To understand a term, it can be incredibly helpful to break it into smaller parts. That’s what we’re going to do today – break down the term nonsurgical facelift by explaining what a surgery is (and, thus, what non-surgery is), and explaining what a facelift is. From there, we’ll give you some concrete examples of nonsurgical facelifts. Sounds good? Then let’s get started.
What is a surgery?
There’s no real fixed definition for what a surgery is – it’s a broad term that’s used somewhat differently depending on the medical practitioners involved. There are, however, some traits that most (but not all) surgeries share, including:
- The medical team will cut into the patient’s tissue and/or suture tissue wounds
- The use of anesthetic
- An antiseptic environment
- The use of surgical tools, suturing, and/or stapling
The more of these traits that a procedure shares, the more it is thought of as surgery. Indeed, the more invasive a procedure is, the more likely it is to be considered surgery. As we’ll see in the next section, a traditional facelift most certainly falls under the definition of surgery. Those of you who would like to learn more about what kinds of procedures can be considered surgery should check out Stanford’s General Surgery page.
What is a facelift?
There’s not only one kind of facelift – a wide variety of different treatments used to rejuvenate the face might be considered facelifts. Traditionally, facelifts were almost always done via surgery – cuts were made so the surgeon could remove excess skin, tighten facial tissues, and redrape the skin on the face and neck.
Today, the term is even less precise than it was back when facelifts began. There are cosmetic creams that brand themselves as facelift creams – the results, as you can imagine, are not nearly as drastic as a physical redraping of your skin would be.
What are nonsurgical facelifts?
Nonsurgical facelifts, then, are a group of techniques used to rejuvenate the face without the need to cut into a patient’s tissue. They also don’t require traditional surgical tools, though in some cases localized anesthetic is provided.
Generally, over-the-counter face creams are not grouped in with nonsurgical facelifts – the term is reserved for procedures that can only be conducted by certified dermatologists. Techniques include the use of dermal fillers, Botox, and chemical peels.
One of the most exciting new technologies in the world of nonsurgical facelifts is the use of stem cells extracted from the patient’s fat. These stem cells aren’t rejected by the body because the body recognizes them as its own. That means they can be injected strategically into the face in order to, quite literally, lift sunken areas, enhance facial volume, and rejuvenate the face.
While nonsurgical facelifts aren’t as drastic as surgical facelifts, they’re also far less dangerous – and they can create some absolutely incredible results (far better than what you’d get with an over-the-counter cream). The cosmetics industry is trending toward this type of facelift, and we’ll probably see that trend continue in the future as we get more access to cutting edge (but not literally) medical research.