If you’re starting to notice the visible signs of aging on your face — fine lines, wrinkles, deep creases, and nasolabial folds — you’re probably trying to decide which of the many available options out there are right for you. Well, it really depends on your aesthetic goals.
At PNW Plastic Surgery in Portland, Oregon, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Leo Urbinelli and his staff offer two different but effective solutions: injectables and a surgical face-lift. Each delivers de-aging results, but they go about it in very different ways. How do you choose? By understanding what each option can and can’t do and deciding what your investment is in the process.
Injectables come in two types: dermal fillers and neurotoxins. Both are good choices if you have mild issues or if you want to see what your “younger” face looks like before committing to a surgical procedure with a longer recovery time.
Neurotoxins and fillers both treat wrinkles, but they go about it in very different ways. The most common neurotoxin (and the most familiar name) is Botox®, a potent compound derived from the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, but we also use its close cousins Dysport® and Xeomin®. When purified, diluted, and administered by a trained professional like Dr. Urbinelli, they’re completely safe.
Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are used to treat dynamic wrinkles, those formed from years of making facial expressions, like smiling, furrowing your brow, or squinting. When injected, the neurotoxins temporarily paralyze the muscles that pull the skin into a crease. Your face relaxes, and the wrinkles fade away. Treatments last 3-4 months, after which you can have another session.
Dermal fillers, on the other hand, are used to treat static wrinkles, those caused by loss of volume in the cheeks, lips, and hands as a result of decreased collagen production and lost fat as you age. The FDA has approved several formulations, all of which are injectable.
PNW Plastic Surgery offers popular lines of fillers such as Juvéderm® and Radiesse®. Juvéderm is composed of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in your body that helps your skin retain moisture. Radiesse is formulated from calcium hydroxylapatite, a mineral normally found in teeth. Both are easily administered and well tolerated, with results lasting 6-18 months, depending on the exact product and the amount the doctor injects.
Dr. Urbinelli also uses dermal fillers to perform a “liquid” rhinoplasty. The fillers temporarily improve the contour and shape of your nose without the risks and downtime associated with a rhinoplasty.
And the best part? Fillers and neurotoxins play well with each other, so you can address both static and dynamic wrinkles at the same time.
The surgical face-lift, or rhytidectomy, is the third most common plastic surgery procedure. In 2020 alone, almost 235,000 individuals had one done. Unlike cosmetic injectables, this is an invasive procedure, which means it comes with surgical risks and a bit of downtime to recover. However, nothing can beat its longevity. Five and a half years later, over 75% of patients still looked younger than they did before the procedure.
The face-lift addresses the lower two-thirds of your face. Dr. Urbinelli makes incisions along your hairline to hide the scars, then removes and reshapes the fat, muscle, and soft tissues beneath the skin. Finally, he pulls or “lifts” the skin taut, suturing the incisions so the skin remains in the lifted position.
After your face heals, which can take a few weeks, you’ll notice your jowls don’t jiggle, your neck skin doesn’t wobble, and the deep creases around your nose and mouth have left the building. And if you’re looking for a total refresh, you can combine the face-lift with other surgeries that address issues in the upper third of your face, such as forehead hollows and droopy brows and eyelids.
If you’re wondering whether you should go with injectables or a face-lift, the best thing is to come into PNW Plastic Surgery for a consultation with Dr. Urbinelli. Give us a call at 818-740-6142 or book online today.