Facelift or Injectables: Which is Right for Me?

facelift or injectablesIn the not-so-distant past, invasive surgery was really the only option for fighting the signs of aging. Thankfully, today we have more options for treating patients than ever before. New therapies and treatment options, such as injectables, offer solutions for those not quite ready for (or not quite ready to commit to) traditional cosmetic surgery.

When you’re ready to consult with a cosmetic surgeon, having a better understanding of your options will help you ask better questions — and ultimately help you be better equipped to make the best decision for you.

What is a Facelift?

Facelifts offer unparalleled results. They can correct volume loss, remove sagging skin and eliminate wrinkles — resulting in a dramatically refreshed, rejuvenated and youthful appearance.

It’s a common misconception that the term “facelift” refers to one specific procedure. Really, it’s a combination of surgeries designed to target your specific problem areas. This makes them fully customizable to your unique needs. Some examples are:

  • The classic facelift includes a lower face and a neck lift. It works to tighten the lower two-thirds of your face, including removing sagging skin from your jawline (jowls), as well as your neck.
  • The mini-facelift is a less invasive version of the classic facelift (it requires shorter incisions). This technique is best if you have less advanced signs of aging, including mild skin sagging on your lower face and jawline.
  • The mid-facelift concentrates on your cheeks and lower eyelid area. This procedure targets deep nasolabial folds (the lines running between your mouth and nose), sagging cheeks and hollowed undereyes.

In addition to the facelifts listed above, there’s also opportunity for lip lifts, chin liposuction, upper eyelid surgery and more. The sky’s the limit when it comes to what cosmetic surgery can do for you.

What are Injectables?

Injectables offer a nonsurgical way to temporarily address signs of aging. There are two categories of injectables. One relaxes the muscles that can cause wrinkles and the other restores volume.


Botulinum toxin injections (Botox is the most common brand) are used to treat dynamic wrinkles and lines that appear when you make certain facial expressions, like smiling or squinting. The injection takes just a few minutes and there’s no downtime. It takes about a week to see the full results and it lasts for three to four months.

Botox injections are commonly used to treat:

  • Chin dimples
  • “Crow’s feet” (the small wrinkles that develop next to your eyes when smiling)
  • Downward turned corners of the mouth
  • Forehead lines
  • Muscle (platysma) bands on the neck
  • “The elevens” (the two vertical lines that appear in the middle of your eyebrows)

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers “plump up” targeted areas to improve deep wrinkles and volume loss in your face. There are different types of dermal fillers, but the most commonly used are made of hyaluronic acids (HAs). Fillers can reshape your face and “lift” the tissues, improve facial symmetry and highlight facial contours. Results usually last from six months to a year.

Fillers are commonly used to:

  • Fill in tear troughs (undereye)
  • Hide dark circles
  • Plump the upper cheeks
  • Reshape the lips or jawline

How Do I Know What’s Right for Me?

It’s important to work with a skilled cosmetic surgeon to determine which options are right for you. Honest and open discussion about your goals is critical to ensuring you get the results you want. Many factors will play a role in determining your treatment plan, including your age, specific problem areas and budget.

If you’re under 40, or have only mild signs of aging, injectables may be a good option for you. If you have more advanced aging symptoms, a facelift will give you more dramatic results.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, it depends on when you’re beginning treatments, what you’re trying to treat and how significant your problem areas are. Getting an injection, for example, is far less expensive than having surgery. While facelifts, on the other hand, yield results lasting far longer (up to 10 years as opposed to injectables that last a few months). So, if you add up the ongoing cost of injectables over the years and compare that to the one-time cost of surgery, you may find that surgery is the more cost-effective option in the long run.

Emory Aesthetic Center

The skilled cosmetic surgeons at Emory Aesthetic Center are available to consult with you to determine what procedure will give you the results you want. Our experts are highly skilled in the full array of cosmetic injectable and facelift procedures. Schedule your complimentary consultation today.

About Dr. Nahai

Dr. Foad NahaiFoad Nahai, M.D., F.A.C.S., Maurice J. Jurkiewicz chair in Plastic Surgery and Professor of Surgery at the Emory University School of Medicine, has taught for over forty years. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery where he served as a director of the board for six years.

Not only do Dr. Nahai’s patients, but also his peers, benefit from his incomparable wealth of experience. His contributions to the field of plastic surgery make him a highly sought-after presenter, both domestically and internationally. He has developed and implemented many procedures, some of which he has been invited to demonstrate live.


Request an appointmentor call us at 404-778-6880.

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