Surgical vs Non-Surgical Facelift

What is the difference between a surgical and non-surgical facelift?

The surgical vs non-surgical facelift debate has been ongoing for some years now. Whether to undertake a surgical procedure with longer lasting results but more downtime or go for the less invasive option of a non-surgical facelift but see more subtle results.

This is a debate that many of our patients have thought about so if this is a question you are asking yourself then keep reading to find out more.

The Trend in Non-Surgical Procedures

Over the past few years, non-surgical facelifts (commonly known as the 8 Point Facelift) have been used more frequently as an effective alternative to surgery. Advances in technology and the products we use in clinic, have allowed us to see better and longer-lasting results from non-surgical treatments than in previous years. This is a shift that we are seeing across a whole range of surgical treatments.

This shift however is making it more difficult to know whether the surgical or non-surgical facelift is the right option for you. To help you understand the differences between the two we have created a table showing a simplified comparison of both a surgical and a non-surgical facelift. This is a generalised overview of the main differences to be used as a guide in weighing up your options:

Non-Surgical Facelift    Surgical Facelift   
Price from £1600* from around £5000*
Anaesthesia Topical General
Treatment Time 45 minutes From 3 hours*
Downtime Minimal* At least 10 days*
Scarring None Yes – but hidden
Stitches None Yes
Results Lasts 12-18 months* Lasts 2 – 10 years*

*These are estimates and will differ between practitioner/surgeon, technique used and each individual.

Surgical vs Non-Surgical Facelift: The Details

Now let’s look at each element in a bit more detail:


Price can be a major factor in deciding whether to go ahead with surgery or not. Prices for a surgical facelift differ greatly dependent on which type you have: full facelift, mini facelift or MACS facelift however you will find that in almost all cases the non-surgical facelift will be a less expensive option than surgery. You also have to take into account whether you would have a repeat treatment. As the table suggests; results for a non-surgical facelift may not last as long as a surgical facelift meaning you may need a repeat treatment, which in the long run may work out more costly.


During a surgical facelift you will be put under general anaesthetic, which means you will be asleep when the surgery takes place. This does take some time to recover from and some people may experience side effects. With the non-surgical option you will have a topical anaesthetic applied, which is a type of numbing cream to minimise the pain. The numb feeling wears off after a couple of hours and the risk of side effects from this is minimal.

Treatment Time

On average, the length of any surgical procedure is longer than a non-surgical treatment in clinic. So if time is an issue for you then the non-surgical facelift would be more appropriate.


Downtime from a surgical facelift differs greatly on you as an individual and the type of facelift you have. In general you will have to rest for around 7-10 days and are likely to have some bruising and swelling but some people may take slightly longer to recover. On the other hand, the non-surgical facelift may also give you some slight bruising or swelling but you will be able to go straight back to your daily activities after the treatment.


It is very unusual to experience scarring after having a non-surgical facelift and even though you will have scars with the surgical procedure these are commonly hidden from view.


No stitches are used during a non-surgical facelift whereas stitches are used during a surgical facelift but these are removed a few weeks after surgery.


Getting great results from a procedure is the reason we go ahead with it. A surgical facelift by an experienced surgeon will, in most cases, result in an excellent outcome. You will see a noticeable lift that can last from anywhere between 2 and 10 years but sometimes longer. With a non-surgical facelift the results are noticeable but subtle and generally last between 12 and 18 months.

So if you are looking for a long lasting, noticeable result from your treatment and are happy to endure more downtime to get these results then a surgical facelift may be the best option for you. If you would like to book a surgical consultation then please visit our sister company Aurora Clinics.

If you are looking for a more subtle result and would prefer to be able to go straight back to your daily activities after your treatment then a non-surgical facelift would probably be the better option. To discuss your options further with one of our expert practitioners then just give us a call on 01844 318825 and we can book you in for a free consultation.