Am I Better off with Botox or Facelift?
Botox and facelifts are both popular procedures to reduce wrinkles and make your face look younger. While both treatments have similar benefits, there are also some major differences between the two. You should weigh the pros and cons of both when deciding which procedure will be best for helping you reach your cosmetic goals.
Advantages of Botox
Botox is a nonsurgical treatment that uses injections to temporarily paralyze muscles in your face, which smooths out your skin and prevents wrinkles. One of the greatest advantages of Botox is how quick and easy the treatment is. You can get the injections in about 15 minutes and then carry on with the rest of your day. It’s a minimally invasive procedure, so you don’t need any downtime for recovery. You won’t need to take time off of work to heal, and you won’t need anyone to drive you home after the procedure.
The needles used for the injections are very small, so there’s usually minimal pain. In addition to smoothing out your skin, Botox can prevent extra wrinkles from forming because it limits muscle movement in your face. Also, the treatment is usually much cheaper than a facelift because it’s nonsurgical.
Disadvantages of Botox
Although Botox is very quick and convenient, the injections aren’t permanent. They usually last for three to six months before wearing off, so you’ll need to repeat the treatment if you want to maintain your results. Over time, the cost of the repeat treatments may add up and become comparable to the cost of a facelift.
Botox is great for eliminating fine lines and small wrinkles, but it’s not as effective for deeper creases and wrinkles. The injections may soften the bigger lines, but those wrinkles will still be visible. Also, Botox doesn’t help with sagging skin, unlike facelifts. Botox injections treat wrinkles caused by excessive muscle movements, but it doesn’t treat skin laxity.
Advantages of a Facelift
A facelift is a surgical procedure that lifts up the tissue and muscles in your face and removes sagging skin. The procedure is much more complex than Botox, but it treats a wider variety of cosmetic issues and can have more dramatic results. Facelifts will remove deeper wrinkles or sagging skin around your neck, chin, and jaw to completely lift and smooth out your face.
With proper care, the results of the surgery can last for 10 years or more. Once you recover from the procedure, you won’t have to continue going back to your doctor for new treatments. While some people get additional maintenance treatments to maximize the results of the facelift, this isn’t necessary. As long as you take care of your skin and follow your doctor’s instructions, a facelift is a long term solution.
Disadvantages of a Facelift
A facelift is a surgery, so it has all the challenges and inconveniences of a surgery. Facelifts are very safe, but all surgeries have some risks. You’ll need anesthesia for the procedure, which can be risky. Other potential complications include excessive bleeding, scarring, clotting, and infection. While most people recover from a facelift with no issues, it’s impossible to predict what will happen during and after the surgery.
You’ll also need time to recover after the facelift. A friend or family member will have to take you home and stay with you for a day or two, and you’ll have to take at least one week off of work while you heal. You won’t be able to do any strenuous activity for several weeks, and you’ll have to be careful not to put pressure on the surgical sites.
It takes a few weeks to heal from the surgery, but your final results may not be visible for several months to one year. Most swelling will go away within the first week or two, but the residual swelling can last a long time. Botox results are visible very quickly, but a facelift requires much more patience.
Another disadvantage for some people is the cost. The surgery can be expensive and is not usually covered by insurance, so it may be difficult to find a way to pay for it.
Choosing the Right Procedure
Botox and facelifts are two very different procedures, and one isn’t objectively better than the other. They both have their pros and cons, and the best treatment for you will depend on your needs and goals. If you want an easy procedure to smooth out some wrinkles and make your face look younger, Botox is probably a better option. It’s a quick and relatively painless treatment that only requires about 15 minutes of your time.
If you want more extensive work done, you’ll probably need a facelift. Surgery is the only way to fix deep wrinkles and sagging or loose skin, so a facelift will bring you much closer to your cosmetic goals than Botox will. Although it takes a few weeks to recover, the results are long lasting, so you won’t have to worry about getting additional treatments once you heal.
Andres Bustillo, MD FACS is a board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon practicing in Miami, FL. Dr. Bustillo performs Botox, facelifts, and a wide variety of facial rejuvenation procedures.Follow me