lift and Neck Lift Surgery in Cincinnati, Ohio

Myth Versus Reality: Does a "Non-Surgical" Facelift or Neck Lift Exist?

The effects of some non-surgical procedures on the face and neck are often promoted as approaching/approximating the effects of a facelift and/or neck lift. These procedures fall into three categories: fillers, energy-based devices, and sutures, otherwise known as threading. In fact, many describe one or a combination of more than one of these non-surgical procedures as a “non-surgical” facelift and/or neck lift. The reality is that none of these interventions or combination of interventions approximate the effects of a facelift and/or neck lift. Instead, we feel the potential benefits of these interventions should be described for what they are and not compared with surgical procedures. The most effective way to treat age related changes to the face and neck remains surgery. More specifically, in the event of loose tissue and drooping volume in the face and neck, we feel the extended deep plane facelift and neck lift are the best surgical techniques to provide a natural appearing and long-lasting result. It is important to seek not only a fellowship-trained but also a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon if you have aesthetic concerns about your face and/or neck.

Fillers Add but Do Not Lift Volume

Fillers, including hyaluronic acid fillers and others, add volume to the face. They do not, however, lift volume in the face. Some argue that, by lifting the soft tissue and injecting filler inferior to it, treatment with hyaluronic acid filler can effectively lift this tissue. We believe this to be false. Hyaluronic acid filler is a gel with variable properties depending on its formulation. However, even the firmest, most “structural” fillers can still be injected through a small syringe. The idea that a gel could hold up drooping facial volume like a cantilevered balcony in a house makes little sense. Instead, fillers can increase the volume of an area in which they are injected such as the cheeks, lips, and chin.

Sutures Temporarily Pull Skin but Do Not Lift Volume Naturally

Threading involves the use of barbed, dissolvable sutures placed under the skin in multiple directions to pull skin in the cheeks, jawline, neck, brows, and other locations. See the following blog post describing the “fox eye” procedure using threads in the brows. Threading is sometimes referred to as a “non-surgical” facelift because of the pull it is purported to have on the skin. However, this comparison is inaccurate. Facial aging involves much more than simply loose skin. Facial aging involves drooping fat, muscle, and fascia in the face and neck. Appropriately addressing this volume requires surgical release of the deeper structures of the face and neck to prevent distortion of the mouth, eyes, and other surrounding structures that can occur by simply pulling on the skin. Furthermore, this suture dissolves within a few months. As a result, the potential effects of threading are relatively short lived, especially when compared with facelift and neck lift surgery.

Energy-Based Devices Heat Fat and Skin but Do Not Lift

Energy-based devices utilize ultrasound, radio waves, and/or plasma to heat up tissue, most commonly the fat immediately deep to the skin. These devices are often advertised as a “non-surgical” facelift, again an inaccurate statement. Simply heating up subcutaneous fat and skin does not lift volume. Furthermore, the “new collagen” formed, from our experience operating on patients who have undergone these procedures, should more accurately be described as scar formation, which can make performing a facelift and neck lift more complex.

No Combination of the Above Approaches the Effects of a Facelift and Neck Lift

Some even argue that a combination of hyaluronic acid fillers, threading, and energy-based devices can result in a “non-surgical” facelift. We feel this is inaccurate for the reasons discussed above.

Why Choose Dr. Harmon

  • The mission of Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery is to help people along their journey towards self-confidence, to feel good about feeling good.
  • Dr. Harmon is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon
  • Dr. Harmon values making patients feel welcomed, listened to, and respected.
  • Dr. Harmon graduated with honors from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in molecular biology.
  • Dr. Harmon earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati.
  • Dr. Harmon underwent five years of extensive training in head at neck surgery at the prestigious residency program at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Dr. Harmon then underwent focused fellowship training in cosmetic facial plastic surgery through the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) with the world-renowned surgeon, Dr. Andrew Jacono, on Park Avenue in New York City.

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.

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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.