Facelift: When Fillers Are No Longer Enough

As the years pass, many individuals may find themselves contemplating ways to rejuvenate their appearance and restore a youthful appearance. Facial aging results in sagging thanks to gravity and volume loss. The oval or round shape of the face in youth becomes more square or rectangular. Dermal fillers are a popular choice for minimizing wrinkles and fine lines, however there comes a point where more comprehensive measures may be necessary. In such cases, a facelift emerges as a transformative option.


Fillers vs Facelifts 


According to Dr. Kathleen Waldorf, board-certified plastic surgeon with Waldorf Center For Plastic Surgery, A Forefront Practice, “Dermal fillers and facelifts serve distinct purposes in the realm of cosmetic procedures. Fillers, such as hyaluronic acid, are primarily designed to plump and volumize specific areas of the face, addressing fine lines, wrinkles and volume loss. However, they are temporary solutions with results lasting anywhere from six months to two years. Fillers do not lift the face but used appropriately can create an improvement in contour and balance. A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that involves lifting and tightening the underlying tissues of the face. Facelifts address sagging tissue and excess skin, providing a more comprehensive and long-lasting rejuvenation.” Fillers offer immediate results, require no downtime, and are less expensive than facelifts. However, they need maintenance appointments to sustain the effects, and the results are temporary. Alternatively, according to Dr. Waldorf, facelifts provide a more significant transformation, addressing multiple signs of aging in one procedure. The results are long-lasting. A facelift is more involved. It is a surgical procedure requiring anesthesia and a recovery period that may last several weeks and the final result may take several months to see. Fillers do address issues that are not addressed with a facelift such as adding volume to the lips. This can be accomplished with fat grafting as well which is a surgical procedure. Fillers can also help in the maintenance of a facelift result.


When Fillers Are Not Enough


While fillers can effectively address mild to moderate signs of aging and volume loss, they fall short in addressing significant skin laxity and facial drooping. Individuals with more advanced aging concerns may find that fillers alone are unable to achieve the desired level of rejuvenation.

Moreover, some patients may prefer a more permanent solution or seek more extensive improvements than what fillers can offer. In such cases, a face lift may be the most suitable option to achieve their aesthetic goals effectively.


Qualified Candidates 

Candidates for fillers are often individuals in the early stages of aging, seeking subtle improvements without surgery or as a maintenance option. They may have mild to moderate signs of aging, such as fine lines and hollow areas. Facelift candidates, on the other hand, are typically those with more advanced signs of aging, including significant skin laxity and deeper wrinkles. Suitable candidates should be in good health, non-smokers, and have realistic expectations about the outcomes.



Before deciding between fillers and a facelift, it’s crucial to consider the desired results, budget, and willingness to undergo surgery. Fillers are less invasive, offering a quick fix with minimal downtime. At the same time, facelifts provide more significant and long-lasting results but involve a surgical procedure and a more extended recovery period.


Choosing the Right Option for You

Ultimately, the decision between fillers and a facelift depends on individual goals, preferences, and the extent of aging concerns. Consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon is essential to determine the most suitable option and ensure realistic expectations. Whichever route is chosen, the ultimate goal is to achieve a refreshed and natural-looking appearance that boosts confidence and enhances overall well-being.


Are you considering a facelift or fillers?

Forefront Dermatology and its Affiliated Practices, including plastic surgery centers, such as The Waldorf Center, are located coast to coast with many locations offering fillers and select locations offering facelifts. Find a location near you today.