Facial plast Surg 2010; 26(4): 296-302
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1262311
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Economic Analysis of “Liquid” versus Surgical Face-lift: Are Large-Volume Facial Soft Tissue Filler Injection Treatments a Viable Alternative to Rhytidectomy?

Joseph Biskupiak1 , Anthony P. Sclafani2 , 3
  • 1Department of Pharmacotherapy, University of Utah College of Pharmacy, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 2Division of Facial Plastic Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York, New York
  • 3Department of Otolaryngology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
27 July 2010 (online)


For many years, rhytidectomy has been the mainstay of facial rejuvenative treatment, and continued improvement of our understanding of the anatomy, aesthetics, and aging of the face has allowed the development of safer, longer lasting, and more natural surgical techniques. However, the renaissance of soft tissue augmentation that began at the start of the new millennium now offers office-based rejuvenative procedures that have been touted as equivalent to traditional surgical procedures, including the “injectable rhinoplasty” and, more commonly, the “injectable face-lift.” Although injectable filler treatments cannot exactly simulate the benefits of surgical rhytidectomy, they can significantly rejuvenate the face and obviate or delay the need for surgery. These are touted as simpler as well as easier and cheaper for the patient. But are they? No cost-effectiveness study of these “filler face-lifts” has ever been published, and the need for repeat treatments suggests that at some point in time, patient costs for these procedures may exceed those for a single surgical procedure. This study examines common scenarios for large-volume soft tissue filler facial rejuvenation and compares the costs of these treatments with those of traditional face-lift surgery.