It has long been believed that if you want true, noticeable results from your cosmetic procedures, then surgical is the way to go. But non-surgical procedures having been clearing a new path lately, and modern medicine is now leaning heavily in their favor—for very good reason. Read on to find out why you may be throwing money down the drain if you feel surgical investments are always the best option.
Now, it should be noted that we are not anti-surgical in any way. Surgical cosmetic procedures certainly have their place and can provide numerous benefits for extreme makeover cases. However, the average patient doesn't necessarily fall under that "extreme" category, and often we allow our desire for instant results to steer us down a costly, painful path when we could have had the same results with a more affordable option that required little to no downtime. And since most surgical options are not even available for most patients until they reach a certain age, non-surgical sessions are excellent options for younger patients that want to prevent the early signs of aging. Here are the top 5 reasons we think non-surgical is sometimes the smarter and healthier way to go.
This is a big one because in today's world, most of us in the market for a cosmetic procedure simply do not have an extended period of time to allow our bodies to recover from a physically taxing surgery. And surgery is not to be taken lightly. It is an incredibly invasive trauma to your body, and your body will need all the energy it can get to focus on healing itself. Neck and face lifts alone require one month of recovery, and that means dramatically reducing your ability to function as a full-time employee, parent, or otherwise active individual. Non-surgical neck and face lifts such as Ultherapy and Profound have come incredibly far in their ability to deliver compelling results at less than HALF the average cost of a surgical neck lift, and your downtime with both of them is next to nothing. You can go home after your procedure and wake up the next day fully able to go to work, the gym, or anywhere you please because recovery is nothing more than a little bit of superficial swelling or bruising. With non-surgical alternatives such as lasers, you're talking about a week of "social" downtime at most (meaning it will only impact your appearance and won't impact your ability to be physically active), and no downtime at all for a filler lift or chemical peel.
Did we mention that most of the costs of surgical procedures are at least double their non-surgical alternatives? In the cases of injectables, it's an even more significant difference. And if you are looking solely at the upfront cost of each procedure, it may be wise to consider other factors as well. Surgical enhancements typically come with additional surgery center fees, prescription painkillers, and any after care costs that may crop up if you happen to get an infection or experience any other complications. Add in the potential that it may be even more expensive in the metro area where you live and the time you missed from work and the costs begin to truly pile on. Before you know it the cost becomes significantly higher than double the non-surgical options. With non-surgical alternatives, the risks of complications occurring are next to zero, as long as you follow instructions on how to take care of your skin following a laser treatment, so any associated costs due to complications are unlikely.
"Most of my patients want to look like a better version of themselves and with soft tissue fillers, I am able to enhance their natural beauty. Whether it is correction of nasolabial folds that are just starting to creep up in their 30s, or deep lines and wrinkles with sagging skin in their 60s, fillers can be utilized to fill and contour an aging face. In my hands, the face is my canvas and the fillers are my color palette."
-Dr. Supriya Tomar
If you are one of many that shy away from non-surgical options due to the lack of permanence that is often associated with it, we have some bad news. That expensive, uncomfortable month you endured after your face lift or liposuction was, unfortunately, not permanent either. Things like aging and weight gain are dynamic, and no surgery is ever permanent. In fact with options like liposuction, you're looking at an average cost of $4,000-$7,000 for fat removal, and while the contouring of your body will certainly improve, statistics on weight gain following liposuction don't always paint a rosy picture. Some fat cells will always remain in the area, as well as other parts of the body, and their ability to expand and refill any treated area is always a possibility if the patient doesn't maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. Take Emsculpt as a perfect non-surgical (and painless!) alternative: it requires zero downtime, destroys 19% of fat cells in the treated area, and builds 16% more muscle mass, which leads to additional fat burning. There's no risk of complications, no pain or recovery, and unlike liposuction, you can go back for maintenance treatments as often as you like to keep your results. And it costs considerably less than liposuction. So if permanence is what you're seeking, think again about what might be better for your body, budget, and schedule.
Complications are one of the things we all hope and assume won't ever happen to us following a plastic surgery procedure, but they are a possibility and carry very real risks. Complications like nerve damage, infection, deep vein thrombosis, hematoma, seroma, scarring, anesthesia complications, and pulmonary embolism are just a handful of the most common complications of plastic surgery procedures. If you select a reputable surgeon and do your research with them, you may have given yourself the upper hand in this situation. However, even the most skilled and careful surgeons can't predict how your body will react in every way, and can do only so much to prevent these issues from arising. That's why it's important to consider how necessary surgery is for you. With non-surgical procedures, a majority of the risks listed above are completely eliminated. Infections and scarring are the only possibilities, however, they carry an extremely low likelihood of occurring.
We know you think you really, really need to erase every tiny little imperfection on your body, but we encourage you to step back and re-examine how much is truly necessary just yet. Many patients notice imperfections long before anyone around them will, and jumping to the conclusion that your cosmetic situation is so dire that only surgery can help may be a premature assumption. We strongly encourage patients to examine non-surgical options first, often because the patient is not in need of any drastic plastic surgery yet. If you are in need of just a slight lift in your neck, face and jawline, Ultherapy and Profound will be just as effective as any surgical lifts. If you have a small pocket of stubborn fat, Emsculpt and CoolSculpting are probably safer and more suited to you than liposuction. If you are in your 30's, 40's, and 50's, consider whether or not you are at the age where you might be able to achieve your desired results with less invasive options, and save the more invasive procedures for a later day when their results will be more significant and noticeable than non-surgical.
While many surgical cosmetic procedures certainly see excellent results, always speak with your doctor about your goals before making a decision and remember that non-surgical options may be more suited to your cosmetic needs, as well as less of an ordeal on your body—and your wallet.