Non-Surgical Facelift vs. Traditional Facelift

The thought of growing older is typically met with displeasure, as it usually means unsightly changes in your appearance. Aging can bring about many physical transformations, but perhaps the most noticeable are those to the face and neck, which start to look droopy with the softening of facial angles and sagging of the skin. The area around the chin and jaw for instance, can start taking on a “clover leaf” appearance as fat bulges form to either side of the chin. Your face says a lot about your emotions, mood and personality, so when you’re unhappy with the way that it looks it can create some serious self-confidence issues.

While there are a handful of creams and moisturizers on the market that claim to turn back the clock on your skin, the truth of the matter is that facial rejuvenation can only be achieved by the hand of a professional. As you begin to research your options for achieving that youthful-looking glow, you’ll quickly discover that there are two different methods: surgical and nonsurgical.

At this point it is important to note that traditionally, facelifts only address the lower third to half of the face – additional surgical correction beyond that would involve an eye or brow lift, for what we would term a “full facelift”. For many patients, the thought of undergoing multiple surgeries, even in one sitting, might be too extreme. The Maas ClinicTM is happy to offer men and women of different ages the chance to correct their facial aging concerns through multiple methods, both surgical and non-surgical. Whether you’re looking for dramatic, long-term results or subtle, temporary improvements, it’s important to understand all of your options.

The Non-Surgical Solutions

A non-surgical facelift isn’t an actual single procedure. Instead, we use this term to refer to the handful of non-surgical treatment options available, which can be customized according to your exact needs. For many people, the idea of having surgery can be intimidating, but they still want to reverse the signs of aging without the risks or downtime that surgery might entail.

At The Maas ClinicTM, we offer numerous minimally-invasive alternatives for full facial rejuvenation, addressing the three main underlying symptoms of facial aging: volume loss from decrease in bone and fat in the face, wrinkles forming from facial movement over time, as well as skin textural issues like thinning and pigmentation.

While there is no substitute to significantly improving the contours of your face and neck in one go through surgery, our non-surgical treatments are still a great way to reduce facial lines and wrinkles, restore lost volume, and even improve the look of the skin, the last of which surgery on its own cannot accomplish.

Men and women alike come to our San Francisco facial plastic surgery clinic seeking our non-surgical solutions, which include dermal fillers, laser treatment, chemical peels and ultherapy.

Injectables: Fillers, Botoxins and Kybella

For those with static wrinkles, sunken cheeks, marionette lines, or even jowl formation along the chin, a combination of different injectables can smooth, contour and reshape the face to help turn back the clock. We have many different injectable options to choose from, but the right one for you will depend on your unique concerns and aesthetic goals.

Kybella is a fat dissolving solution made of naturally occurring deoxycholic acid, which has been specially designed to reduce the look of a double chin permanently, creating a more youthful contour to the chin and jawline.

Dermal fillers like Juvederm, Restylane and Voluma, can help to add volume and restore a youthful-looking appearance to your face. When applied by an expert injector like Dr. Maas, it can be used to subtly lift the face by mitigating the effects of bone and fat loss from areas like the temples, the mid-face and cheeks, and even the jawline. It can also be used to plump up sunken areas, and smooth out the transition between different muscle groups, reducing the look of under-eye bags through tear trough treatments, enhancing thinning lips and reducing the harsh look of deep nasolabial folds.

Botox, Dysport, Jeuveau and Xeomin on the other hand, are perfect for relaxing the overworked facial muscles that cause forehead lines, brow creases and crow’s feet. As the refined Botulinum Toxin in these formulas prevents nerve signals from reaching these muscles, the lack of movement helps to prevent new creases from forming in thinning skin, softening their look.

Laser Treatments

Laser treatments are a popular facial resurfacing option that works by tightening the skin, improving tone and texture, eliminating wrinkles and creases, and softening facial acne scars. They work using targeted light energy not just to break up unwanted melasma and age spots, but also to stimulate the skin healing process and encourage the formation of new collagen and elastin in the skin. Some lasers can also be used to slough off old skin cells, unveiling healthier new skin beneath.

ActiveFX and DeepFX are both popular laser treatments we offer at our clinic, but each have their own unique benefits. The ActiveFX laser uses its high-energy beam to peel away at the upper layer of skin and regenerate a newer, healthier layer in its place. It is best used for skin tightening and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The DeepFX works by using CO2 laser microbeams to target the specific deeper dermal layers. This treatment provides a noticeable improvement in skin tone and texture, as well as a reduction in wrinkles, scars and facial folds.

Patients looking for consistent, no downtime laser treatments can consider non-ablative treatments including Lumenis, which focuses on stimulating cell production in deeper dermal layers without damaging the surface of the skin. We also provide Clear + Brilliant, which addresses skin texture concerns including large pore size, skin dullness and uneven skin tone.


Ultherapy is another non-invasive treatment and works by using focused ultrasound to tighten and lift saggy, loose skin. As you age, the collagen in your skin begins to lose its strength, and the production of new collagen slows — gradually causing skin to pull downward as its structural integrity fades. A focused ultrasound treatment will help to jumpstart your skin’s repair process by jumpstarting the process of producing new collagen and even strengthening existing collagen. A single treatment session generally takes less than an hour and there is no downtime required.

Beloved by celebrities including Christie Brinkley, Ultherapy can be used to treat not just the lower face, but also the brow, forehead and temple area, the mid-face, neck and even the decollete. It is also recommended for patients who have had facelifts before but desire a “refresh” of their results.

Silhouette Instalift Thread Lift

Thread lifts are the perfect in-between procedure for patients who need more of a soft tissue lift but still want something non-surgical. Thread lifting provides results through the use of collagen stimulating combination of polyglycolic and L Poly-Lactic dissolvable medical-grade sutures.

The art of a suture lift involves knowing the best lifting vectors for each individual patient’s face, and Dr. Maas’ experience as a board-certified facial plastic surgeon enables him to immediately visualize the best angles and amount of lifting to provide his patients with naturally beautiful results. His careful technique also means that patients will be able to walk out the office after an hour looking immediately refreshed with low to no downtime.

As the sutures dissolve, the body’s own collagen production processes are stimulated, and results will continue to improve in the weeks after the procedure, with optimal results seen about three months later. The longevity of this treatment is around 18 months.

Advanced SMASplasty Facelift at The Maas ClinicTM

Surgery, whether for cosmetic reasons or not, can be an intimidating thought if you don’t know what to expect. As you seek out surgical options for your facial rejuvenation needs, you’ll find that a facelift is the best way to address loose, sagging skin and lost volume. There are a plethora of different “lifts” out there now though, so it can be a tad confusing when trying to figure out which is right for you.

The traditional facelift is also commonly referred to as a lower facelift in the plastic surgery realm. This procedure addresses the facial aging concerns between the cheekbones and neck. If you are self-conscious about the sagging muscles that create unsightly neck bands or the drooping excess skin on your cheek, jawline and neck regions, a traditional facelift is an obvious choice. Dr. Maas’ techniques involve shifting the SMAS layer, also known as the deep fibrous layer of the facial muscles, for amazing, long-lasting results. While this might be risky if performed by an inexperienced surgeon, Dr. Maas is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon with the experience and know-how to work with this nerve-rich area for a safe surgery.

Depending on your needs, for a chin to forehead refresh, Dr. Maas provides full facelift options that help patients achieve a natural, yet significantly refreshed look without looking unduly “pulled” or windswept. This might also involve fat transfer to address volume loss in the under-eye area.

While initial swelling and bruising is common as you recover, the improved contours you will achieve from a facelift will be well worth it. If you’re considering a facelift or want to learn more about our nonsurgical facial rejuvenation options, give us a call today at (415) 567-7000 or contact us by email. We’d be more than happy to set you up a consultation with Dr. Maas and help you achieve a natural but noticeably young looking you.

The information about rhinoplasty was reviewed by Corey S. Maas MDTM. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.

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