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Are Surgical Facelifts Becoming Obsolete?


Facial fillers and aesthetic devices are becoming more popular but are they truly replacing the surgical face lift procedure?

There are a large variety of options today for lifting and tightening skin. Devices using ultrasound, radio frequency, fractional resurfacing and filler injections are just some of the options available to threaten the traditional surgical facelift. In a recent survey by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), it was reported that consumers are satisfied with wrinkle-relaxing injections 92 percent of the time.

Facial Filler Popularity
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Fillers are designed for patients who would rather improve their appearance with a non-invasive approach, or for the busy individual who doesn't have time for long procedures or the recovery time. Smooth cheeks and fresh faces are attainable and don't have to be lost to older age and the natural effects of time. Technology has come a long way for cosmetic treatments, and non-surgical options are increasingly in demand because of their youth replenishing effects.

Dr. Robert H. Burke, director of the Michigan Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Ann Arbor and a Clinical Professor at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan says, "Although the facelift will never become completely obsolete, nonsurgical options address many of the real reasons that patients think they need a facelift ( but may not!) Loss of facial volume due to disappearance of fat, photodamage to the skin from ultraviolet light, and loss of subcutaneous collagen causing the skin to droop. Often these signs of aging may be corrected as simple lunch time type procedures thanks to volume replacement with Sculptra, Restylane, Juvederm, and decreasing excess muscle activity with Botox. These can be supplemented with radiofrequency skin tightening procedures such as Pelleve and Fractional Laser Resurfacing."

Dr. Thomas Barnes, a cosmetic surgeon in Newport Beach, California sees it a little differently. Barnes says, "There is no question that the public is more informed about rejuvenation options than ever before ?- and there are more options today than ever. But there is also more hype."

Barnes goes on to say, "It is my experience that over the last several years there is a clear movement back to patient interest in minimally invasive surgical procedures like mini facelifts, lipo of the neck and lipo contouring... many of the non-invasive options just don't fulfill MOST patient rejuvenation expectations. The patients will try non-invasive options in hopes of avoiding a surgical procedure, but come to us seeking a minimally invasive or surgical solution."