Should I do a Fraxel Laser rather than a Facelift?

My face is pretty wrinkly and I am considering the fraxel laser or a facelift. I am 44 years old and want to look more refreshed. Are facelifts meant for people that have had more trouble with the effects of gravity? I guess I just do not understand why someone would get an invasive procedure like a facelift if they can use lasers.

Leillah

F, 47, New York

Tags:woman age 45-54 face options laser

Hello and thanks for your question. Laser and surgery treat completely different aspects of aging. They are not so much "one or the other" as they are complementary. Many facelift patients undergo laser skin treatments at the same time as their surgery so they can recover from both at the same time.  As we age, three primary changes occur.  

  1. Skin quality decreases (color, texture, thickness). This can be treated with a variety of methods, including laser. FRAXEL is a weak skin laser treatment. It is popular because it does not require a physician to perform and has a slightly shorter recovery time (but usually needs to be repeated).
  2. Volume loss or re-distribution. As we age, we have changes in the volume of our facial bones and facial fat compartments. This can be treated through surgery (facelift) or filler, fat grafting etc.
  3. Sagging/laxity. As we age, gravity and loosening of the support structures of our face also take a toll. This is one of the primary reasons for surgical treatments. The tissues under the skin are gently re-draped and re-supported back to a more youthful position. Any excess skin from aging can then be trimmed as needed. There should be no tension on your skin from a proper facelift.

In this way, these treatments often work together to rejuvenate the face. The problems arise when a provider tries to use an incorrect treatment plan to fix one of the issues from a different category (example, using a skin treatment to improve a volume loss issue etc).

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