The facelift is a powerful procedure that can help turn back the aging clock and provide comprehensive anti-aging results for people concerned about sagging skin, wrinkles, and lost facial volume. However, in order to achieve those great results, there is a surgical and recovery process that is quite invasive and costly for most patients. Because of this, many would-be patients are unsure as to whether or not the procedure is a worthwhile investment. The longevity of the facelift is important to take into account when determining whether a facelift is a good option for you. Naturally, long-lasting results are a must when it comes to an in-depth anti-aging procedure, but how long does a facelift last on average? It all depends on a number of factors.
General Longevity of Facelift Results
A quality facelift is expensive, but the results should last for several years at a minimum, and ideally, improvement should be visible for at least 10 years. However, since every person and every procedure is unique, there are many different factors that can contribute to how long the results of a facelift will last. These include:
Type of Facelift
Though many people think of the facelift procedure as a set surgery with clearly defined steps, the procedure is actually very custom and is tailored to suit each patient’s needs. There are many different types of facelifts, including “mini” lifts, limited incision facelifts, and the classic deep plane facelifts. More invasive procedures are more expensive and require increased recovery time, but the results are more dramatic and often last longer.
Addressing the aging of the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS) is an important part of many facelifts, and the way the surgeon attends to this will affect the longevity of the results. These facial muscles are lifted and tightened for a more youthful look, and are just as important, if not more, than the skin tightening that takes place during the procedure.
It has been observed that some skin types retain the results of a facelift longer than others. In general, patients with darker skin tend to see improvement for a longer period of time than fair-skinned people with thinner skin.
Certain lifestyle choices, including smoking, sun exposure, and past weight fluctuation affect the skin’s health and overall elasticity in a negative way. Unhealthy skin has a harder time bouncing back from facelift surgery and results may deteriorate more quickly following the procedure than patients with normal skin, especially if these habits are continued following surgery.
While a facelift is appropriate for many patients from middle age and older who are experiencing moderate to severe facial aging and are in general good health, there are some caveats for having the procedure performed at a more advanced age. First, the results may not be as dramatic, since more improvement will have to be made, but may be less noticeable, depending on the degree of aging. Second, good skin elasticity is a factor in the success of facelift surgery, and this tends to decrease with age. Finally, healing is often slower and aging often progresses more quickly as time goes on.
One of the most important factors in your facelift’s success is the surgeon’s skill. This is not only due to the quality of the initial results themselves, but how long those results will last after the surgery. When researching prospective plastic surgeons to perform the procedure, you should only select from board certified facial plastic surgeons with significant experience in facelift surgery. A natural, long-lasting result is the goal for facelift surgery, but it takes immense skill to deliver these results to suit each patient’s individual needs.
Dr. Haitham Masri of Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery is a triple board certified surgeon with over 25 years of experience in helping patients reach their goals. If you would like to consult with a facial surgery specialist about your dreams for a younger look, call (866-487-3223) to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Masri in Birmingham or Dearborn, MI.