When you visit a facial plastic surgeon these days, you might not actually be seeing him for a surgical procedure. While plenty of patients have procedures such as rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery or facelifts performed every year, non-surgical options, particularly injections such as Botox or dermal fillers have increased in popularity.
If you are concerned about wrinkles or other signs of aging on your face, one of the decisions you might have to make is whether to handle those signs of aging with injections or to go under the knife. Which one you choose depends on a number of factors, including your schedule and what you expect to get out of the procedure.
How Much Time Do You Have for Recovery?
One of the major differences between plastic surgery and a minimally invasive procedure is the amount of time you need to recover after treatment. While you may be able to go back to work a week or so after surgery, it can take considerably longer for bruising to fade or swelling to decrease. After any type of surgery, you’ll need to talk to your surgeon about what you can and can’t do and for how long.
For example, after rhinoplasty, you’ll want to steer of any activity that can bump the nose as it heals. That usually means you’ll need to avoid working out, swimming or other types of exercise for about a month after the surgery. That might not be a big deal if you’re not an active person, but if you love going to the gym or play a sport, it can be a challenge.
In contrast, recovery after a dermal filler or Botox injection is usually pretty quick. In most cases, you can go back to your regular life immediately after the injection. Some people even schedule their injections over a lunch break, then head back to work, as if nothing has happened.
You might have to take some precautions after an injection, though. If you have Botox injections, it’s usually recommended that you keep your head held up for several hours after the treatment, so that the substance doesn’t travel from the treated area to another part of your face, causing side effects. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions after an injection so you know exactly what to do.
What Are You Concerned About?
Another thing to think about when deciding whether injections or surgery is the right call for you is what you’re hoping to get out of the treatment. If your big issue is loose skin on the lower part of your face, a facelift is usually your best option, as injections won’t reduce sagginess or tighten that skin. But, if your big concern is simply a few lines and wrinkles, injections can usually accomplish what you want without much fuss.
While it is possible to change the shape of the nose somewhat with injectable fillers such as Juvederm, if you want your nose made smaller, surgical rhinoplasty is usually the best option. If you are concerned about your forehead and brows and are trying to decide between Botox injections or a brow lift, the decision might come down to how extensive the wrinkles and sagging are in the area. Botox can help with the frown lines, but if you have a lot of droopiness or a furrowed brow, a forehead lift might be the appropriate option.
Do You Want Long Lasting Results?
The other major difference between surgery and injections is the duration of results. No injections provide results that last forever. In the case of surgery, not all are permanent, but the results typically last a lot longer than the results from an injection.
For example, Botox injections typically wear off after about 3 months. To keep up your appearance, you’ll need a repeat injection. In contrast, a brow lift can last for years. Depending on how you age, when you had the surgery and how well you take care of yourself afterwards, the results from a facelift can last for more than a decade. The results from an injectable filler, on the other hand, last for up to two years at the most.
Speaking with a board certified facial plastic surgeon can help you narrow things down and determine which treatment best meets your needs. In Ohio, Dr. Stephen Smith regularly performs facial plastic surgery and non-surgical treatments, such as Botox injections and fillers. He can review your options with you and discuss your concerns. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith, call (614) 702-7342 today.