LIQUID FACELIFT- (Really, what are my options?)

“Once over easy” please?

Is the no-fuss, no downtime, ‘low-(ish) cost’ facelift a reality?  Our mission here will be to filter through the hype, and give you some straight talk on non-surgical, face”lifting” injections. What many people like to call the Liquid Facelift.

Do Plastic Surgeons administer these kinds of treatments?

Yes.  I’m a San Jose Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. That label has many years of training behind it, and many years of experience after it. Among many other things, it tells you that I am a surgeon, a specialist in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, that I’m an expert in the human anatomy, and that I’m a licensed medical doctor. I perform surgeries, and injectable treatments.

More and more people who want some facial rejuvenating, are trying to stay away from surgical lifts for as long as they can.


  • Surgery costs a bit more.Liquid Facelift
  • It involves scheduling time off, and recovery
  • It tends to scare a lot of people

Over the past couple of decades, the development of injectable treatments has offered a variety of less-invasive, less time-consuming, “band-aid” type solutions. We’re using the term ‘band-aid’ simply because most of the injectable treatments are much shorter-lived than surgical treatments. They need to be repeated, to maintain the look they provide.

For example:

– Botox:  3 – 6 month intervals

– Fillers: (such as Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane)  6 months – 1 year

–  *The new Juvederm Voluma, may last up to 2 years

What about Fat Injections?

Transfer of fat does involve some surgery. Some of your own fat would need to be Liposuctioned from you, before it can be injected someplace else.

Fat Injections into the face, to fill lines, or plump cheeks, may well last ‘indefinitely.’  They are often combined with other neuromuscular relaxers (Botox), and different types of fillers. The fillers, as mentioned above, do need to be repeated.

Filler Differences

Some fillers simply “fill.”  That is, they add volume in small amounts. They’re designed to work best in specific areas.  For instance, for the nasolabial folds (the big creases that develop from the corners of the nose down to the lips), Juvederm, Restylane, and Fat injections are commonly used.

If you’re hoping to fill in some sunken cheek areas, fat injections can be used. More recent developments in filler technology, are favoring products such as Voluma and Radiesse for filling the cheek areas, as well as providing a little bit of a ‘lift’ to this area of the face. The substance in these products, is a longer-lasting, somewhat firmer gel. As we mentioned earlier, Voluma injections may last up to 2 years, Radiesse, up to 1 year, (or more).

Other Places?

In addition to the cheeks and nasolabial folds, fillers are being used to add a bit of contour or subtle enhancement of some features, including the chin, and even jawline area, to help minimize the appearance of jowls.

Botox and similar injections are most often associated with frown lines and crow’s feet, but are also used to reduce the appearance of neck-banding, and can even help ‘raise’ a drooping nasal tip.

So- what should I do?


The surgical Facelift remains the “gold standard” in providing the most lasting solution for significant facial sagging. Skin and muscle are tightened.  Of course, you’ll continue to age, and your face will also change. But the result you’ve achieved with the surgery will always be there. In other words, if you’ve removed “10 years” – that will always be apparent. You may have additional facial surgery, years later. Or, you may wish to augment your results with fillers and Botox (many patients do). But, a facelift does not address the eyelids, or neck. These are separate, additional surgeries, that may be performed at the same time. The one-time surgical costs are higher than those for treatment with fillers.

Liquid Lift

It’s not surgery. It’s temporary (that is, when the injections wear off, your facial features will return to their original state, unless the injections are repeated.)

Can be costly. Calculate your one-time costs for the treatments you’d like (Botox for eyes, Juvederm, Voluma, etc., for lips, lines, cheeks.)  And, calculate your costs over time for repeating the treatments.

We can’t list the costs here, because they vary.  In our office, we offer frequent specials, as a benefit to our patients.

It’s good to have options, with the understanding that each delivers certain kinds of results. The choice will ultimately be yours to make, and will come from what you want to achieve, and your comfort level.

[Dr. Vincent Lepore performs a full range of facial rejuvenation and body contouring procedures in San Jose, in his licensed and accredited surgical facility. He also offers Medspa services including injections of Botox and fillers, as well as facial peels, and Zerona, the FDA approved laser treatment for removal of circumferential fat. For information on any procedure, please call our office at (408) 356-4241, to schedule your free Cosmetic Consultation.]

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