How Long Does A Facelift Last?
Just as every individual face is different, the results of every facelift performed can vary as well. Many facelift patients can expect to look about a decade younger than their current age, which is a very dramatic result! Given the significant improvements the procedure can provide, along with the time and monetary investments required, it’s a given that many patients want to enjoy their new rejuvenated looks for many years following their procedure.
It is true that the results provided by any facelift procedure can fade over time as the natural aging process will continue post-procedure. That rate of decline, however, is dependent on a number of factors that are both within and outside of a patient’s control.
Here are some primary factors that determine how long results may last:
Skin Condition & Genetics
As with nearly anything body-related, our genetics play a key role in maintaining the benefits provided by facelift surgery. Typically, patients who undergo the procedure with darker and healthier skin enjoy longer lasting results compared to individuals who have fairer skin tones or some form of skin damage. Patient age at the time of the procedure can also play a role as patients who undergo facelift surgery before the age of 60 tend to enjoy the benefits for a longer term.
There are a number of different types of facelift techniques that vary in their degree of invasiveness. Typically, the more invasive the technique, the longer the results will last. A full facelift, for example, provides the most dramatic results that can last for up to 15 years post procedure. Less invasive techniques, like mini facelifts or S-lifts, yield more moderate results that typically last from two to six years.
Facelift surgery is often combined with other facial plastic surgery procedures like eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), brow lift, or rhinoplasty. Since these additional procedures enhance other areas of the face, adding them to a facelift procedure results in a more dramatic and longer-lasting end result. The aging process also causes a loss of volume throughout the face. The loss of volume is why the aged look more like a skeleton. I often use the analogy of a pillow and tell patients that the fabric has lost its elasticity and the stuffing has become compacted. A combined approach of removing excess skin and adding some fullness attacks the problem from both directions. Volume enhancement procedures such as fat grafting, fillers, cheek or chin implants can improve overall results.
The lifestyle of the patient, that is their diet, exercise routine, and skin care regimen, can have a significant impact on maintaining results. Patients who generally lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle will typically enjoy their new youthful appearance over a longer period of time.
Finally, the skill level and experience of your plastic surgeon can also play a role in how long facelift results can last. Experienced surgeons who specialize in facelift procedures have the ability to assess patient need and implement specific techniques that ensure the longest lasting results possible.
Tips to make facelift results last longer:
These simple tips can help patients maintain their procedure results for as long as possible:
- Select an experienced surgeon. Choose a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon with years of experience performing a wide variety of facelift techniques. Make sure to review before and after photos of their previous patients in similar age range as yourself.
- Follow all post-procedure instructions. Be sure to follow all aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon and show up for suggested follow up appointments.
- Practice sound sun protection. To slow the signs of aging, use a high SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen daily and avoid the outdoors during peak UV hours.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and use a high quality moisturizer daily to maintain proper hydration.
- Avoid alcohol. Heavy drinking ruins the health and appearance of the skin through dehydration.
- Quit smoking. Smoking cigarettes alters blood flow and accelerates the aging process, resulting in wrinkling and dull skin.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Any significant weight fluctuation (either loss or gain) can alter the results of your surgery. Maintain a healthy weight by eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly.
- Consider non-surgical cosmetic treatments. In-office treatments like Botox, dermal fillers, laser treatments, chemical peels, and medical facials can keep your skin looking youthful and vibrant.