A chance to skip the scalpel and avoid anesthesia -- and still repair aging skin -- might seem like a no-brainer. But the decision to choose Thermage over surgery isn't exactly cut-and-dried.
One "pro" for Thermage is that your convalescence will be minimal to nonexistent. You might be able to go for a Thermage treatment in the morning and be back in your office in the afternoon. At the very least, you'll be able to do anything you normally do -- even working out at the gym or outdoors (with sunscreen, of course).
On the other hand, if you've just had a surgical facelift, you'll spend some time recuperating at home. You'll have swelling, bruising and puffiness for two to three weeks, and you'll need to be careful of your stitches, which means you'll have to take a break from exercising and anything remotely strenuous for a few weeks [source: Schmid].
Despite the apparent advantages of Thermage, surgery might still be a preferable option for some people. In general, the more dramatic the result you seek, the more the scale tips in favor of surgery. If you're hoping to look 10 years younger, for example, surgery probably has a better chance of getting you there [source: Schmid]. Notwithstanding some positive reviews of Thermage, the fact remains that most people will see much more subtle results from the procedure than they will from surgery. How subtle is too subtle? That's a question you'll have to wrestle with before deciding which route to take.
Another thing to consider is the cost. Read on to find out how Thermage can affect your wallet.