Nasolabial Folds – Facelift or Filler? What’s the Most Cost-Effective Solution?

Nasolabial Folds, filler, facelift, Inland Empire
Stock Photo - Results every woman with nasolabial folds would want if they were possible

If you are one of the millions who have deepening nasolabial folds, you no doubt wonder what’s the best way to look younger and more attractive.  After all, people have a proven tendency to judge you largely by your appearance.  So, you rightly want to enjoy the benefits of a younger, more attractive new look.  At the same time, inflation hasn’t gone away, especially in facial plastic surgery.  You want to get the best value for your investment.   You might wonder if filler injections can improve your nasolabial folds with minimum discomfort and save you money.  Or if a facelift is the better option for your nasolabial folds.

There are definite considerations – physical and economic – that you’ll want to take into account.  Discussing them can help you recognize which option – fillers or facelift – makes the most sense for you.

Nasolabial Folds filler or facelift?  Your age makes a difference

Nasolabial folds often start becoming noticeable in your 40s.  If you treat them before they get too deep, fillers can make a lot of sense.  Of course, how your provider injects the filler makes a difference in how well it works.  Some providers claim that they can improve your nasolabial folds by injecting filler into your cheeks.  They believe that plumping your cheeks with fillers will lift your nasolabial folds and substantially soften them.  However, in all my years as a facial plastic surgeon, I have not seen this reliably work.

A better approach is illustrated here.  Your facial plastic surgeon, plastic surgeon, or cosmetic dermatologist will inject the filler directly into your nasolabial folds.  You can see how well this works with Bellafill in the photo below.

nasolabial folds filler, improve smile lines, improve nasolabial folds, nasolabial folds, Inland Empire, Bellafill, filler,

Before and After Bellafill injections for deep nasolabial folds

Why does your age make a difference? Because the younger you are, the more healthy your skin is likely to be.  In your 40s, you’re often still producing a reasonable amount of collagen and elastin – 2 key skin proteins.  You may not yet be experiencing the sagging facial muscles and skin that occur in your 50s, 60s, and 70s.  Filler injections can still work reasonably well.

Are nasolabial fold fillers cost-effective?

It all depends on your age and which filler you choose.  In your 40s you may only need three or four syringes to substantially improve your appearance.  Hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvéderm and Restylane typically cost around $700 to $800 per syringe in Southern California where I practice.  They may be a bit more or less depending on your location and the provider you choose.  That would give you a cost of $2,100 to $3,200 to substantially soften your nasolabial folds.

However, it’s important to note that what seems like a lower-cost approach won’t give you long-lasting results.  Your body will absorb those fillers in about a year.  So, you’ll have to plan for another round of injections in your annual budget or deepening nasolabial folds will return.

If you want a longer-lasting solution to your nasolabial folds, Bellafill is a better alternative.  This filler is FDA-approved to treat nasolabial folds for 5 years.  It’s more expensive than Juvéderm or Restylane – about $1,000 to $1,200 a vial where I practice.  So those 3-4 syringes will cost you $3,000 to $4,800 but can last five times as long.  This all makes good economic sense – if nasolabial folds are your only facial aging concern.

For nasolabial folds facelift makes more sense after 50

Once you’ve reached your 50s you generally have more facial aging than just nasolabial folds.  Marionette lines and jowls may start to appear.  Other facial lines deepen.  While fillers can improve these, it will take many more vials.  The economics often don’t make sense anymore.

Filling lines, wrinkles, and nasolabial folds in your 50s often takes 6-10 vials of filler.  To get five years of improvement with Bellafill, you’ll pay from $6,000 to $12,000 in Southern California.  If you’re paying that much money, you should pay a few thousand more and get a younger look that lasts a lot longer than five years.

Which facelift makes the most sense for you?

While there are several different types of facelifts out there, the most common today are the SMAS facelift and the Deep Plane facelift.  The SMAS facelift will give you natural-looking results at a lower cost.  It’s good for people with moderate aging primarily in the lower third of the face.  This procedure can do a good job of eliminating moderate jowls and marionette lines, as well as facial lines and wrinkles.  But the SMAS facelift will not improve your nasolabial folds.

turkey neck, turkey neck Inland Empire, facelift Inland Empire, neck lift Inland Empire, facial plastic surgery, Dr. Brian Machida
Patient, 73, Before and After SMAS facelift and neck lift by Dr. Brian Machida. Despite substantial improvement, nasolabial folds remain.

A Deep Plane facelift can provide far more than the SMAS facelift’s 1/3 of an inch lift.  The Deep Plane procedure can help you look years younger, providing dramatic results not possible with any other treatment.  You can find details in “A Better, Safer Facelift Smooths Nasolabial Folds and Marionette Lines that Others Can’t.”

As you can see from the patient photo below, a Deep Plane facelift will substantially improve your lower nasolabial folds.  It’s more expensive than a SMAS facelift, but if your lower nasolabial folds are a major concern, this is the facelift for you.

facelift, facelift Inland Empire, deep plane facelift Inland Empire, inflation, facelift inflation, nasolabial folds, best facelift, Dr. Brian Machida
Before and one week After Deep Plane Facelift by Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS. Dramatic improvement, including in cheeks and nasolabial folds, is seen while patient is still healing.

A SMAS facelift typically costs $10,000 to $17,000 depending on where you get it.  A Deep Plane facelift can cost as little as $17,000 to as much as $27,000, $50,000 or even more in Beverly Hills and New York City.  I’m able to charge less because of the techniques explained in “How to Make a $27,000 Beverly Hills-Quality Facelift Cost Much Less.”

Nasolabial Folds Filler or Facelift?  Do the Math

As long as you follow your surgeon’s common-sense recommendations, facelift results often last 10 years or more.  A Deep Plane facelift can make you look dramatically younger and more attractive.  Depending on the surgeon and where you get your procedure, Deep Plane facelifts can cost as little as $17,000 to as much as $27,000 or more.  Doing your homework can make a real difference in what you pay for a truly high-quality facelift.  Is a Deep Plane facelift a good deal?

First, let’s take a look at what fillers will cost you.  To get the greatest degree of facial rejuvenation possible with fillers, the most economical filler over a 10-year period is Bellafill.  Let’s assume you can get Bellafill injections for $1,000 per vial.  If you have enough facial aging that you’re even considering a facelift, you’ll need 8-10 vials of Bellafill.  Remember, Bellafill lasts 5 years, so over a 10-year period you’ll need two rounds of shots – 16-20 in all.  Here’s how that adds up:

16 Bellafill vials at $1,000/vial = $16,000 – Yearly cost: $1,600

20 Bellafill vials at $1,000/vial = $20,000 – Yearly cost: $2,000

If this seems like a lot, compare the cost with hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers like Juvéderm and Restylane.  They cost less – $700 to $800 per vial – but only last a year.  Note what the same substantial level of facial rejuvenation – 8 to 10 vials, costs per year with hyaluronic acid fillers:

8 Hyaluronic Acid filler vials at $700/vial – Yearly cost $5,600

10 Hyaluronic Acid filler vials at $700/vial – Yearly cost $7,000           CONTACT Dr. Machida Inland Empire, CA

Deep Plane Facelift – $17,000 to $50,000 – Yearly cost $1,700 to $5,000

As you can see, a Deep Plane facelift can cost thousands less per year over 10 years than hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvéderm and Restylane.  It even costs less if you pay celebrity prices in Beverly Hills.  Depending on how many vials of Bellafill you need and who performs your Deep Plane procedure, that facelift can cost some $500 less per year.  If you’re in Inland Empire, California, you could save even more.  My Deep Plane facelift cost is on the lower end of the price range.  Find out more at “Facelift Inflation – Does a Higher Price Guarantee a Better Result?”

And a Deep Plane facelift gives you far more than filler injections.  No filler can get rid of a turkey neck, neck banding or a double chin.  A Deep Plane facelift can handle all three (the double chin requires adding neck liposuction).  A Deep Plane facelift will substantially soften your lower nasolabial folds, lift your cheeks and improve your midface while eliminating jowls.

deep plane facelift Inland Empire, mini lift, mini facelift, cost, mini lift vs full facelift, nasolabial folds facelift
Before and After Deep Plane Facelift by Dr. Brian Machida.  Her neck is substantially improved without a neck lift.

Fillers make good sense if you’re relatively young and just need to improve your nasolabial folds a bit or fill some facial hollows.  If you have jowls, marionette lines, other facial lines, and wrinkles, a SMAS facelift can improve those.  But if your facial aging is more extensive, your cheeks are sagging, you have deepening nasolabial folds, or your neck is also aging, a Deep Plane facelift is definitely the way to go.  The formula is:

  • Age 45 or less, minor nasolabial folds = Filler
  • Age 50 or more, facial aging + minimal nasolabial folds = Facelift
  • Age 50 or more, facial aging + neck aging + deepening lower nasolabial folds = Deep Plane Facelift

What would work best for you?  A board-certified facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who specializes in the face and neck can say for sure.  If you’re in Inland Empire California, come see me for a free consultation at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario.

 Please share this article using the links below:

About Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS

Dr. Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon. He has an exceptional level of experience, having performed ( read more )

Articles by Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS

Nasolabial Folds – Facelift or Filler? What’s the Most Cost-Effective Solution?

What’s your best and most cost-effective option for improving your nasolabial folds – filler injections or a facelift? Expert facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Machida discusses the pros and cons of each method, including how much each will cost you. [Read More]

Facelift Inflation – Does a Higher Price Guarantee a Better Result?

Inflation – now it has hit the facial plastic surgery market. Is facelift inflation necessary? Can you get an outstanding facelift for less in the United States? [Read More]

Bags Under Your Eyes – What’s the Better Solution – Blepharoplasty or Filler Injections?

If bags under your eyes are making you look older than you feel, what’s the best way to treat them? Is blepharoplasty – eyelid surgery – the best way to go? Or, are fillers a good option? An expert facial plastic surgeon reveals the facts. [Read More]

How Can You Afford a Great Facelift?

Can you afford a facelift in this time of inflation? How can you get an outstanding new look that fits your budget? For a great, affordable facelift Inland Empire highly experienced facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Machida tells what should be on your checklist. [Read More]

Marionette Lines – How Can You Get Rid of Them?

Marionette lines can make you look old and sad when you don’t feel that way. How can you get rid of marionette lines? Is a facelift the only way? Are there marionette lines fillers? Does Botox work? Inland Empire, California expert facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Machida tells you the answers. [Read More]

Sagging Cheeks – What’s the Most Cost-Effective Way to Rejuvenate Them?

If you want to firm up your sagging cheeks, what’s the most cost-effective way to do it? A highly experienced, board-certified facial plastic surgeon tell you how. [Read More]

Thick Neck? Tech Neck? Why Neck Liposuction Often Fails in Younger People

Do you have a thick neck? Or, have you developed a Tech Neck? Many younger people with these issues turn to neck liposuction. But this may not solve the problem? Why not? Could there be a better solution? An expert facial plastic surgeon gives you the facts. [Read More]

Is the Ponytail Facelift a Better Facelift?

Should you get the Ponytail Facelift? Is the “new facelift” better? Highly experienced, board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Brian Machida of Inland Empire, CA discusses what the “new facelift” can and cannot do and presents what might be a better alternative for you. [Read More]

Facelift Scars – Will People See Yours?

If you’re considering a facelift, are you worried about facelift scars? A highly skilled and experienced facial plastic surgeon discusses whether or not you need to be concerned about facelift scars, and what to do if you have noticeable facelift scars. [Read More]

How to Make a $27,000 Beverly Hills-Quality Facelift Cost Much Less

How much should an outstanding facelift cost? A highly experienced facial plastic surgeon, who performed 4,000 facelifts and taught at the University of Southern California, shows how the right surgeon using the right methods can make a great facelift much more affordable. [Read More]