Q : I had a facelift right after this past Christmas. While it turned out great and I wouldn’t change a thing, I forgot to ask my plastic surgeon how long it would last. What is your take on the longevity of facelift surgery? What can I expect to look like five years from now? Will I eventually look like I did right before the facelift?
A: The simple answer is…you will eventually outlive the results of your facelift. In fact, I would argue that is your goal, to be able to live long enough to need some type of tuck-up or secondary facelift. In that answer lies an important truth…facelift surgery is not permanent. Its lack of permanency is because the surgery treats the symptoms of the problem but not the problem itself which is unstoppable aging.
The complex answer is that it is very difficult to predict how long the results of a facelift will last. The rate at which people age is highly variable and depends on the interplay of numerous factors including heredity, sun exposure, stress, smoke and environmental poison exposures and nutrition. The quality of one’s skin, its thickness and elasticity, and the shape and support of the underlying facial bones play a major role in the stability of a facelift result.
The age at which a facelift is done is also an important factor as aging accelerates at different stages of life. As an example, the results of a facelift performed at age 50 can be expected to last longer than the results of a facelift done in a 65 year-old.
But for those that like numbers, on average, most patients will get at least five to seven years of good longevity of a facelift. Some patients make take as long as ten to twelve years to see a significant return of jowling and loose neck tissue again.
Dr. Barry Eppley