Aside from the surgeon’s core competencies, several factors can also affect facelift results such as the patient’s diet, skin quality, sun exposure, weight fluctuations, and commitment to recovery and healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Tarick Smiley, a prominent Inland Empire plastic surgery “figure,” has recently posted videos on Snapchat to explain the impact of skin elasticity on the feasibility and long-term effects of facelift.
“It is important that you take care of your skin by limiting sun exposure. When the skin has significant sun damage, facelift will have no or very little effect,” he says.
Furthermore, he advises his patients to avoid sun exposure or at least use sunscreen and protective clothing for one year following their facelift surgery to prevent hyperpigmentation in which the scars turn darker permanently.
Aside from photo aging of the skin caused by sun damage, Dr. Smiley explains the other factors affecting facelift results to help people realize that its long-term success would also depend on their level of commitment.
Aside from natural effects of aging, sagging skin and lax facial soft tissue also stem from massive weight loss. Hence, the patient’s chronological age does not determine her candidacy for facelift.
Meanwhile, the right candidate for facelift should be near her ideal weight (at least 25-30 percent of her ideal BMI) and must be fully committed to healthy lifestyle to prevent weight gain, which can affect if not completely reverse the results of surgery.
- Commitment to recovery
While postop instructions may differ from doctor to doctor, there are generally agreed upon guidelines such as avoiding over-exertion for at least three weeks; complete smoking cessation one month before and after surgery; use of sun protection for one year; and sticking to the advice of one’s surgeon without any modification.
When the patient rushes her recovery, she runs the risk of less than optimal results, poor scars, and wound healing problems.
- Superb diet
All facelift patients are required to achieve their optimal health prior to surgery, which a superb diet plays a critical role. Moreover, consuming the right nutrients can aid in healing and prevent delayed recovery and less than optimal scar appearance.
- Facial structure
While the surgeon’s skillset will have a large effect on facelift results, it is important to note that the patient’s underlying anatomy, particularly her facial structure, will also dictate the outcome. For instance, someone with a thinner face generally achieves more rejuvenating effects than someone who carries more weight in her cheeks and neck.
Again, poor lifestyle choices can have a detrimental impact on skin quality. This is particularly true for smokers who are prone to premature skin aging and thus the rejuvenating effects of facelift become limited.
Furthermore, the vast majority of facial plastic surgeons discourage or at least limit the types of procedures they perform on smokers—unless they are committed to complete smoking cessation for at least one month—because of the increased risk of skin necrosis, poor healing, bleeding problems, and serious surgical complications.