Traditional vs liquid facelift

Facelift is a form of cosmetic surgery that aims to achieve facial rejuvenation by restoring the youthful appearance. There are two surgical procedures used to achieve facelift; rhytidectomy and liquid facelift. Rhytidectomy is the traditional form of facelift, and it involves surgical excision of wrinkles. It is the surgery of choice for eliminating skin sagging. On the other hand, liquid facelift describes a procedure that involves using fillers to fill facial regions where fat stores have been depleted. The decrease of fat stores in the face causes wrinkles and lines to appear. Jenny in sales at Cienega Spa adds, “The extra volume added by the fillers helps to make the skin on the face to be smooth by reducing wrinkles and lines. You will look 10 to 20 years younger.

When making a comparison of liquid facelift and traditional facelift (rhytidectomy), there is need to compare the benefits (merits) and demerits of each surgical procedure.

According to the 2015 statistics provided by the Society of Plastic Surgeons in America, facelift is the sixth most popular cosmetic surgery, with liquid facelift attaining 6.7 million sub-dermal injections.


Liquid facelift is a rather quick procedure which involves injecting filler substances underneath the skin of the face. This form of sub-dermal injection requires you to first consult with your plastic surgeon so that your surgeon can assess your fitness for the operation, as well as select the right filler substance for your face. There is need to assess your fitness because there are several strong contraindications that can disqualify you from facelift surgery. These contraindications apply to both liquid facelift and rhytidectomy, and they include existing chronic medical conditions that cause poor wound healing, use of blood thinners such as warfarin and heparin; and psychiatric illnesses that drive a patient to have unreasonable expectations about the facelift procedure. Also, before the facelift procedure, the plastic surgeon will require the patient to discontinue using blood thinners and aspirin for at least a week prior to the operation.

During both liquid facelift and rhytidectomy, your face is washed thoroughly with an anti-bacterial soap. However, unlike liquid facelift, in rhytidectomy, the plastic surgeon then makes several surgical excisions that allow for the lifting and separation of the facial skin from the underlying facial structures. This allows the surgeon to surgically remove excess fat as well as trim excess skin; and thereafter the trimmed skin is placed back on the new facial framework, and the incision closed properly so as to avoid scar formation. Therefore, unlike liquid facelift which involves sub-dermal injections of fillers, traditional facelift takes long hours to complete.


The longevity of facial rejuvenation achieved through liquid facelift is determined by the lifespans of the fillers used. For instance, hyarulonic acid-based fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm have a lifespan of about a year, while calcium hydroxylapatite fillers such as Radiesse have a lifespan of more than 12 months. For this reason, liquid facelifts require patients to go for touch ups at least once every year.

On the other hand, the facial rejuvenation achieved using rhytidectomy can last for up to 10 years, or even longer depending on the expertise of the surgical team that performed the surgery.

Recovery Time

Recovery time for liquid facelift is less than an hour after the subdermal injection, and you can continue with your daily routine after the procedure. Meanwhile, you require days to recover from rhytidecotmy, with bandages covering your face and pain killers numbing the pain associated with procedure.