When it comes to big investments of time and money, including facial plastic surgeries, we all want the best we can get. When it comes to a facelift surgery, there has never really been a clear-cut rule about what age can deliver you the best results. In fact, patients as young as their 30s and well over their 60s are often encouraged by the projected results a facelift can give them. While the initial results might be just as desired, is there a way to plan a facelift surgery that will last longer? It’s all in the timing, according to research conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

First Facelifts vs. Follow-Up Facelifts

A first facelift surgery, of course, is considered to be the very first facelift surgery performed on any one patient. A follow-up facelift, on the other hand, is considered a secondary facelift surgery performed as a way to enhance results after some time has passed. Both procedures are designed to combat the signs of aging in varying degrees, including wrinkles, drooping skin, and more. First facelifts are now often sought by patients in their 30s and 40s, lowering the average age of those treated in this manner.

A traditional facelift surgery is performed using incisions along the hairline that continue around the ear and then down to the lower scalp. Through these incisions, your facial plastic surgeon is then able to manipulate the tissues of the lower face to be tighter, while removing any of the excess. Facial muscles in this area are often tightened as well, in order to provide support to the overlaying tissue. Fatty deposits around the chin and jaw are redistributed or removed, often involving the use of refined liposuction techniques appropriate for facial use. Any follow-up procedures to the initial facelift may need to use alternative techniques to prevent excessive strain or damage to this delicate area.

Facelift Results: What to Expect

Many facelift patients are thrilled with their initial results: a tightened jaw line, improved facial profile, and more youthful appearance. Even a surgery like this, however, can’t stop or even pause the aging process. As the hands of time keep moving, the signs of aging will eventually show themselves once more. At least you’ll have about 10 years’ head start on everyone else, though!

Most facial plastic surgeons agree that patients can expect their facelift results to last a little more than a decade. This holds up against the average time it takes a patient to request a follow-up facelift: 8 to 12 years after surgery. Maintaining your much-loved, youthful look with a booster facelift can help you to keep enjoying your appearance for several more years to come.

The “Magic” Age for Best Results

While a facelift surgery will deliver the same top-notch results initially to every patient, the lasting power of your own results can vary based on your age. Of course, there is no such thing as a magic or perfect age to have any procedure done at all, but careful research can help you to be more economical in your planning. Studies have shown that men and women in their 30s, especially up to and including age 35, get the longest-lasting results from a facelift surgery. Great results lasting over a decade can also be achieved by patients under 50 years old, so don’t get upset if you missed the first boat.

After 50, the duration of facelift results start to fade a little. Most patients in the 50-60 bracket, as well as those over 60 years old, show the same initial satisfaction with their facelift results but found themselves looking for a follow-up facelift much sooner than their younger counterparts. For these age groups, 8 to 10 years after the first facelift seems to be the time for some maintenance.

If you’re part of this older group, don’t lose hope! A facelift can still take off to a decade of aging from your face and give you that burst of self-confidence as soon as you’re healed. Through proper maintenance and care for your skin, like wearing sunscreen and exfoliating regularly, you might be able to extend your happiness with your facelift for much longer. As nice as it is to group people by neat age brackets, there are exceptions to every rule. Break the rules and work hard to stay looking great. If you do find yourself needing a booster, don’t worry. Facial plastic surgeons are trained in the techniques needed to help you results that are as close as possible to your first post-op look.

How Will a Facelift Help at Your Age?

Schedule your facelift consultation with Dr. Robert Kessler, a board certified general and facial plastic surgeon, to learn more about what this surgery can do for you. Dr. Kessler completed his medical degree with honors from Tufts University in Boston as well as a distinguished General Surgical Residency with North Short/NYU in New York. Prior to that, he completed a Plastic Surgery residency with the US Air Force and the University of Texas.

Today, Dr. Kessler operates his surgical practice in California, has worked as a surgical consultant and surgical assistant on ABC’s Extreme Makeover, and has lectured nationally and internationally on topics including facial rejuvenation, plastic surgery, and body contouring. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kessler, contact his office, located at 2121 E Pacific Coast Hwy #200, in Newport Beach, CA, by calling 949.644.6544.

All Articles >