While some might think of a facelift as a sort of panacea when it comes to fighting aging, the surgery doesn’t help reduce every sign of aging on the face. For example, the surgery doesn’t restore volume loss on the face. It also only targets the lower portion of the face, meaning that you’ll need an additional procedure if you’re concerned about signs of aging near your eyes or forehead.

A facelift also has a number of drawbacks, such as a long recovery time and the fact that it’s an invasive procedure. It’s not for everyone. If you’re not ready for a facelift or if the surgery won’t fix the areas you are most concerned about, you have other options. A liquid facelift might be among them. Learn more about the procedure and if it’s right for you.

What the Liquid Facelift Involves

Also known as a non-surgical facelift, a liquid facelift typically consists of a series of injections. The goal of the procedure is to reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the face and to restore lost volume to certain areas of the face, such as the cheek area, mouth area and even the nose. Unlike a traditional facelift, the procedure doesn’t tighten the skin in the facial area.

A liquid facelift can usually be customized for each patient. For example, the surgeon might use Botox injections to reduce the appearance of wrinkles such as crow’s feet or the glabellar lines. He may also use an injectable filler such as Juvederm or Radiesse to add volume to certain areas. A longer lasting filler, such as Sculptra, may also be used.

Typically, the entire procedure takes less than 40 minutes. Since it’s not surgery, you won’t be under anesthesia during it. You may be given a topical anesthetic to reduce any discomfort.

The Downtime

The liquid facelift might be for you if you can’t afford to take a lot of time out from your daily life to recover. There’s no downtime involved with the procedure, which means you can get back to work or your regular activities immediately afterwards. It’s common for people to take a day off after the procedure, to give themselves time to rest up.

How Long It Lasts

If you’re looking for results that last for years, a liquid facelift might not be the best option for you. Depending on the injections you receive, the full results can last for just a few months or for a year or two. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the 10 years or longer that a facelift can last. But, if you’re concerned about volume loss more than skin laxity or if you simply don’t have the ability to spend a week or two recovering, the short duration of the results may be an non-issue.

Consider the Cost

Cost is something else to think about when deciding whether or not a liquid facelift is the way to go. Injections aren’t covered by insurance (and neither is a facelift). How much the procedure costs you depends on the number of injections you receive and how many different types you receive. It can cost several thousand dollars, which is still less expensive than a facelift. But, if you have multiple liquid facelifts, the costs add up.

Which Fillers to Use

What fillers your surgeon uses depends on what types of changes you want made to the face. Liquid facelifts can involve the use of Botox, which treats crow’s feet and frown lines, as well as other wrinkles and lines created by muscle movements. The results from Botox typically fade within a few months.

To restore volume, your surgeon might use a filler that contains hyaluronic acid, such as Juvederm, Perlane or Restylane. Hyaluronic acid fillers have a number of benefits. For one thing, they are made of a substance that’s naturally produced. They also don’t require allergy testing and the results are instant. Some can be used to add volume to the lip area, as well. Hyaluronic acid fillers can last from six months to more than a year.

A filler such as Sculptra can be ideal if you want to restore lost volume gradually. Results typically take a few months to appear and you usually need more than one injection. While the process takes longer, the results from Scupltra also last longer, up to two years.

Dr. Kyle Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in facial rejuvenation. He can help you decide if a liquid facelift is the best option for you, and which fillers are best to use. To schedule an appointment to learn more about the procedure, call The Choe Center in Virginia Beach at 757.389.5850 today.