Face Lift vs Non-Surgical Anti-Aging Treatments: Which one is right for me?

Eunogo prides itself on being able to help our clients make well-educated and thoroughly-researched decisions. Over the past few months we at Eunogo have received a ton of questions about different kinds of anti-aging procedures. We are so lucky to have gotten a chance to speak with Dr. Yoo Won-Jae from Dream Plastic Surgery about effective lifting and anti-aging procedures available in Korea. If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between thread lifts and face lifts and which one is right for you? Here’s your chance to find out!

Dr. Yoo Won-Jae from Dream Plastic Surgery

Q: Today we are speaking with Dr. Yoo Won-Jae, from the famous Dream Plastic Surgery, in Seoul. Hello, Dr. Yoo, first things first, can you tell us the advantages of having plastic surgery in Korea?

Dr. Yoo: First of all, most people who come to Korea for plastic surgery understand that results and safety are far more important than price. Secondly, the operations are complex and detailed, and the clients experience a higher level of satisfaction. Finally, a benefit to having surgery in Korea is that we have incredibly high safety standards and excellent results due to the doctors’ extensive experience.

Q: What is the difference between a lifting treatment and surgery?

Dr. Yoo: Basically, surgery changes the face by incisions - it is far more invasive. For example, to tighten the face, we can reduce the volume by removing the fats, or on the other hand, adding fat into the face - these are both surgeries. As for treatments, we're talking about lasers, high frequency and ultrasonic waves, which improve wrinkles on the surface of the skin and inner skin elasticity, and so on. These are the basic lifting treatments. These days, surgical effects are possible with simple procedures such as thread lifting to lift parts of the face or using filler to give a patient more volume. The scope of treatments is really allowing us to choose the best options for the clients - sometimes surgical, sometimes not.

Q: What is the most important thing when deciding on a treatment or surgery?

Dr. Yoo: First of all, you should not decide on a procedure or surgery based on just your age or the thickness of your skin. You should decide on a treatment or surgery by deciding what changes you want to make in your face to get the results you want to see. Also, you should definitely not decide on a procedure just because your friend had good results with it, because it will not look good if you simply follow what your friend got. Everyone’s face and body is so different! A professional should help you make your decision.

Roosita with Dr. Yoo Won-Jae

Q: Let’s talk about non-surgical treatments. Can you talk to us about using threads to help in anti-aging?

Dr. Yoo: There are different types of threads. When your face is drooping, we use a thread that tightens your face up. When skin elasticity is lost, we use a thread that gives the skin elasticity. When a part is heavily wrinkled, we use a thread that lifts the area up. Each type of thread will change the area of surgery in different ways, such as the shape, the effect, and so on. You can classify the different types of threads as dissolvable and non-dissolvable threads. The non-dissolvable threads were used a lot in the past because the effects will last longer if we use a non-dissolvable thread. When we use dissolvable thread, it's naturally absorbed and you can have the effects that you wanted, and most importantly, they are safer: the non-dissolvable threads are like a prosthesis in the nose or chest, and may one day cause issues for the patient, which is why it is avoided as much as possible.

Depending on the product, the non-dissolvable threads that are elastic are good for lifting the neckline.  Sometimes when a non-dissolvable thread is inserted into the face, it can cause scars and dents, but this is rarely a problem in the neck area. But in terms of how effective each kind of thread is,, the difference is not that big. We use the different threads according to the effect you want, and on the area that is being treated.

Q: We have recently seen a dangerous trend of people getting thread lifts for cheap at salons. Can you talk to us about this?

Dr. Yoo: In Korea, many procedures were done at hair salons in the past and this is a terrible idea. First, the environment is not sterile, and you do not want to get an infection from the procedure. This can lead to all sorts of complications beyond aesthetics. Second, no matter how simple it may seem, we have a lot of different muscles in our face that make facial expressions. That's exactly what plastic surgeons would consider. In those cases (non-clinics), you could get unwanted adhesions or twisted mouths. To solve those problems, you need to do surgery again to correct the inside of the face. What's worse is that there are parts of a botched job that can't be fixed. It might be a little cheaper and more convenient to get it at a hair salon, but you might have some really irreversible side effects and you will pay more for it down the line. Please always consult a professional.

Q: Doctor, there are a number of lifting surgeries. Can you explain them according to each area?

Dr. Yoo: We can address three main areas of aging: the first thing is that as we age, some areas of the facial muscles become weaker. Secondly, those weakened areas begin to sag. Finally, there is a change in facial volume as we get older. Additionally, in the case of the neck, the muscles are divided on the left and right, which leads to vertical wrinkles and it looks like it is drooping, so we gather the muscles to return it to the way it was, and lift the sagging parts. Finally, we adjust the volume such as the volume of tissues, subcutaneous fat, and salivary glands. Sometimes this it will cause smile lines and mouth corner wrinkles, and the broad muscles of the SMAS and platysma droop. We have to lift this up as well. Likewise, in the eyebrow and forehead areas that I mentioned earlier, the muscles that hold your forehead and the muscles that close your eyes separate more than you think. The separated parts are pulled tighter and fixed together and if you fix it on the top so that it stays in that position, you'll see the best results.

Q: Is it okay to do the forehead, facial, and neck lifting surgeries together?

Dr. Yoo: Aging does not occur on only one area, signs of aging appear in all parts of the face at the same time, especially when you are in your 50s or older. You will get a really balanced face if you get the neck, mid-face and forehead lifting surgeries together. If you feel that "Only my mid-face is sagging," then it's fine to operate on just that part, but then the wrinkles around the eyes can get worse. On the other hand, if only forehead lifting surgery is done, when only the forehead is lifted, your face becomes more square-looking. So, for those who are over 50 years old, they usually get the full face and neck lifting surgeries together. However, for the parts that lack volume since birth, for example, the forehead or under the eyes, just operating on those parts alone can be enough.

Dr. Yoo examining Roosita's suitability for anti-aging surgery

Q: What is the most important thing when getting a lifting surgery?

Dr. Yoo: I will tell you it is not important to get a lot of lifting - if you do too much your face can look awkward. It's most important to make your face look like how it was when you were young. And if the cause of that is sagging or volume loss, we have to address the surgery in different ways. So for patients who say "Please lift this much, no, more!" That's not what's important. Because if you lift everywhere, you might end up looking the same in the future again. And in cases where patients get excessive lifting the skin becomes thinner, blood vessels that you didn't know existed begin to show up on your face, and fine lines become deeper. Those would become harder to solve.

Q: How long does it take to see the lifting effect after the procedure?

Dr. Yoo: You can see satisfactory results right after the lifting surgery, and you'll feel prettier the day after the surgery. In about six months, the effects will begin to disappear. After the surgery, the first thing you feel when you look in the mirror is, "Ah~ Isn't it too lifted?" That's actually how much you have to lift, and once the swelling goes down, it'll naturally settle down in the right places. It will feel quite tight until we take out the stitches, which may leave some tiny holes. But 2-3 weeks after the operation and after stitches are removed these can easily be covered with makeup and your face will feel naturally lifted. Then, after six months to a year, you will have satisfactory results.

Q: Lastly, what would you like to say to those considering lifting procedures? What should they know when deciding between surgery or a non-invasive procedure?

Dr. Yoo: Patients who receive lifting are usually a little older. It's distressing to think about getting a revision surgery when you're old. So, first of all, let's avoid having to do a revision surgery! Instead of thinking you're going to look like you're in your 20s after the surgery, be realistic. It is also important to avoid smoking or stress post-procedure as this can affect the healing of scars and maximize side effects. Make sure that not only your face, but your whole body, is healthy and in good condition.

Thank you so much for your answers and taking the time to speak with us.

Dr. Yoo: You’re welcome.


Before and After Photos of Anti-Aging Surgery at Dream Plastic Surgery

We hope this interview was beneficial to you. If you have any questions about anti-aging or other surgeries, please send your questions via Instagram DM to Eunogo’s Instagram @euno.go or leave us a comment below!

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