Non-Surgical Facelift vs Surgical Facelift: What’s the Difference?

Any discussion about how to treat facial changes must begin with an understanding of the primary cause of sagging and folding skin. As we age, the shape of our face changes due to the loss/erosion of the supportive structures below the skin. These supporting structures, known as the Foundation, consist of bone, muscle, connective tissue, and fat. The loss of these supportive structures causes a hollowing effect below the skin, and the appearance of facial folds and sagging on the skin. The options to repair this condition are either a surgical facelift or a non-surgical BaseLift.

Facelift – The Surgical Option

The surgical option reshapes the face by cutting the skin and moving the tissues. The procedure permanently removes and repositions the skin and tissues of the face in an effort to reduce the appearance of sagging skin on the face. The skin is cut and stretched over the hollow areas below the skin, moving the skin to a new position.

The results are permanent and cannot be altered. Although a facelift is considered to be permanent, most individuals will experience additional skin sagging and folding as they age. Some individuals who have had a facelift may begin to look even more distorted over time due to the sagging and folding that continues after the facelift

Watch: Dr. Bracci performs the BaseLift in one lunchtime appointment.

BaseLift – The Non Surgical Option

The BaseLift procedure is a non surgical facelift option that differs from a facelift in a few ways. The biggest difference is it is non-surgical, so there is no cutting or moving of the skin or removal of tissue. The results are not permanent and can be adjusted.

The goal of the BaseLift is direct targeting and restoration of the foundation, the main source of our sagging skin and folds. During the procedure I use a cannula to inject different types of cosmetic fillers under the skin to compensate for the lost foundation, re-supporting the sagging skin and moving the skin closer to its original position. The primary reason people choose BaseLift over surgery is not wanting to cut or move the skin of the face, nor wanting to make permanent changes to the face.


There is no such thing as a one-filler-fits-all for the face. During a BaseLift procedure, I consider the complete facial architecture to target the right filler (firm or soft) in the correct location.

The results – Individuals leave my studio looking like more like themselves, refreshed and revived with their natural glow shining through. The cosmetic fillers applied are not permanent, and adjustments can be made as we age. I advise yearly visits to maintain the best results, but most people choose less frequent visits.

Choosing whether surgery or cosmetic fillers are right for you is a lifestyle decision and should be based on your individual goals. Whichever option you select, for the best results, work with either a surgeon who limits their practice to facelifts or a physician who dedicates their entire practice to cosmetic injectables.

During your consultation, an extensive before and after portfolio will be presented to you, making it easier for you to decide if the professional’s results coincide with your best self-image.

Note: BaseLift(™) is a trademark of Dr. Stephen Bracci, MD and exclusively performed at his NYC and NJ Bergen County studios.