Facelift or BOTOX® Cosmetic—Which Is Your Best Option?

BOTOX or a Facelift? How to decide which is best.

Wrinkles and facial aging happen to everyone, but the extent to which they occur and the ways they can be dealt with vary. Indeed, facial rejuvenation is an incredibly popular part of our practice, and most patients are concerned about undoing some of the effects of aging. While the “gold standard” for treating facial aging has long been a facelift, my Boston patients have other, less invasive options. Chief among them is BOTOX Cosmetic, a longtime favorite of men and women alike who want to reduce the look of certain lines and wrinkles, particularly those that are formed or exacerbated by facial movement. Let’s look at these 2 titans of facial rejuvenation and compare their possibilities and limitations.

BOTOX Cosmetic

This ubiquitous injectable treatment is popular because it creates noticeable results with a very small investment of time. The active ingredient in BOTOX is a neuromodulator that’s been widely used and trusted in medicine for years. Throughout the last decade, BOTOX’s popularity in aesthetic medicine has exploded. Typically, BOTOX is injected in selected areas of the upper face to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet and lines on the forehead.

BOTOX doesn’t really require any sort of recovery time. After the brief appointment, patients can go back to their normal daily activities. Sometimes the treatment can leave behind localized symptoms, such as bruising or itchiness near the injection sites. These are usually fairly mild and go away on their own within a couple of days.

What’s possible? 

Closeup of woman wearing stylish makeupThe results created by BOTOX are certainly noticeable, but they’re not comparable to those created by facelift. The main objective of a BOTOX treatment is to reduce the appearance of specific lines and crinkles on the upper face. BOTOX cannot tighten skin in the same way that surgery can. And while injections are less expensive than a surgical facelift, repeated treatments are required to maintain appreciable results. Over time, the price of repeated treatments can add up, eventually making BOTOX as expensive as or even more expensive than surgery. We typically recommend BOTOX for patients who want to treat very specific, relatively minor concerns. It can also be used to help enhance the results of surgery.


This classic age-defying procedure has gotten a makeover of its own over the past several years. Today’s facelift improves the quality and position of the underlying facial muscles in addition to tightening skin. This deep approach results in an incredibly natural looking result that can last for quite a long time—often as long as a decade. Through incisions made around the ears and just behind the hairline, a facelift can create dramatic results with a resulting scar that’s relatively discreet. In my practice, I use the Crisalix 3D imaging system to help plan each patient’s surgery in detail. By completely visualizing each individual’s desired outcome, I can ensure I’m working toward the proper goal.

What’s possible? 

Model in black and white photo with pensive lookFacelift surgery revitalizes the lower two-thirds of the face, including the jawline, chin, and portions of the neck. By adding youthful definition to this area, a facelift can make you look younger without making you look unrecognizable. However, because a facelift is a surgical procedure, it requires anesthesia (usually sedation anesthesia) as well as a period of recuperation. Most patients need to take 1or 2 weeks away from work and other social activities. Once the face has healed, the results of facelift can endure. You can get a good sense of the type of results possible in our gallery of before-and-after photos.

I want to work with you to create the facial rejuvenation results you’re envisioning, whether it’s through BOTOX, a facelift, or another approach entirely. I invite you to contact my office to request your initial consultation. We can bring out the best in your unique face.


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