Botox or Facelift: Which is Right For Me?

posted on:
May 20th, 2021
posted by:
Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Do you feel like there are actually too many anti-aging procedures to choose from these days? How do you know which one will work for you?

When you first start to look for a facelift in Toronto, your research will probably show you that there are basically three different types. Which one of them would be best for you? And how do they stack up to a Botox procedure?

We’re in the business of helping people look like the best versions of themselves and showing them how to shave a few years off of their appearance. We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. If a would-be client is debating Botox vs a facelift, we will walk them through both procedures in great detail.

However, we also know that a lot of our clients like to do a bit of research before they come to see us at The Toronto Plastic Surgeons clinic in person, or schedule a video consultation.

With that in mind, this blog will walk you through the basics of each respective procedure.

What is Botox?

On a technical level, Botox injectable is a purified non-animal protein derived from the bacterium clostridium botulinum. It is widely used by plastic surgeons to reduce aging in the face and neck muscles by temporarily relaxing the muscles in the injected area. The results will soften unwanted lines and minimize any depressive signs of aging, like wrinkles or deep lines.

On a more practical level, Botox is truly a household name and one of the first things that the average person thinks of when they think about anti-aging treatments. It is wildly popular and administered to over 7,000,000 patients in North America every year.

You can possibly see an 80%+ softening of animation lines in the treated areas. The key term there is softening. The injections cannot make lines disappear completely, but they can certainly make them considerably less noticeable, giving you a more rested and youthful appearance.

Botox has traditionally been used to treat:

  • Lip lines
  • Cheeks
  • Jowls
  • Crow’s feet
  • Frown-lines across the forehead
  • Some chest lines

Botox is effective and it has a name that is trusted by millions of people, which makes it a great choice.

What is a Facelift?

The facelift is also synonymous with anti-aging treatments and has been for some time. TPS offers both women’s and men’s facelifts, so everyone has the opportunity to look their best.

The tricky part of defining the facelift is that there are a few different types of facelifts to choose from.

A Traditional Facelift: The most comprehensive and invasive of the facelift procedures. It treats loose muscles and sagging skin in the face and neck areas.

These can take the form of:

  • Traditional deep plane facelifts
  • SMAS facelifts

SMAS facelifts are widely considered to be the gold standard in the plastic surgery industry today. Your surgeon will focus on a sheet of tissue below your cheek skin called the Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS). Once the tissue is lifted, they will address age-related sagging and lines.

A Mid Facelift: A more targeted procedure for those looking to address the signs of aging on their cheeks and below their eyes. It’s less invasive with less recovery time.

The Mini Facelift: This is the least invasive type, and perfect for people in their 30s and early 40s that are looking to tighten things up and stay ahead of the aging process. Broadly speaking, this is the most significant procedure, but it also leads to the most significant results.

There is no question which one is more widely performed. It’s not even close. The simplicity, effectiveness, and lack of downtime make Botox the go-to choice for millions of people every year.

There were over 7.7 million Botox procedures in 2019, which made it the most popular cosmetic minimally-invasive procedure in North America. On the other hand, there were over 123,000 facelift procedures performed in 2019, making it the 5th most popular surgical procedure. Both procedures saw an increase from the previous year.

The number of Botox treatments has absolutely exploded over the last 20 years. The 7.7 million treatments represent an 878% increase from the year 2000. The number of facelifts has remained steadier year-over-year.

In terms of the split between the two sexes, men accounted for about 6% of all Botox treatments and 8% of all facelifts in 2020. That being said, the number of males that got Botox injections is almost 4 x higher than the total number of facelifts for both sexes last year.

Keep in mind: Botox is certainly more widely used, but that doesn’t always make it the best choice for you. Try to avoid getting tunnel vision and focusing on just one possible procedure. Always speak to a qualified expert and keep your options open.

Both Procedures Increase During the Zoom Boom

The entire plastic surgery industry is actually experiencing a mini-boom during the pandemic lockdown. Millions of people are now forced to work from home and many are really starting to see the signs of aging in their face on video calls. This has been dubbed The Zoom Boom, as plastic surgery clinics across the world are now being flooded with people looking for both facelifts and injectables like Botox so they can look better on Zoom calls.

According to a recent survey of plastic surgeons across North America, 83% of those surveyed attributed their increase in business to the so-called Zoom Effect, while 69% reported an increase in facelifts during the pandemic lockdown.

At the same time, some surgeons are reporting Botox treatments being up by 30% during the lockdown.

While injectables are in high demand during the lockdown, a lot of other people are swinging for the fences, so to speak, and going with more invasive surgeries because they now have the opportunity to recover discreetly while working from home. They see this as their big chance and a unique opportunity to finally get the facelift or rhinoplasty procedures they have always wanted.

They’re locked down, they’re stressed, and this procedure can have major mental health benefits for years to come—particularly if they’ve had longstanding insecurity about a part of their appearance.

Facelift or Botox: Which is More Impactful?

If you’re looking to address more pronounced wrinkles and sagging, your best bet is often to go with a facelift procedure. Injectables are more for people that are looking to address more subtle signs of aging, or people that are looking to stay ahead of the aging process.

A facelift is a surgical procedure, which means that the results from a facelift are almost always going to be more noticeable, and last longer, than a Botox injection—up to 10 years longer in many cases. At the same time, Botox can’t really help you if you’re dealing with more serious skin sagging.

However, you will always want to speak with an accredited and experienced plastic surgeon to explore all of your options. They may suggest something that you haven’t even considered. Maybe a brow lift would be the best option to deal with your specific complaints? If you’re dealing with a bothersome double chin or a sagging turkey neck, your surgeon may recommend a chin lift.

Botox vs Facelift: Which is More Expensive?

The costs for either procedure can vary based on a number of variables. Botox injections start at roughly $8 to $12 per unit when injected by a registered nurse, or $14 to $18 when injected by a physician. Most patients pay between $400-$1500 for their Botox injections.

At the same time, our facelift procedures start at $14,999, depending on your goals.

As you can see, Botox is less costly. However, keep in mind that a facelift is more of a long-term investment and the benefits will last for years instead of months. If you’re looking to make a significant impact, the facelift could be the more affordable choice.

Never Cut Corners to Cut Costs

It’s absolutely crucial that you always get your Botox injections from an accredited professional in a controlled environment. Don’t be lured by the perceived bargain of cheap Botox injections.

We’re seeing a new and disturbing trend, as people are hosting Botox parties across North America. These parties are exactly what they sound like: People gather in a social setting, often someone’s home, and receive Botox injections from someone who claims that doing so is completely safe. Just to be clear, this is not safe! And it is also illegal in many regions! This is happening here in Canada, and the people that are caught administering these injections are being criminally charged.

You always want to make sure that you’re working with a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon when getting a facelift of any kind. Be picky! If you’re looking for a rhinoplasty procedure, take a look at their nose job before and after pictures. Read their testimonials and reviews to make sure that they have a history of success.

Our team’s  Dr. Bell is one of Canada’s most respected plastic surgeons, with decades of experience performing world-class facelifts for thousands of happy patients.

Facelift vs. Botox: Which Has less Downtime?

One of the reasons that the Botox procedure is so popular is that it can be done in 15 minutes, and there is virtually no downtime. You are in and out, then right back to your normal life. Many of our patients schedule their appointments over their lunch hours or when they’re out and about. They can keep running their errands after their injections.

The facelift, on the other hand, is a surgical procedure and there is considerably more work to be done. The body will need time to heal after the fact.

The full recovery process is usually about 3 weeks, but most of your discoloration and swelling will subside after the first week. But we typically recommend patients wait 3 weeks before returning to strenuous activity, or going back to work. This is why so many people are choosing to get this procedure now. They can recover while working from home and save their vacation days.

The Verdict

As you can see, there is no simple answer. One procedure is not better than the other. It’s all about matching the best procedure with a given patient’s needs and expectations.

Broadly speaking, if you’re just looking to tighten things up a little bit, or looking to stay ahead of the aging process, Botox could be the best choice. On the other hand, if you’re looking for more dramatic or long-lasting results, a facelift would probably be a better fit and help you achieve your goals.

Once again, we need to stress how important it is to find the right surgeon. You also need to have detailed and transparent conversations about your goals. They should be able to lay out all of your options, and maybe even point you in a new direction.

Let Us Show You How The New You Can Look

The best results come when the surgeon and the patient have great communication. Our surgeons listen attentively to our clients’ goals before making recommendations and we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions.

Our team’s Dr. Bell is an expert in today’s most advanced techniques and technology. He can help you diminish the signs of aging and restore a youthful vitality.

If you’re ready to see what’s possible, we’re ready to show it to you. Call us at 647-723-3739, or click on the blue Schedule a Consultation box at the top of the page.

Posted by:

Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Dr. Thomas Bell has been one of Canada’s most renowned cosmetic surgeons for 35 years. He prides his excellence on the harmonious balance of vision, aesthetic appearance, and patient care.

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