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Can injectables achieve a facelift like result?


‘Nonsurgical facelift’ or ‘liquid facelift’ are misleading colloquial terms for a diverse group of injectable procedures that alter our facial appearance without the use of operative techniques. There are no non-surgical ways of attaining a surgical result, when it comes to lifting underlying structures of the face and removing loose skin. 

A facelift is an aesthetic surgical procedure that removes excess facial skin and usually also involves some degree of lifting internal facial tissues. Modern facelifts reposition mid and lower face fat pads and tighten the skin in the mid face, lower face and upper neck. It does not, however replace volume, reduce static lines, improve skin texture or hydration, as fillers and muscle relaxing injections can.

The advent of facial fillers – and more recently, their strategic use across the face to provide support, replace lost fat pads and mimic bone structure, has given rise to this concept of the ‘liquid’ or ‘non surgical’ facelift.

According to recent research published in Facial Plastic Surgery, patients request non surgical facial rejuvenation injections as they involve less recovery time and generally lower risk than a facelift, “however, nonsurgical techniques, to be effective, must induce conformational change in the cells and tissues of the face”.

“Therefore, these techniques are significant procedures that have associated risks. Understanding the tissue modifications and mechanisms of action of these techniques is vital to their safe and effective use.”

Facelifts and injectables both change the face, but they act in different ways. Dr Sharp takes a holistic approach to facial surgery, which usually involves excising excess skin and tightening underlying facial structures (which injectables can’t do) and then postoperatively, replacing lost facial volume and relaxing overactive facial muscles that cause deep lines and wrinkles (which facelift surgery can’t do).

Can injectables achieve a facelift like result? - 1
Can injectables achieve a facelift like result? - 2

Above: before and after non surgical treatment using a combination of muscle relaxing injections to the upper and mid face, as well as dermal filler to the mid and lower face. Patient underwent treatment during several sessions, over several months. Maintenance treatments will be required to maintain results. 


Tissue Modification in Nonsurgical Facelift Options Lucas M. Harrison, Ryan Shapiro, R Michael Johnson

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