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May 17, 2017 | BOTOX® Cosmetic, Facelift, Injectable Fillers

BOTOX® vs. Facelift? An Explanation of These Two Very Different Procedures


Research shows that “BOTOX® vs. facelift” is a common phrase that people enter in search engines. With so many cosmetic treatments available today, it is easy to see how misunderstandings can arise about the nature and purpose of these procedures. While both BOTOX® Cosmetic and facelift surgery are facial rejuvenation treatments, they differ in the following ways.

BOTOX® Cosmetic

Woman Showing BOTOX® Cosmetic Before and After PhotosWhat It Is

BOTOX® Cosmetic is a non-surgical injectable treatment used for facial rejuvenation. It is made of botulinum toxin type A and is injected into target areas of the upper face to reduce wrinkles.

How It Works

Facial rejuvenation with BOTOX® Cosmetic is simple. Patients come in for a short, in-office procedure and receive BOTOX® Cosmetic injections to their upper face, then they leave and go about their business. The neurotoxin in BOTOX® Cosmetic can block nerve impulses and reduce muscle activity. When injected into areas where muscle activity causes wrinkles, such as the area between the brows, BOTOX® Cosmetic limits the muscle activity in these areas. BOTOX® Cosmetic only affects the small area where it is directly injected and does not prevent you from continuing to make natural facial expressions.

Areas It Treats

The FDA has approved BOTOX® Cosmetic for the treatment of certain wrinkles in the upper face region. BOTOX® Cosmetic can treat moderate to severe lines on the forehead, between the brows (frown lines), and at the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet).

Recovery and Results

BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment has no downtime or recovery, and patients can immediately return to work or other activities. Treatment with BOTOX® produces a smoother and younger-looking brow and forehead area. The results are temporary and will last for an average of three to six months, after which touch-up treatments may be needed to maintain the results.

Facelift Surgery

Facelift Before and After PhotosWhat It Is

A facelift is a surgical procedure used for facial rejuvenation. This surgery targets mid to lower face wrinkles, sagging jowls and skin, and loose skin on the neck.

How It Works

Facial rejuvenation with a facelift is a major surgery. Patients come in and are placed under anesthesia. A plastic surgeon may spend several hours performing the operation, using various surgical strategies to tighten and rejuvenate the face. By pulling and tightening the underlying facial tissues and muscles as well as the outer skin, facelift surgery rejuvenates the lower face and neck. This surgery also trims away excess skin to redefine facial contours.

Areas It Treats

The facelift procedure focuses on sagging jowls, excess skin in the lower face and neck, displaced fat, deep lower facial wrinkles (such as nasolabial folds), and jaw and neck contour.

Recovery and Results

A facelift has a one- to two-week initial recovery period. Patients will need someone to drive them home and assist them for one or two days. Prescribed pain medications can alleviate any discomfort. Swelling may persist for several weeks. Patients are also given instructions regarding postoperative care for their dressings and incisions. The incisions are hidden within the hairline so that scarring is not noticeable. The final results become apparent within six to eight weeks but may continue to show subtle changes for up to one year. Results from a facelift are permanent and dramatic. Some patients can look as much as 10 years younger after a facelift.

Even though BOTOX® Cosmetic and facelift surgery are both facial rejuvenation procedures, they are different in terms of the type of treatment, how they work, the areas they treat, the recovery experience, and the significance and permanence of the results. Both treatments, when appropriately selected for the right candidate, can create a more refreshed and youthful appearance.

If you are interested in facial rejuvenation but cannot determine whether you should receive BOTOX® Cosmetic injections, a facelift, or another treatment, contact us to request a free consultation. One of our board-certified plastic surgeons would be pleased to meet with you, answer all your questions, and assist you in achieving your aesthetic goals. To request your appointment, please call 813-400-1465 or complete our online contact form today.

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