How many facelifts can you have in a lifetime?
Though facelifts are a major surgery that you would not want (or need) to repeat every year, there is no limit to the number of facelifts a person can have. If you are currently considering getting another facelift and your last was done anytime within the last 3 years, you are probably too early for a second surgery.
But could you get a second facelift within 3 or 5 years of your first? Yes, you could. Healing and recovery (to the point you were ready for another surgery) would have been fully complete well before then (by about 12 months out at the latest), and there would be no technical or safety-related reasons why you could not have a second lift if you wanted one.
Facelifts “last 10 years,” but patients find otherwise
Facelifts are often said to last up to 10 years (Mayo Clinic).
Ten years is also often promoted as a sort of minimum lifespan for the procedure; a promise of “15-20 years” is about as common.
And while that sounds great when you are first looking for a facial plastic surgeon, it’s not always accurate.
Some facial plastic surgeons say they revise (or re do) facelifts for patients who just had the surgery 2-3 years previously.
That calls into question the actual lifespan of a facelift. Two years is not 10.
And it turns out that that “10 years” promise may have been pulled out of thin air:
“Surprisingly, there is very little scientific literature to enable doctors to give an honest and straightforward answer [to how long a facelift will last] so they tend to pluck a number out of the air.”Barry M. Jones, M.D., 12/17/2012 (There remains very little literature on it.)
A patient’s recovery work, their preparations for surgery, and their post-surgery diet and lifestyle also plays into the lifespan and quality of results of a facelift or any other plastic surgery procedure, but again, even 5 years isn’t 10.
How long do facelifts last?
According to the one study actually conducted on the lifespan of a facelift, 5 ½ years after a facelift, patients will still look younger than they did prior to having their facelift [5.5 years previously.]
Extrapolating this, it means that were you to get a facelift right now in 2022, you would:
- Feel that you look between 6.7 to 12 years younger on average, according to two separate studies of patient’s feeling regarding their facelift and their newfound youthfulness.
- Look 4.3 years younger on average, according to a 2021 study that used artificial intelligence systems to determine visual-age changes in facelift patients. (The AI systems correctly predicted 100% of the facelift patient’s ages prior to surgery.)
- Longevity: And you would look younger in 5 ½ years than you do today, according to a study that spanned more than a decade and involved reviewing photographs at the 5.5 year post-op mark.
Results will naturally vary based on each patient and their surgeon as everyone matures differently.
Finding a board-certified facial plastic surgeon should be your main priority when choosing a surgeon since they are familiar with cutting-edge methods that may maintain your skin lifted and young for a longer period of time.
The benefits of a properly performed facelift may last up to 10 years. Or they may not. Five and a half years is the longest timespan that was tested in studies.
This is particularly true if you take good care of your skin by using high-quality moisturizers and serums, and you regularly undergo procedures like dermal fillers or laser skin tightening to maintain the benefits of your facelift in the years following your surgery.
The following factors may impact or promote your facelift outcomes:
- Age: Results are often more durable in younger individuals around the ages of 30s and 40s due to their higher skin elasticity. When someone approaches their late 50s to 60s they might notice more aging effects after the initial facelift procedure.
- Skin Condition: Long-term outcomes are more likely to be maintained in patients with healthy, damage-free skin.
- Skin Care Regimen: To delay the appearance of wrinkles or excess skin, maintain a regular skin care regimen that includes cleansers, moisturizers, and plenty of sun protection.
- Sun Exposure: Excessive sun damage may speed up aging and destroy the benefits of a facelift. For this reason, it’s recommended to use sunscreen or cover your skin after a facelift.
What to do if your skin starts to sag again
Unfortunately, there is no way to make the effects of a facelift stay indefinitely.
Sagging skin will ultimately return as a result of gravity and age. If this happens, your plastic surgeon may advise you on both surgical and nonsurgical ways to maintain your young appearance.
In most cases, you’ll be able to get a revision facelift.
Is it safe to get a revision facelift?
It is possible to undergo a second facelift and have it turn out even better than the first.
A revision or secondary treatment is done after an initial facelift in order to preserve the benefits of the first procedure and to address additional sagging skin or hanging jowls that may have developed over the course of time.
As long as the outcomes are properly monitored and cared for, they are deemed to be just as safe as the initial treatment.
Is it possible to get a facelift more than once or twice?
In a purely medical sense, there is no limit to the number of facelifts that one person may have over their lifetime.
But it is important to keep in mind that having an excessive number of facelifts performed might lead to outcomes that seem less natural and more artificial than they really are.
A face that has had an excessive number of procedures may have the appearance of having been “pulled” or “worked on,” which is not necessarily appealing for the end outcomes.
Can you get non-invasive facelifts instead of another facelift?
The thought of a secondary surgery can scare (and scar) some individuals. The good news is that you may be able to prolong and maintain some of your results and a more youthful appearance by doing a nonsurgical facelift.
Skin sagging may be temporarily supported, a double chin can be treated, and the face’s shape can be restored using wrinkle relaxers and dermal fillers. This implies you won’t need to undergo another surgery.
Even if you may receive many facelift treatments over the course of your lifetime, it is important to keep in mind that the end goal should probably be an outcome that appears more or less natural.
If you have too many procedures done, you run various risks, including having outcomes that are unnaturally overdone and excessive overall.
What facelifts do
Facelift surgery is the most effective way to “reverse” or correct the most common age-related changes that leave the faces of both men and women looking aged, dull, droopy, and lackluster:
- Skin laxity
- Sagging skin tissue
- Loss of volume in the mid face
- Deep folds or creases around the mouth and nose
[Photo by Andrea Piacquadio]