Home | Surgical Facelifts Vs Non-Surgical Facelifts

Surgical Facelifts Vs Non-Surgical Facelifts

In the UK, the average age of men and women opting to go under the knife to obtain a more youthful appearance is increasingly skewing younger. A rhytidectomy (face lift) continues to be among the most common cosmetic surgeries, despite the associated risks. 

In this article, we are dissecting surgical face lifts and discussing one of the most talked about minimally-invasive alternatives, “the vampire facelift”.

What is a facelift? 

In recent years, as well as referring to the traditional surgical facelift, the term facelift has become a blanket term for many non-surgical cosmetic procedures used to tighten and smooth the face to create a more youthful appearance. 

As we age, our skin experiences a loss of collagen and fat and, on the face, the skin that once rested upon this begins to sag. When this occurs, many struggle with the visible changes, including:

  • Increase in appearance of lines and wrinkles
  • Saggy jowls 
  • Loss of definition on the jaw line
  • Skin thinning giving a drooping appearance 
  • Deeper smile lines

Facelifts are treatments and procedures that target the loss of definition and looser appearance of skin, and work to reverse the signs of ageing by tightening, lifting or plumping. 

Surgical facelifts

Rhytidectomy is a cosmetic surgery that lifts and pulls back skin, to reduce flabby or sagging skin, mainly around the lower half of the face and neck. 

What happens: Typically carried out under a general anaesthetic, a surgeon will make incisions above the hairline at the temples that extend down in front of your ear, behind the ear and underneath the earlobe, they will also make cuts under the chin if the jawline is being lifted. The surgeon will remove any excess skin, and pull the remaining skin backwards and upwards before stitching it into its new position. 

Aftercare and recovery: The face will be bandaged to minimise bruising and swelling immediately after the procedure. You may be asked to stay in hospital overnight. It takes around 2 to 4 weeks to fully recover from a surgical facelift, and bruising is visible for at least 2 weeks. Your surgeon will advise on things that should be avoided after the procedure, but you can expect not to drive or shower for the first couple of days and to avoid any strenuous activity for at least 2 weeks. 

Side effects: Common side effects include a stiff, puffy and numb face which can last from a few weeks to a few months, some bruising of the cheeks and neck, scars which should eventually fade and a raised hairline or sideburns. A facelift can occasionally result in more serious problems, such as nerve injuries, asymmetrical appearance, thick, obvious scarring and hair loss around the scars. 

All types of cosmetic surgery come with the following risks:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Developing a blood clot
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to anaesthetic

The cost: In the UK, the cost of an invasive surgery or surgical facelift can vary greatly, and depends on the extent of the procedure. Patients can expect to pay around £10,000 for a face and neck lift, plus any extra cost for consultations and follow-up care. 

Results:  It could take up to 6 - 9 months to see the full effect of the procedure, which should be a tighter and more lifted, rested facial appearance. Results can last up to 10 years, but the ageing process will continue. 

As a surgical facelift is an invasive and costly procedure, it is important to ensure that you are the right candidate for the procedure, and that your skin concerns will be improved by undergoing the surgery. The results cannot be guaranteed and finding a reputable surgeon and clinic is vital. 

Non-surgical facelifts

Non-surgical facelifts are minimally-invasive non-surgical treatments that are tailored to lift, fill or smooth the skin. A non-surgical facelift can include a combination of fillers to plump and sculpt parts of the face, Botox injections to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and facials and peels to smooth the skin's appearance. Many opt for collagen enriching procedures to plump and rejuvenate the skin, such as the vampire facelift, which offers a way of restoring shape, improving tone and texture, as well as renewing tissue in the face, using a blood sample taken from the arm. 

Vampire facelifts

A vampire facelift is one of the least invasive skin tightening treatments, it utilises the body’s own healing power in order to stimulate new tissue growth, giving the skin a more youthful and plumped-up appearance. 

What happens: Performed in a clinic, a specialist will apply a light numbing cream to the face for improved comfort during the procedure. After examining the areas of concern in detail, a 10ml sample of blood will be drawn from the patient’s arm. The sample is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the blood cells, creating platelet rich plasma. Once the numbing cream has taken effect, the platelet rich plasma will be reinjected into the area of concern using a very fine needle, multiple injections are required to give an over-all more youthful appearance. 

Aftercare and recovery: Little to no aftercare is required, although the use of SPF and avoiding creams and cosmetic products may be recommended. Most people feel confident enough to return to work the next day. 

Side effects: Some bruising, swelling and redness are common immediately following the procedure, most side effects should resolve within a few days.

The cost: Typically the cost varies and depends on the treatment area, treatments generally start at around £450-500

Results: As soon as PRP is re-injected into the skin growth factors are released by the platelets, this promotes healing and stimulates collagen production. The results are gradually visible beginning several weeks after the first treatment, as the collagen production increases. Results last around 12 months. 

You can find out more about market-leading vampire facelifts here.

Which procedure is right for me?

With any skin concern, it is crucial to have it properly assessed and diagnosed to understand the most effective remedy. So the best advice is to see a skin specialist who can examine your concern thoroughly, discuss your desired result and create a tailored plan that will work for you. 

Deciding if surgery is the way forward is a completely individual decision that should be carefully considered, taking into account:

  • Whether you are the right candidate based on age and the condition of your skin, and whether you will gain what you wish to from the procedure
  • Whether you are fit and well enough to undergo surgery and a general anaesthetic and are aware of all the associated risks
  • How it may affect your life, physically and mentally, and whether you understand what kind of results are realistic after the procedure
  • The cost of undergoing a surgical facelift
  • Whether you can take the time to follow aftercare and have time off to rest for the weeks following the procedure, and whether you understand what the recovery requirements are. 

It is recommended to speak to your GP before opting for private cosmetic surgery, your doctor will be able to guide you and offer advice to help you find a reputable surgeon and clinic.

At HHC Skin Clinic, we have a team of skin specialists, expert clinicians and a highly-skilled dermatologist who will thoroughly examine the skin's condition and find a solution that will eradicate your skin problem. Rated excellent by the CQC for our patient-centred care, we deliver outstanding results through the latest advanced medical and cosmetic skin treatments and base our recommendations solely on your desired skin appearance. As medical professionals, we are here for you, offering honest, holistic and expert advice. 

Get in touch with our friendly team for advice and support or to arrange a no-obligation consultation.