How to Determine if You’re Ready for a Facelift

One of the most important responsibilities I have as a board-certified plastic surgeon is to recommend the most appropriate procedures after physically examining patients and listening to them describe their concerns and goals. For example, if someone schedules a facelift consultation at my Pasadena practice, I may suggest that a nonsurgical approach such as Ultherapy® may produce the results she or he is looking for.

The decision to get a facelift involves both a financial and time commitment that I discuss thoroughly with patients during the consultation. For some people, a nonsurgical approach might be a better option if they want a procedure that involves less downtime or they want to “test drive” the changes that surgery can provide. In this blog post, I’ll explain the nonsurgical options for facial rejuvenation we offer at our Pasadena plastic surgery practice and when surgery may be the only viable alternative.

Nonsurgical Options

The advances made in nonsurgical cosmetic procedures of all types, including facial rejuvenation, gives patients more—and more effective—options than ever before. Women and men concerned about the early signs of aging often choose fillers or BOTOX® Cosmetic injections—or a combination of both.


VOLUMA is unique because it’s the first filler approved by the FDA specifically to correct age-related volume loss in the cheeks. Lack of volume and sagging skin are the primary culprits responsible for facial aging. Combining a filler such as VOLUMA with a skin tightening procedure can create comprehensive results without surgery.


Injectables may not provide the desired results as the skin begins losing more of its elasticity. As the first physician in California to offer Ultherapy, I am uniquely qualified to understand how Ultherapy can help patients who aren’t ready for facelift surgery. As its name implies, this treatment uses focused ultrasonic energy to heat the deeper layers of the skin, triggering the body’s natural healing process to create new collagen and elastin. These 2 materials are fundamental elements of tighter, more youthful-looking skin. Patients concerned about loose neck skin or jowls can benefit from Ultherapy. Today we educate users to customize treatments to the skin by using different transducers.

When It’s Time for Surgery

There does come a time when nonsurgical procedures can no longer produce the results that patients desire. I recommend that patients who aren’t sure if they’ve reached this point to perform a “pinch test:” If they can easily pinch skin from their face, neck, or jowls between 2 fingers, cosmetic surgery is necessary. Not all facelift surgeries are the same. Some may be more minimally invasive, such as using suture suspension techniques to elevate the cheek fat pad back to its normal location without making incisions associated with traditional facelifts.

A complete facelift, though, is the only procedure that can produce dramatic results that can last for up to 10 to 15 years, compared to a year or so created by Ultherapy. You can see the types of results facelift surgery produces by browsing our gallery of before-and-after pictures showing actual patients.

Knowing which procedure is best for you requires a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. You can contact us using the online form to request a consultation or call our practice at (626) 268-4524 to schedule an appointment.

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