5 Common Facelift Myths Debunked

Written by Minas Constantinides, MD, FACS, Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon on November 28, 2017 One Comment

facelift myths

Facelift surgery, technically called rhytidectomy, is an extremely popular cosmetic surgery procedure, with more than 131,000 facelifts performed in the United States in 2016. Its popularity is well validated as no other treatment can provide more dramatic results when it comes to reversing the common signs of facial aging.

A facelift is a surgical procedure that makes the face tighter and smoother by lifting up the face and neck skin with the underlying muscle.

There are, however, many invalid and downright unfair myths regarding facelifts. Here is the truth regarding several common facelift myths:

Myth 1 – Results look fake

The media loves covering bad plastic surgery. You’ve probably seen some botched facelifts on the cover of a tabloid while waiting in a checkout line. By and large, the bulk of those cases involve individuals who sought extremely unnatural results and underwent a series of surgical procedures, often against the advice of their plastic surgeons.

The truth is that a properly performed facelift procedure by an experienced plastic surgeon should not be extremely noticeable and certainly not unnatural in appearance. Board certified plastic surgeons are often able to create youthful and vibrant results without giving away any secrets.

Myth 2 – Facelifts are only for old people

There is no “right age” for a facelift. While the normal aging process causes facial skin and underlying muscle to loosen or sag over time, the net effects of such aging can occur at any age. Furthermore, early onset aging can be caused by a number of factors including a history of excessive sun exposure, smoking cigarettes, or simply neglecting to take care of the skin.

Younger patients with early aging issues may benefit from a mini facelift procedure. This is a modified facelift technique that is less invasive and provides a natural looking lift in the lower face and neck area.

Myth 3 – There’s only one type of facelift

No two faces are the same. Each individual patient has completely different facial characteristics, distinct aging symptoms, and goals in terms of final result. Fortunately, there are many different types of facelift techniques, each differing in how they reverse facial aging. There are even some great non-surgical facial rejuvenation options using lasers or dermal fillers and Botox. Many patients can also benefit from combining a facelift with complementary procedures like eyelid surgery or fat transfer.

Myth 4 – Facelifts are solely for women

Men and women equally experience facial aging issues and thus both genders can benefit from facelift surgery. In fact, the demand for male facelift procedures has increased 20% since the year 2000, while demand from females showed no significant growth over the same period. In 2016, approximately 12,000 facelift procedures were performed on male patients, equating to 9% of all facelift procedures in the United States (source).

Myth 5 – Recovery is long and painful

Facelift procedures, like any other surgery, do require patients to keep out of the public eye for a limited period time to recover. While downtime will vary based on the type of facelift technique performed and the health of the patient, most patients will find that they are able to return to work and normal activities after two weeks. Additionally, post-procedure pain is typically limited to the first couple days immediately following the procedure and can be managed through ice, elevation and prescribed medication.



Minas Constantinides, MD, FACS

Dr. Minas Constantinides is a board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon at Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in Austin, Texas. He is on the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) and is a Senior Advisor of the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS).

One Response to “5 Common Facelift Myths Debunked”

  1. Avatar Dr. Sherman says:

    I do like that you address the fact that there are actually multiple kinds of facelifts. After all, as you point out, there are many benefits to mixing a facelift with more modern forms of surgery. That makes any one facelift pretty unique as it has to take the patient’s individual face into consideration as well as any other procedures that they want to do.

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