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How Long Do Facelifts Last?

Facelift surgery is often perceived as the pinnacle of treating changes caused by facial
aging.
The surgery does require investment in time and resources so it’s natural for someone
considering a facelift to inquire about how long the benefits of the surgery should last.
I’ll discuss how I counsel my patients as to the longevity of facelift surgery for their
individual situations.
I’m Dr Amiya Prasad.
I’m a Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon and Fellowship Trained Oculofacial Plastic & Reconstructive
Surgeon.
I’ve been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years.–>
I’ve been performing facelifts throughout my career, and have brought my own innovations
into the procedure such as performing facelift surgery under local anesthesia with LITE sedation
instead of general anesthesia, modifying different types of facelift incisions, and applying
advanced healing materials for better incision healing.
These have all helped make post-surgery recovery easier and faster for my patients, without
compromising the quality or longevity of results.–> Oftentimes people assume facelifts as being
permanent.
However, no cosmetic procedure is truly permanent since no procedure stops the aging process.
I stress how the objective of a facelift from my personal aesthetic is to help patients
look more like younger versions of themselves.
This means I strive to maintain their individual, unique facial character.
Generally speaking, I’d estimate the benefits of a facelift can last 5-10 years.
There are individual factors affecting the perception of longevity for each patient,
in particular the age at which the facelift was performed.
The timing of when in a person’s life a facelift is recommended in my practice has
changed as other aesthetic procedures have been introduced.
For example, to compensate for bone and soft tissue volume loss associated with aging in
the mid thirties and later, I use long lasting injectable fillers, which I place at the bone
level using a technique called structural volumizing.
The results from structural volumizing can actually appear comparable to a surgical facelift.
Generally a facelift is recommended for significant changes in the skin, muscle, and soft tissue
which results in laxity and downward descent.
This tends to happen from age 50 and older.
There are some cases where a younger person may have a limited facelift due to genetic
factors which cause earlier tissue laxity.–> As is often the situation with cosmetic eyelid
surgery, the age when surgery is performed is important in predicting the longevity of
benefits.
For example, a person who has upper eyelid surgery done when they are in their 30s will
have results which will change with age differently than a person who has the same surgery done
in their 60s.
It’s important to understand that aging changes are not just limited to the skin.
The most significant changes are actually deeper which is at the bone level as well
as the soft tissue just below the skin.–> As I mentioned earlier, facelift results can
be expected to last in the 5 to 10 year range.
My aesthetic for all my cosmetic surgeries as well as non-surgical procedures such as
facial fillers and Botox, is for my patients to retain their facial characteristics that
are unique to them while helping them look younger and refreshed.
Some facelift surgeons believe in a more exaggerated aesthetic, and they have patients who actually
want that look.–> It’s common for patients inquiring about
facelift surgery to be aware that there something called “tightening the muscle” for a facelift
to be performed optimally.
This means that any facelift operation involves some manipulation of a very important support
structure called the SMAS, or the superficial musculoaponeurotic system.
You can think of it as the foundation that helps reinforce and support the position of
the skin that is being moved upwards.
There is a lot of finesse to facelift surgery.
The objective is to optimize aesthetic repositioning with resultant improvement in the neck angle
and jawline while minimizing the visibility of the incisions and preventing any distortion
of the earlobe.–> I routinely perform my facelift procedures
under local anesthesia with LITE IV sedation, so patients can recover more quickly than
they would if the surgery was performed under general anesthesia.
By doing this, our patients are able to leave our operating suite, which is located in our
office in about 1-2 hours after surgery with a small facial bandage, to go home and recover.
This is in contrast to general anesthesia where its routine for you to have to stay
overnight in a facility with facial drains and a nurse to monitor you.
My facelift patients will generally experience limited swelling and some mild bruising.
They usually return to work and their normal routine in about a week to 2 weeks.
Technique combined with the application of stem cell based wound healing technology such
as extracellular matrix and PRP contributes to this quicker recovery.
As with any surgery, the healing process continues for about 1 year.–>
Regardless of facelift technique, the skin and underlying tissue does relax over the
course of 1 year since facial movement and tissue elasticity creates a certain level
of softening of the initial higher level of tissue tone right after surgery.
I educate my patients to expect this before surgery and to remember that young faces aren’t
tight or pulled faces.
A younger face has a youthful appearance based on facial balance and skin quality.–>
It’s important to recognize that once the soft tissue and skin is repositioned after
facelift, there is additional opportunity afterwards to further improve your appearance
by addressing volume loss.
As we get older, facial volume from bone, muscle, fat, and soft tissue diminishes, Many
times, I actually combine volume enhancement with facelift surgery through the placement
of implants and cosmetic fillers.–> For the purpose of restoring facial volume
related to bone loss, I perform a specific technique called Structural Volumizing.
This is an approach where long lasting cosmetic fillers such as Juvederm Ultra Plus are placed
much deeper than with traditional techniques.
This means that the fillers are placed at the same level as facial implants which is
just above the bone structure, and under the muscle layer.
I’m able to create more defined facial volume and structure.
Traditional placement of facial fillers is in the soft tissue layer just beneath the
skin.
The filler in this space can shift, and can make you look doughy and pillowy.
In contrast, I perform Structural Volumizing to create a stable and defined contour.
I often see people who’ve had their facelift performed elsewhere and question why the don’t
look as good as they had hoped.
For these patients, I routinely place filler at the cheeks, chin, and jawline.
Now their facelift results looks much better because there is improvement in the underlying
facial structure.
This approach has been a relief for many people who had facelift surgery and thought they’d
need to have another facelift surgery.
Instead, in less than 30 minutes in an exam room, they look significantly better with
Structural Volumizing.
While the benefits of a facelift can be present for a long time, it’s important to remember
that a facelift does not address bone volume loss or stop the aging process.
It’s important to have a proper evaluation to look at the different aspects of facial
aging.
In my practice, the long term strategy after facelift surgery integrates volume correction
and other nonsurgical procedures to help my patients look their best.
I hope you found this information helpful…thank you for your question

Facelift surgery is often perceived as the pinnacle of treating changes caused by facial aging. The surgery does require investment in time and resources, so it’s natural for someone considering a facelift to inquire about how long the benefits of the surgery should last. I’ll discuss how I counsel my patients as to the longevity of facelift surgery for their individual situations.

I’ve been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 25 years. I’ve been performing facelifts throughout my career, and have brought my own innovations into the procedure such as performing facelift surgery under local anesthesia with LITE IV sedation instead of general anesthesia. Modifying different types of facelift incisions, and applying advanced healing materials for better incision healing. These have all helped make post-surgery recovery easier and faster for my patients, without compromising the quality or longevity of results.

facelift surgery done under local anesthesia - before and after
facelift done under local anesthesia - before and after

Oftentimes people assume facelifts as being permanent. However, no cosmetic procedure is truly permanent since no procedure stops the aging process. I stress how the objective of a facelift from my personal aesthetic is to help patients look like younger versions of themselves. This means I strive to maintain their individual, unique facial character.

How Long Does a Facelift Last?

Generally speaking, I’d estimate the benefits of a facelift can last 5-10 years. There are individual factors affecting the perception of longevity for each patient, in particular the age at which the facelift was performed.

The timing of when in a person’s life a facelift is recommended in my practice has changed as other aesthetic procedures have been introduced. For example, to compensate for bone and soft tissue volume loss associated with aging in the mid thirties and later, I use long lasting injectable fillers, which I place at the bone level using a technique called Structural Volumizing, also called the Y Lift. The results from Structural Volumizing can actually appear comparable to a surgical facelift.

Before and after Y Lift Facelift performed by Dr Amiya Prasad
facelift without surgery before and after - y lift

Generally a facelift is recommended for significant changes in the skin, muscle, and soft tissue which results in laxity and downward descent, which tends to happen from age 50 and older. There are some cases where a younger person may have a limited facelift due to genetic factors which cause earlier tissue laxity.

Deep Plane Facelift Before and After

deep plane facelift before and after recovery results - three-quarter view
deep plane facelift before and after - early 60s years old female - quarter view

It’s common for patients inquiring about facelift surgery to be aware that there is something called, “tightening the muscle” for a facelift to be performed optimally. This means that any facelift operation involves some manipulation of a very important support structure called the SMAS, or the superficial musculoaponeurotic system. You can think of it as the foundation that helps reinforce and support the position of the skin that is being moved upwards. There is a lot of finesse to facelift surgery. The objective is to optimize the aesthetic by repositioning, with improvement in the neck angle and jawline, while minimizing the visibility of the incisions, and preventing any distortion of the earlobe.

How Long is Facelift Recovery?

I routinely perform my facelift procedures under local anesthesia with LITE IV sedation, so patients can recover more quickly than they would if the surgery was performed under general anesthesia. By doing this, our patients are able to leave our in-office operating suite in about 1-2 hours after surgery, with a small facial bandage and go home to recover. This is in contrast to general anesthesia where it’s routine for you to have to stay overnight in a facility with facial drains, and a nurse to monitor you.

My facelift patients will generally experience limited swelling and some mild bruising. They usually return to work and their normal routine in about a week to 2 weeks. Technique combined with the application of stem cell-based wound healing technology such as extracellular matrix and PRP contributes to this quicker recovery. As with any surgery, the healing process continues for about 1 year.

facelift recovery after two weeeks - how long do facelift last
facelift surgery recovery before and after 4 weeks
before and after deep plane face and neck lift
deep plane face and neck lift patient before and 4 weeks after surgery

Regardless of facelift technique, the skin and underlying tissue does relax over the course of 1 year, since facial movement and tissue elasticity creates a certain level of softening of the initial higher level of tissue tone right after surgery. I educate my patients to expect this before surgery, and to remember that young faces aren’t tight or pulled faces. A younger face has a youthful appearance based on facial balance and skin quality.

It’s important to recognize that once the soft tissue and skin is repositioned after facelift, there is additional opportunity afterwards to further improve your appearance by addressing volume loss. As we get older, facial volume from bone, muscle, fat, and soft tissue diminishes. Many times, I actually combine volume enhancement with facelift surgery through the placement of implants and cosmetic fillers.

How Do You Fix Lost Facial Volume?

For the purpose of restoring facial volume related to bone loss, I perform a specific technique called Structural Volumizing. This is an approach where long lasting cosmetic fillers such as Juvederm Ultra Plus or Juvederm Voluma are placed much deeper than with traditional techniques. This means that the fillers are placed at the same level as facial implants, which is just above the bone structure, and under the muscle layer. I’m able to create more defined facial volume and structure. Traditional placement of facial fillers is in the soft tissue layer just beneath the skin.

facelift surgery with facial volume correction before and after recovery
facelift with facial volume correction before and after recovery

The filler in the soft tissue space can shift, and can make you look doughy and pillowy. In contrast, I perform Structural Volumizing to create a stable and defined contour. I often see people who’ve had their facelift performed elsewhere and question why they don’t look as good as they had hoped. For these patients, I routinely place filler at the cheeks, chin, and jawline. Their facelift results look much better because there is improvement in the underlying facial structure. This approach has been a relief for many people who had facelift surgery and thought they’d need to have another facelift surgery. Instead, in less than 30 minutes in an exam room, they look significantly better with Structural Volumizing.

While the benefits of a facelift can be present for a long time, it’s important to remember that a facelift does not address bone volume loss, or stop the aging process. It’s important to have a proper evaluation to look at the different aspects of facial aging. In my practice, the long-term strategy after facelift surgery integrates volume correction and other non-surgical procedures to help my patients look their best.

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