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| By

Phillip Barbee, MD

Blonde woman smiling

Facelift surgery is a gold standard for the rejuvenation of the neck and the lower two-thirds of the face. When a facelift is performed properly, the underlying structures of the face and neck are repositioned to where they used to be before the influence of time and gravity. The cheek is raised, the deep folds around the mouth are diminished, the jowls are lifted, the jawline is defined, and the neck is tightened. This “deep plane” approach produces a natural and youthful appearance. The wind-blown or operated-upon look is a thing of the past! 

Although the outcomes of facelifts are undeniable, there are some things to consider when pursuing a surgical procedure. A facelift is typically performed under general anesthesia which requires clearance from your regular doctor. Even though a facelift is a remarkably painless surgery (most patients only complain of temporary neck tightness and tenderness in the ears), there is some downtime involved. Patients can expect a recovery period of 10-14 days with most people returning to work or their normal daily activities within two weeks.

A facelift is a fantastic option for those who can afford to take some time off and are ready for surgical facial rejuvenation - but, what about the rest of us? Luckily, with modern technology, there are a plethora of non-invasive options to rejuvenate the face and neck without any incisions or anesthesia and little to no downtime. 


Many people associate filler with fuller and more youthful lips but in recent years the application of filler has expanded to full face rejuvenation. An important component of the facial aging process is the loss of volume. Dermal fillers can be used to replace that volume loss achieving a fuller, more youthful appearance. Fillers also can be used to define the cheekbones, jawline, and chin. It can be carefully placed to camouflage the folds around the mouth and reduce the appearance of the jowls. The great thing about filler is that it can be comfortably performed in just a few minutes, the downtime is virtually zero, and the results are immediate! 


When threads were originally introduced to the market, many people were concerned with the longevity of the lift they claimed to provide. Over the years, newer materials were developed and the placement technique was improved. Not only do current-day threads provide longer-lasting results, the materials they are now made of actually induce the body to create collagen! This provides natural volumization in addition to lifting the cheeks, jowls, and neck. Similarly to filler, the results are immediate, the downtime is virtually zero, and they can be placed in less than an hour in the office. 


Microneedling is a technique that has been around for a long time but recent advances have made it a particularly effective method of facial rejuvenation. The most advanced form of microneedling allows us to deploy the microneedles at precise depths and deposit energy at very specific targets. It can be used to tighten underlying muscle, melt fat, tighten skin, and resurface the skin. Because microneedling relies on your body’s response to the procedure, the results are very long-lasting. It is usually performed only with topical numbing cream and downtime consists of some redness in the area for about a day. 


Energy-based technology is one of the most exciting and newest forms of facial rejuvenation. A probe roughly the diameter of a pen tip is used to deliver radiofrequency energy to various levels of the neck and lower face. When this energy is deposited, the results are tightening of the underlying muscle, reduction of fat in the neck and lower face, and tightening of the skin. Patients should be aware that the results of this procedure are not immediate but rather gradually appear with time. Many people consider this an advantage because within a few months they progressively have an improved neckline with no evidence that any work was done! 

Suture Suspension

In the early days of facelift surgery, surgeons would place a suture from ear to ear to accentuate the jawline and tighten the neck. With advances in surgical technique, that suture was no longer needed to achieve a tight neck but the same concept has been reinvented in a new form. A clever technique was devised which allows for the in-office placement of this suture without the use of any incisions but rather tiny pinpoint holes which heal invisibly. The results of suture suspension are long-lasting and no surgery is required! 

Which is best for me?

With all of these available options, how do you decide which is best for you? The first step is to be evaluated by a provider who is well-versed in each of these techniques. Each person’s situation is unique and determining which procedure is best suited for you is critical in achieving the most optimal outcome. Another common question is if more than one of these procedures can be performed at the same time. The answer is a resounding yes! Dr. Ross Clevens and I have pioneered a combination of several of the most advanced non-invasive procedures available into what we call the Express Lift Plus. In our experience, many of these procedures are complementary to each other and when combined, an even greater result can be achieved. The Express Lift Plus is performed in the office with local anesthesia, takes about an hour and a half to perform, and requires NO incisions! Most people can work from home the following day and be back in the office in only a few days. 

The best way to find out if you are a candidate for any of these procedures is to schedule a consultation with one of our providers. Our approach is to target your specific goals together and customize a treatment plan that is best for you, so you can look and feel your very best. 

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