While often beneficial for their indicated use(s), non-surgical procedures, including injectables and energy-based devices (e.g., radiofrequency, ultrasound), can alter the tissue in the areas treated by facelift and neck lift surgery. These treatments do not typically preclude surgical treatment of the face and neck. However, they can affect the healing process post-operatively. They also alter the calculus of what facelift and neck lift approach would likely be the safest and most effective. This is why an in-person consultation with a qualified surgeon who has experience operating on patients who have undergone these non-surgical procedures is essential prior to considering any facial plastic surgery procedure. Seek a fellowship trained facial plastic surgeon if you have aesthetic concerns about your face or neck.
How Could Non-Surgical Procedures Affect My Future Facelift and Neck Lift Surgery?
Dr. Jeffrey Harmon
Hyaluronic Acid Filler Does Not Significantly Distort Anatomy
It is not uncommon to encounter hyaluronic acid filler in the jawline, cheeks, and/or tear troughs when performing extended deep plane facelift surgery. It is understandable that many choose to pursue non-surgical treatments for age-related changes prior to considering surgery. Our experience has been that hyaluronic acid fillers do not significantly distort the anatomy because they appear distinct from normal tissue. In fact, hyaluronic acid filler appears similar in our tissue as it does in the vial. It can also be removed intra-operatively as is often desired by patients.
Poly L-lactic Acid Significantly Hardens the Subcutaneous Layer
Poly l-lactic acid, also known as Sculptra©, is a filler that is intended to add volume to the face long-term through the production of new collagen in the areas injected. Our experience operating on patients who have received poly l-lactic acid injections is that the tissue planes, while intact and distinguishable, are often much “harder,” like scar tissue.
Energy Based Devices Also Harden the Subcutaneous Layer
Energy-based devices utilizing energy sources such as radiofrequency, ultrasound, and plasma can alter the anatomy of the face and neck in a manner like poly l-lactic acid. This is because the purported creation of new collagen with these devices caused by the heat they generate is often similar to scar tissue. Moreover, these devices do not lift the volume of the face and neck like facelift and neck lift surgery do.
Fat Grafting Can Significantly Distort Anatomy
Fat grafting – a surgical procedure – can significantly distort surgical anatomy. It is important to note that fat grafting, when appropriate, can be an effective procedure for those with significant volume loss in their face. For example, many individuals experience a significant loss of fat in their temples and could benefit greatly from fat grafting. Fat does, however, embed in the tissue such that it is more difficult to distinguish between the various tissue layers of the face.
Deep Plane Facelift Surgery is Likely the Most Effective Approach After the Above Procedures
Like revision/secondary facelift surgery, we at Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery feel deep plane facelift surgery is the best approach for patients who have undergone any of the above procedures. This is because the blood supply to the skin is better preserved when compared with other approaches, thereby improving healing. Also, deep plane surgery often bypasses the areas treated with the above procedures, allowing for a more effective lift. Dr. Harmon is one of the few surgeons in the world, and the only surgeon in the Cincinnati area, fellowship trained by Dr. Andrew Jacono, the surgeon who developed the extended deep plane facelift.
Trust Your Face to a Facial Plastic Surgeon
It is important to seek a fellowship trained specialist in plastic surgery of the face and neck when you have concerns about your face or neck.
Request a Consultation
Request a consultation with Dr. Harmon at Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery in Cincinnati. Visit our clinic. You will learn more about Dr. Harmon’s credentials, style, and approach. Build a relationship with our dedicated team. Do not stop searching “plastic surgery near me.” Get in touch with us to learn more.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute direct medical advice. It is essential that you have a consultation with a qualified medical provider prior to considering any treatment. This will allow you the opportunity to discuss any potential benefits, risks, and alternatives to the treatment.