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Top Three Facelift Alternatives

One thing I can proudly say about our team at Charleston Aesthetics is we offer you the best products, the best experiences, and the best service options out there that align with our values regarding both safety and efficacy.

The stigma surrounding cosmetic procedures is dwindling year by year. I've seen a shift in my friends and our clients from "if" they'd ever consider injectables or surgery to (more often than not) "when" they want to start getting filler and tox or have surgery. Techniques have improved and innovations have come a long way, that enables us to give you beautiful and natural results without changing what makes you, you. > So then, how do you take the next step when you know you're ready for a change?

Of course we all know there's more to consider than just cost when it comes to any of these procedures. Most people have a number of questions and considerations including:

The most frequently asked questions about non-surgical cosmetic surgery

We at Charleston Aesthetics keep all of that in mind when discussing your options with you, based on your aesthetic goals. As a former plastic surgery OR nurse of many years, I understand what the big cosmetic procedures involve, and I understand as a woman closer to 40 than 30, that gravity and sun aren't particularly kind to any of us. When you combine my experiences with Dr. Sarathy's decades of cosmetic, oral and facial surgery expertise, you have a very well-rounded knowledge base on how to provide you with a comprehensive portfolio of services to choose from.

If you've ever found yourself tugging back on your face to imagine what it would look like, keep reading!

We've noticed that one of the most common areas of concern for our patients is the jawline and neck area. A patient may come in for a general consult and tell us that of all the things he/she would like to work on, the sagging and jowling areas along the jawline are of utmost concern. "Marionette lines" are another pesky problem area, and laxity in the neck is a common concern, too.

The reason for the sagging areas is multifactorial, but it predominantly boils down to a shifting of the facial fat pads as we age. As we lose collagen, the retaining ligaments that hold our facial fat pads in place start to stretch out and the fat pads begin their slow descent down south. In our 20s and 30s our fat pads are mostly in their original place, but then once we hit our 40s and 50s the ligaments aren't quite as effective at holding everything in place. Take a look at the image below.

There's no doubt about it; a lower facelift and neck lift would be the most effective option here, but understandably many people are hesitant to go under the knife.

> If a major surgical procedure is off the table we have three options here to address the issue:

  1. Dermal Fillers to mask some of the signs of aging and restore lost volume.

  2. PDO Threads to lift the fat pads back and create collagen along their tracts.

  3. Facetite to liposuction the double chin area and tighten the skin along the mid and lower face DERMAL FILLERS BEFORE & AFTER

The before and after of Dermal Fillers
Provider: Julia Miller, RN | Dermal Filler

Dermal fillers are made up of hyaluronic acid gel that is injected via a small needle directly under the skin or against bone. The main purpose of filler is to restore lost volume, but it can also mask areas of irregular texture and fat deposits to mimic a smooth bone structure. Additionally, studies have shown that hyaluronic acid fillers also stimulate collagen growth, meaning your body will help auto-replenish some lost volume in any area that's been injected.* PROS OF DERMAL FILLERS

  • Natural

  • Affordable

  • Comfortable

  • Non-Invasive

  • Can be reversed

  • Minimal social downtime

  • Ability to fill small or large areas

  • Stimulate small amount of collagen

  • Immediate results, with improvements over 2 weeks

  • Adds hydration, giving you a more youthful appearance


  • Can inadvertently add bulk to areas that you want to slim or streamline.

  • Short duration of results, can last anywhere from 9 mos- 2 years on average.

  • Can cause tissue damage if a blood vessel is occluded. Make sure your provider has hyaluronidase on hand prior to injecting you...


Before and after progress photo for PDO Threads procedure
Provider: Julia Miller, RN | PDO Threads, 1 Session

PDO (Polydioxanone) threads are dissolvable surgical sutures made of synthetic polymer and have been used in surgery for decades. They have high tensile strength, giving us the ability to lift or reposition skin and fat pads. When placed in the subcutaneous layer, threads are attached to the migrated fat pads and we're then able to lift them back into place or even higher depending on your aesthetic goals and provider's judgment.

They state the science behind their products best here:

_____ "As both a medical device and cosmetic implant, PDO succeeds because it's widely accepted by the body without causing allergic or immunoreactions. What it does cause, however, is a small inflammatory response that works much like the micro needles that trick your skin into detecting damage. Once inserted, your body reacts to dissolvable PDO threads as if they're instances of damage, amplifying collagen production within the affected area for months and even years to come. After the PDO thread dissolve, you'd body continues to prioritize facial skin when distributing healthy, rejuvenating structural proteins." *



  • Affordable

  • Non- Invasive

  • Very little social downtime

  • Provides immediate lifting results

  • Removable in the short-term if patient desires

  • Creates long- lasting collagen as they dissolve

  • All side effects are temporary and typically confined to the first two weeks

  • Can be used safely in all areas of the face, and in many places all over the body


  • Relatively short duration

  • Will need to be numbed

  • Can be moderately uncomfortable

  • Must eat a soft diet for 3-5 days after the procedure

  • The full lifting effects of threads typically last 18mos to 2 years but the collagen formation is long-lasting

  • On occasion patients will need oral medication for anxiety or pain, in which case they would need a driver to escort them home afterwards.


Before and after outcomes of Facetite procedure
Provider Credit: Dr. Hester & Inmode | Facetite

Facetite is a procedure that combines InMode's insanely popular radiofrequency micro needling device, Morpheus8, with additional bipolar radiofrequency to deeper tissue layers, as well as submental liposuction. This procedure is completed under oral or IV sedation, but is surprisingly painless. I would know, because I had it done in the Fall of 2022.

Submental - under the chin - liposuction is done first via 3 tiny incisions along the jawline. After the liposuction, Dr. Sarathy inserts a tiny RF probe in those same 3 incisions and delivers targeted and precise bipolar radiofrequency energy, aimed to melt fat, stimulate collagen and "shrink wrap" the skin back against your jawline. Once he's done, Estelle or I come in and do a deep Morpheus8 micro needling session while you're still comfortable. We recommend you follow up with at least 2 more sessions of Morpheus8 over the next few months to really improve texture and tightening. PROS OF FACETITE

  • Painless

  • Minimally invasive

  • Highly targeted treatment

  • Tightening results last for many years

  • Tightening and texture improve over time

  • Permanent reduction and elimination of submental fat


  • Results aren't as immediate

  • Social downtime is increased

  • Requires sedation and a driver

  • Must take a preoperative antibiotic

  • Not appropriate for patients with pacemakers

  • Greater financial investment than the previous two options

  • Swelling lasts 5-7 days and must wear an under- the- jaw headwrap for 20 hours a day to improve results

Whew! I never said brevity was a strength of mine, but the above info about sums up our non-surgical facelift options! I encourage you to explore all of your options prior to having any surgical procedure done so that you can be a fully informed patient.

Chat soon!,


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