With the aging baby boomers in the US, in 2011 alone about 119,000 facelift surgeries were conducted by board-certified plastic surgeons, making it the fifth most popular cosmetic surgery.
While facelift aims to rejuvenate the face by minimizing the wrinkles and sagging appearance, it does not offer a lasting result or stop the aging process. But knowing that the surgery’s lifespan is affected by a patient’s lifestyle, at least she could do certain things that may prolong her youthful appearance.
The exact lifespan of facelift largely depends on the technique used by surgeons. For instance, a surgery involving only the loose skin does not give long lasting results, making the procedure less popular nowadays. With skin-only facelift, the rejuvenated appearance could only last between three and six years.
On the other hand, SMAS facelift in which plastic surgeons go deeper into the tissue layers and muscles can provide results that may last for up to eight to ten years. In addition, the approach can significantly rejuvenate the face by tightening the jaw line and neck area.
But some younger patients deem SMAS facelift too invasive for them, so they ask for a minimally invasive approach such as the mini lift, which targets the mid facial region. But one downside is that they will eventually need the traditional technique if they want to maintain their appearance.
With mini facelift, patients should expect that the result would last an average of 2-4 years.
In case the wrinkles and sagging return, there is no problem repeating the procedure. However, patients should realize that revision facelifts only last an average of 2-7 years, depending on the surgical technique applied.
Because some of the tissue manipulation has already occurred, a revision facelift does not provide the same rejuvenating effect of the initial surgery.
One way to prolong the result of facelift is by complementing it with volume restoration, i.e., fat transfer or dermal fillers, and ancillary procedures like neck lift, eyebrow lift, and eyelid lift. While this means additional cost, at least patients enjoy a rejuvenated appearance that could last for up to 12 years.
But plastic surgery can only do so much. Patients should also do their part to prolong the result of facelift; this includes living a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a normal weight, avoiding too much alcohol and smoking, and protecting the skin from the harmful UV rays.
Perhaps keeping a normal weight is the most crucial part of facelift “maintenance” as massive weight fluctuations more often than not result to jowling and excess skin and fats in the neck.