How Long Does a Facelift Last? – Answer by Dr. DeMars

Posted on March 29, 2015 by: Dr. Ronald DeMars

Virtually every patient that comes in to see me for information on a facelift rightly wants to know how long facelift results will last. First we need to understand terminology. The term “facelift” is fairly generic and refers to some type of procedure that makes the cheeks, jowls, and neck look younger and more pleasant.

The facelift can be accomplished in a number of different ways. The very early lifts were simply done by tightening the skin. They look OK for a while but are rarely done anymore. In the 80’s, surgeons started lifting the deeper layers of the face, using something we call a SMAS Lift, getting a much more natural look, but the risks were more significant than a simple skin lift and the swelling and bruising could last for quite a long while. The results, however, were very pleasing and had a good longevity.

About 10 years ago, surgeons started developing a facelift technique that looked good quickly and had a much lower risk, shorter down time, and also had little discomfort. There are a variety of names for this type of lift, each one involving minor differences from the others, but all involve lifting the deep SMAS tissues in a different way to get the same excellent and long lasting results in a less aggressive surgery. A very significant number of these patients are back into their normal life in 1-2 weeks.

So now let’s look at the question of how long a lift lasts. The best explanation I have come across was told me by a very senior surgeon and I have always rememberd it.  He would tell the patient this story:

“If you and your identical twin came to my office when you were 50 years old and only you had the surgery and then you looked 40, you would be very happy. When you both came back to see me in 10 years, your sister would now look 60 and you would look 50 because 10 years had passed. So did it last? Of course it did, but you didn’t like your look at fifty. So maybe you will want a second lift, but the benefits of the first lift are still with you and will always continue to be there.”

Have more facelift questions? I invite you to visit our office for a consultation – just give us a call at (503) 253-3458 or fill out this “contact us” form.