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How long do the results of face lift surgery last?

Face lift_surgeryWhen considering a face lift, one of the first questions most patients ask is “how long will my results last?” Until recently, most of the answers to this question were anecdotal, but now new research published in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery has shown that face lift surgery does in fact produce long-lasting results.

Five Years after Face Lift Surgery

The study researchers analysed 50 face lift patients before and roughly 5 ½ years after face lift surgery to determine how their results were holding up over time. They looked at several classic signs of facial aging and formed them into both objective and subjective measurements:

  • Objective measurements that carefully gauged factors like jowl height and the angle of the chin to the neck.
  • Subjective assessments that examined key areas like the nasolabial folds.
  • Overall subjective assessment of the patient's appearance.

Based on their analysis, researchers were able to conclude that 76 percent of patients still looked younger 5 ½ years after having a face lift when compared to their before photos.

However, it’s important to note that some patients experienced a loss of improvement over time. Lines running between the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds) were the least likely to show diminished improvement over time, while the neck area was the most likely to exhibit some deterioration.

More Research is Needed to Shape Patient Expectations

Though the results of this study seemed to confirm anecdotal expectations of face lift surgery, it’s the first study to use rigorous standardized assessments to evaluate long-term results. To better address patient questions and expectations, more research on the topic is needed in the future.

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