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Facelift Myth #1- Fillers and Botox Can Achieve The Same Results

Botox vs. Fillers

As we age, it’s inevitable that we start to see unwanted changes to our face that make us look older than we feel or act. Frequently, people start to think about facelifts to correct these changes. But, naturally, most people are a bit anxious about this surgery. Fears of postoperative pain, swelling, recovery and potential complications are understandable. With the widespread popularity of fillers and botox, many may wonder if similar rejuvenation can be achieved with these injectable treatments. Additional factors influencing people to think fillers can do the same thing are various advertising monikers in media, such as the “liquid facelift, “ or the “nonsurgical facelift.” You have to remember aging is a combination of different mechanisms. Aging incorporates a spectrum of changes. Loss of elasticity and support, along with sagging tissues create the most pronounced signs of aging. The most effective treatment is to resuspend the tissues, and that is where facelifts are indicated. Unfortunately, fillers and Botox can’t achieve the same degree of lift as surgery.

Botox For Wrinkles & Fine Lines

There is no doubt that Botox and fillers have gained immense popularity in the world. These treatments are minimally invasive and generally carry much less risks than surgery. Many aging signs can be effectively treated by Botox and fillers. The wrinkles in your forehead, crows feet are affected by the overactivity of your underlying facial muscles. Your facial muscles are always working and has some degree of unconscious motion. For example, when you’re angry, frustrated, or maybe even concentrating on your computer, your facial muscles are engaged. Over time, these expressions start to etch in fine lines and then deeper wrinkles in your face (ie forehead, angry 11’s, Crow’s feet). Botox is a super effective treatment in softening your wrinkles because it is targeted at the specific muscles that create those wrinkles. By selectively weakening the muscles, the wrinkles and fine lines soften. If you do it early enough, it may even “erase” those lines. We’re also seeing a lot of younger patients come in. They don’t have etched in lines or wrinkles yet, but are getting botox to push back the clock and delay the onset of deeper wrinkles. While Botox is effective at relaxing the muscles, softening the wrinkles, and achieve subtle brow lifts, it cannot pull up your sagging jowls, deep nasolabial folds, and loose neck skin. A facelift is still the best treatment if you need noticeable suspension of your sagging tissues.

Fillers For Added Volume

Fillers work by adding actual volume into the injected area. Volume loss is a common sign of aging, and fillers can certainly help rejuvenate your face by replacing the lost volume. But we’ve also discovered with experience that the best rejuvenation isn’t just simply volume. You have probably seen various celebrities or people in public that have obviously had too much filler injected. If too much filler is used, it will definitely increase volume…but it will also likely create an unnatural look. A common example is the over filled cheek pads. Slightly overfilled cheeks may be attractive in a younger woman, but just simply injecting more and more syringes into cheeks of an old woman will probably create an unnatural look. By far the most popular fillers in the world are hyaluronic acid fillers. These are naturally occurring sugar compounds, whose biggest advantage is ability to be dissolved if correction is needed. Advances in hyaluronic acid filler science have allowed ability for companies to create different types of hyaluronic acid filler with different performance profiles. So now, specific hyaluronic acid fillers can be chosen for specific target areas or specific effects. Voluma, made by Allergan, is a new HA filler that is meant to be injected deep onto bone, but it also has some adhesive quality. One can take advantage of this quality by achieving a very subtle lift of the jowls, but it’s important to tell the patient that the pull won’ t be as dramatic as with surgery. Furthermore, the effect of the pull will only last 6 months or so.

Choosing What’s Right For You

So fillers and Botox can reduce the severity of wrinkles, enhance volume and improve shadow effects of aging, but the effects are temporary. In addition, depending on the severity of your aging, the effects may not be significant enough for you to be satisfied. In those cases, a facelift is still the most effective and long lasting treatment.

For more information about Botox and fillers, contact Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and his qualified team of experts serving the San Antonio, Texas area. To schedule a consultation, please contact our Concierge Patient Coordinator at 210-876-6868.