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Facelift vs. Dermal Fillers: Which Is Right for You?

Woman in Torrance, CA considering facial rejuvenation options

There are more options than ever when it comes to taking years off your appearance. From a traditional facelift to nonsurgical dermal fillers, Torrance patients have many ways to slim and sculpt the face. However, knowing which procedure is right for you may take a bit of research. Facelift surgery and fillers both help your anti-aging goals, but budget, recovery time, and the extent of your aesthetic needs will likely affect your decision.

In this blog post, we’ll share the benefits of each approach to help you determine which option is right for you.

What Are the Benefits of Facelift?

Facelift surgery is one of the most direct, dramatic ways to rejuvenate your face. Using a few small incisions, your doctor lifts and adjusts facial muscles and tissues to more flattering, youthful positions. The main focuses of the procedure are tightening skin, reducing wrinkles, and contouring the jawline. Facelift surgery typically works best for those with sagging skin, droopy jowls, and other advanced signs of aging. Learn more about signs you are ready for a facelift in our previous blog post.

To see examples of the results you can expect after a facelift, please visit our facelift before-and-after photo gallery.

What Are the Benefits of Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are versatile products that work great for adding youthful volume to the face. As we age, we lose collagen in the cheeks, lips, and forehead, but fillers quickly plump up these common problem areas. The active ingredient in most fillers is hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body. Hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin from below, enhancing thinning tissues and restoring soft, rounded curves to the face. Using fillers to rejuvenate the face is often referred to as a “liquid facelift” or “nonsurgical facelift.”

To see examples of the results you can expect from dermal fillers, please visit our dermal filler before-and-after photo gallery.

How to Choose Between a Facelift & Fillers

Both facelift surgery and dermal fillers can improve the appearance of the face. However, when choosing between these 2 options, keep these important facts in mind.

Comfort Level With Surgery

A facelift is a full, traditional surgery that requires sedation and recovery time. You’ll be placed under either local or general anesthesia for the duration of the surgery, which typically takes about 2 to 3 hours. Your plastic surgeon will make incisions hidden around your ears and, if necessary, under your chin.

Fillers, on the other hand, are quick and easy treatments that need no extensive prep or anesthesia. Treatments typically take less than an hour and involve just a short series of injections.

Recovery Time

Most people need 2 to 3 weeks to recover from a facelift, though lingering swelling may last for a few months. During the first few days, you will need to take it easy and refrain from any activity other than short walks around the house. After a couple of weeks, you will likely feel well enough to return to work and other activities.

You can return to work or home immediately after your dermal filler treatment. You may experience some swelling or bruising for a week or 2, but this does not stop most people from resuming their usual routines right away.


Dermal filler results typically last around 6 months to 2 years. Fillers require consistent touch-up treatments to maintain your desired look. If you want youthful contours without extra trips to the doctor, facelift surgery may be the answer.

Facelift results usually last for a decade or more, allowing you to enjoy your new look without the hassle of maintenance treatments or repeated appointments. However, some people do choose to extend their facelift results with some filler treatments or skin rejuvenation procedures as time goes on.


With dermal fillers, you pay by the syringe. The exact cost will depend on the area you’re treating, the amount of filler required, and how often you come in for touch-up treatments.

Facelift surgery starts at a higher price range, but it is a one-time upfront cost. While the initial facelift cost is more than fillers, those regular filler touch-up treatments add up over time. It is possible a facelift may end up being a more cost-effective option for you, depending on your concerns.

Your Next Steps

In the end, choosing the right surgeon and the right procedure are very important personal decisions. The best place to start is with a one-on-one cosmetic consultation. Ask your doctor which treatment route is best for your unique needs, and if you opt for a facelift, be sure to select a board-certified plastic surgeon.

If you would like to learn more about facelift surgery and dermal fillers here in Torrance,  please request a consultation online. You can also contact our practice office by phone at (310) 784-0644.

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