Facelift or Ultherapy: Which is Right for You?

ultherapy facelift San Francisco

Turning back the clock on your appearance today is easier than ever before, thanks to innovations in treatment that allow us to achieve this goal both with surgery and noninvasive procedures. If you are looking for a way to smooth away wrinkles and restore a more youthful appearance, we offer both collagen building treatments and a surgical facelift options. Your solution will depend on the level of correction you need, as well as a few other key factors.

Ultherapy: Turning Back the Clock without Surgery

Ultherapy is a nonsurgical solution to aging issues like skin laxity and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This procedure uses ultrasound imaging to target the areas in need of tightening and thermal energy to constrict those areas and stimulate the body’s processes to halt the aging progression. Through ultrasound technology, we can both pinpoint the areas that require treatment and customize the level of dermal heating to accommodate your concerns.

Although Ultherapy is not surgery, some patients do find the process uncomfortable as the ultrasound energy is delivered deep into the dermal layers. A topical anesthetic is available for patients worried about their comfort level or for particularly sensitive treatment areas. Treatment may take under an hour for smaller areas or as much as three hours for larger or multiple areas. Results will develop in the weeks and months following treatment as collagen production increases to support your underlying dermal structure.

Facelift: Dramatic, Enduring Results

If more correction is needed, surgery may be required to achieve the desired results. Drs. Jacqueline and Elbert Cheng may recommend a surgical facelift for patients with moderate to severe signs of aging. This procedure removes excess loose skin and repositions the underlying tissue to produce a smoother, firmer, and more natural result. We use different techniques for this procedure that allow us to tailor your surgery to your precise needs.

Our surgeons perform facelifts under both local and general anesthesia, depending on the technique used. Incisions are typically placed in the natural folds of the skin or within the hairline to minimize visible scarring. Through these incisions, our plastic surgeon will remove excess tissue and redundant skin, repositioning underlying muscle and tissue to create a natural look. This surgery may up toe three hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure. Most of our patients resume the majority of their activities within two weeks, although more strenuous exercise may be restricted for four to six weeks to ensure full healing of the surgical area.

Criteria for Choosing Your Procedure

When determining which of these procedures will work the best for you, there are a few factors you and your plastic surgeon should consider:

General Health

Your doctor will assess your general health, including any medical conditions you might have, to ensure surgery will be a safe option for you. While having a medical condition does not necessarily rule out the possibility of surgery, your doctor may take extra precautions before, during and after your procedure to minimize your risks. If you smoke, surgery is not typically a good choice due to nicotine’s impact on your ability to tolerate anesthesia and heal after surgery. If you are a smoker that strongly desires a surgical facelift, you will be advised to stop smoking for several weeks before and after your procedure.

Severity of Aging

Ultherapy tends to work best on patients with mild to moderate aging symptoms. The procedure is limited on just how much skin laxity it can address and will not work as efficiently on deeply set facial creases. If you have substantial amounts of loose skin, the only way to reverse it is with surgical excision in most cases. This is only achieved through a facelift procedure.

Commitment to the Procedure

Any surgery involves time, both to prepare for the procedure and to recover afterward. The more you are willing to commit to the process, the safer and more successful your surgical facelift will be. Most of the time, your board certified facial plastic surgeon will recommend taking one to two weeks off work after your procedure to rest and recuperate. You may also be instructed to avoid strenuous exercise even longer.

While there is no downtime necessary for Utlherapy procedures, some of our patients choose to have a second treatment shortly after the first to achieve their full results. In addition to the time for those sessions, you will probably want to schedule a maintenance treatment once a year to keep your healthy glow going strong.

Desired Results

While a facelift requires a bigger commitment up front, the results you enjoy will be more dramatic and very long-lasting. Most of our patients find a facelift takes 5-10 years off their appearance and lasts up to 10 years before another anti-aging procedure is necessary. Ultherapy yields more subtle results and will need to be repeated periodically to maintain them.

No matter what your aging concerns might be, we have the procedures you need to achieve your cosmetic goals. To find out which treatment is the best fit for you, contact the Center for Facial & Body Rejuvenation at 408-255- 3223.