281-606-0208 Contact Us

Surgical vs Non-Surgical Facelifts

Wrinkles, fine lines, jowls, and sagging are common aesthetic imperfections associated with aging. Many people find that lifestyle interventions and over-the-counter skin care products often do not work to alleviate these issues. This leads many people to pursue plastic surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, facelift was the third most popular cosmetic surgery in 2020. More than 234,000 of these procedures were performed in the US alone. However, it is important to note that millions of other patients who are resistant to having invasive surgery pursue non-surgical cosmetic treatments. In this treatment, we compare between surgical and non-surgical facelifts in The Woodlands Tx area

Surgical facelift

A surgical facelift is a procedure that is designed to alleviate signs of aging and enhance facial youthfulness. Plastic surgeons focus on removing excess skin and fat from areas of the face in order to meet the patient’s expectations. Surgical facelifts can be very effective in addressing severe imperfections such as sagging cheeks, jowls, wrinkles, deep lines, and creases, along with excess skin in areas of the face.

Plastic surgeons have a number of techniques that they may use when performing this treatment:

  • Mini facelift – this is the least invasive type of facelift surgery. It is designed to address minor signs of aging on the cheeks or jaw line. The procedure is common with younger patients experiencing some localized but accelerated signs of aging. 
  • Full facelift – this is the conventional facelift procedure that addresses severe signs of aging in the lower two-thirds of the face. Plastic surgeons remove excess skin and fat while also tightening the layer of connective tissue underlying the skin. Full facelifts are common with older patients who have noticeable signs of aging and wish to dramatically enhance their facial appearance. Because the procedure is more invasive, it is typically more expensive and requires a longer recovery duration. 

The cost of a surgical facelift in The Woodlands will vary from one patient to the other based on the specifics of your treatment. Health insurers typically do not pay for this treatment because it is considered to be an elective cosmetic treatment. During your initial consultation visit at Dr. Wu’s office, the surgeon’s team will provide an individualized cost estimate so you can arrange for financing.  

→ Pros and cons of a surgical facelift 

Benefits of a surgical facelift  Drawbacks of a surgical facelift 
Tightens facial muscles to attain long-lasting results More expensive procedure compared to non-surgical options
Repairs loose skin to ensure a more youthful and natural-looking facial appearance  Requires significant aftercare following the surgery
Significantly enhances facial contours  Long recovery duration
More permanent procedure with results lasting for many years There are inherent risks associated with the surgery 

Non-surgical facelift 

Non Surgical facelifts focus on alleviating facial imperfections without the use of surgical incisions. These procedures have become very popular in the recent past. Examples of non-surgical facelift treatments include BOTOX, Dermal fillers, Fat injections, and Needleless treatments. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 13.2 million minimally-invasive surgical procedures in 2020, compared to only 2.3 million surgical procedures. BOTOX was at the top of the list with 4.4 million procedures performed, followed by soft tissue fillers (3.4 million procedures), laser skin resurfacing (997,000 procedures), and chemical peels (931,000 procedures), and intense pulsed light treatments (827,000 procedures). 

→ How are non-surgical facelifts performed

Non-surgical facelifts are quick procedures that can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. Patients often do not need to attend preoperative visits for this type of cosmetic treatment. During the procedure, a plastic surgeon or their injection specialist applies a numbing cream and then injects the specific treatment compound (BOTOX or dermal fillers) in the targeted areas. This helps improve facial imperfections such as frown lines, wrinkles, and loss of facial volume. Results are noticeable almost immediately and patients are able to return to routine work hours after treatment. Keep in mind that repeat sessions are required every couple of months (or years at most) to maintain the outcome of this treatment. The per-session cost of a non-surgical facelift will be determined by the specific treatment being administered and the number of areas being targeted. 

→ Pros and cons of nonsurgical facelift 

Benefits of non-surgical facelift  Drawbacks of non-surgical facelift
Cost-effective (at least in the short-term) Regular touch ups are required, which may make the treatment more expensive in the long-run
No serious pain involved Can only address mild signs of aging
Short procedure time
Minimal recovery time
Minimal aftercare required
Fewer risks involved


If you are looking to enhance your facial appearance by removing obvious signs of aging, Dr. Wu’s office is uniquely placed to help. The surgeon will help determine the right treatment approach for you based on your specific needs and requirements. Schedule a consultation today to get started.