In the world of aesthetic procedures, there are the noninvasive ones and the invasive ones. And for every beauty concern that you could possibly think of, there’s an option out there for it—some of which involves surgery and some doesn’t.
Not every noninvasive treatment out there is going to address every problem. And, while some nonsurgical techniques can lead to improvement, they may not garner the same result as what you may get with surgery.
We asked the experts for their opinions on when you should go the surgical route versus opting for a nonsurgical treatment, and here’s what they had to say.
Go nonsurgical when you want to test-drive what your surgery results could look like.
New York facial plastic surgeon Matthew White, MD, says that many patients who are nervous about getting surgery feel more comfortable with a noninvasive option, like Ultherapy. “They like the results, and about one year or so later, end up going in for a facelift. Interestingly enough, some of my patients also do Ultherapy following surgery to help maintain their results,” he says. “The purpose of a surgical facelift is to reposition the supporting fascia and ligaments of the face, which affects the architecture of the face. Ultherapy stimulates cell turnover and creates new collagen and elastin, affecting the biology of the skin.”
Do a pinch test to determine how much loose skin you have—a lot means you need surgery.
Purchase, NY, plastic surgeon Michael Suzman, MD, says you can follow this general rule when deciding between a noninvasive treatment and surgery. “When there is significant loose skin—enough that you can easily pinch it between two fingers—it likely has to be removed to be improved. This is true of the neck, jowls and eyelids.”