aimed at improving facial appearance. Many individuals associate this surgical specialty with invasive operations that “lift and fill” facial structures that have descended with age. However, there is a side to facial plastic surgery that offers patients non-surgical options to achieve great aesthetic results without the expense and downtime associated with surgery. Most importantly, these options complement aesthetic surgical procedures and can help to maintain their results.
Surgical rejuvenation: longer lasting results… more downtime.
One of several key things that patients need to understand is that non-surgical procedures cannot provide results that last as long as an operation. Surgery is about changing the anatomical configuration of tissues on a deep level. The modifications in the tissues that can be accomplished with surgical instruments cannot be achieved with treatments that address aging changes superficially. Having said that, there are newer technologies, such as Ultherapy, that can non-surgically modify deep facial tissues, but most surgeons would agree that the results do not last as long.
The downside, perhaps, of achieving a more permanent result with an operation is that, when compared to most non-surgical alternatives, the recovery time is longer. Precisely because surgery acts on tissues in a more aggressive manner, patients will experience more inflammation. This results in increased swelling and bruising, and thus, a longer healing process. It takes longer for the tissues to heal properly. However, once recovered, patients can expect their results to be more evident and much more permanent than with in-office procedures. In the end, for most patients the result is usually worth the longer recovery time.
Non-surgical facial treatments: quick results… little downtime.
Surgical aesthetic procedures are not for everyone. With that in mind, it’s important to mention available treatments to improve facial appearance that can be performed in an office setting. Several options, which provide good and quick results with almost no downtime, include botulinum toxin (Botox, Xeomin, etc.) for the treatment of wrinkles, radiofrequency devices that improve skin texture, and dermal fillers that help to sculpt the face by adding volume. These treatments deliver great results in patients with little to moderate skin laxity and lesser degrees of aging. However, for patients with more pronounced aging signs, non-surgical treatments may fall short in delivering the results they expect from an aesthetic plastic surgery procedure.
Possibly the best use for non-surgical aesthetic procedures is as maintenance therapy after a plastic surgery operation. We must remember that having an aesthetic surgical procedure is like turning back the clock of aging a few years. However, the clock will keep ticking again. Non-surgical treatments are a perfect way to make the clock tick at a slower pace! This means that these non-surgical treatments can prolong the results of surgery significantly.
Find out what works for you
When considering undergoing an aesthetic procedure, the key is to find out what works best for you. If you have moderate aging signs, desire long-lasting results and can take enough time off to recover, the surgical alternative may be your best option. On the other hand, if you have very little facial aging, you cannot take the time off to recover, or you are looking for a subtle improvement in your appearance, non-surgical treatments performed in-office are a better alternative for you. The best way to make a decision is to discuss your expectations with your surgeon and hear the advantages and drawbacks of each option in your case. A personalized examination is very important to help you make an educated choice. Once you have all the information about both options, you will be better equipped to decide which is best for you.