How Long Does a Facelift Last? and Other Facelift FAQs

Women after facelift procedure smiling into the mirror and touching her face (model)

The decision-making process involved when considering facelift surgery requires getting answers to several questions. How long does a facelift last? Are facelift scars noticeable? How long is recovery after a facelift? This blog post will address the most frequently asked questions about facelifts, shedding light on everything from various techniques and potential risks to recovery expectations.

Facelift FAQs

How does a facelift work?

A facelift surgeon reverses the signs of aging on the lower face and neck by tightening and repositioning underlying muscles and removing excess skin. It’s essential that the surgeon carefully re-drapes the skin so the results look natural and not like the patient had “work done.” Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon is the first step to ensure you get desirable results.

What is a SMAS facelift?

SMAS is short for superficial musculoaponeurotic system, a fibrous network of tissues beneath the skin that extends from the face to the neck. The SMAS facelift is one of the most common techniques plastic surgeons use to perform facelifts. It replaced the “skin-only” facelift technique that produced results that looked unnatural. During a SMAS facelift, the underlying SMAS layer is repositioned and tightened along with the skin, creating longer-lasting results than traditional facelift techniques. This method addresses skin laxity and deeper tissue sagging, providing more comprehensive facial rejuvenation.

How long does a facelift last?

So, what does long-lasting mean when it comes to facelift results? On average, the results of a facelift can last between 7 and 10 years. People who get facelifts at a younger age tend to see results last longer. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, protecting your skin from sun damage, and following a good skincare regimen can help prolong the effects of the procedure.

How long does a mini facelift last?

Some women and men are good candidates for a less invasive technique called a mini or short-scar facelift. This procedure focuses on improving the appearance of the lower face and neck. While a mini facelift may not provide the same comprehensive results as a complete facelift, it still delivers significant changes. The longevity of a mini facelift typically ranges from 3 to 5 years, although individual results may vary. You may also want to consider a nonsurgical facial rejuvenation treatment, such as MyEllevate™ skin tightening.

How long is recovery after a facelift?

You should think of facelift recovery in phases. First is the physical healing part of recovery. You can expect some swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the first week or two. The surgeon typically applies bandages initially to enhance healing. Most patients can return to work or go out to dinner a week or 2 after the surgery, although visible swelling may still exist.

The second phase of recovery is the time it takes to see full results and be ready for a significant social event, such as a wedding. It can take several months to see the final results, so schedule your surgery accordingly if you have a wedding, class reunion, or other big event on your calendar.

Will my facelift scars be noticeable?

Skilled plastic surgeons conceal incisions strategically within the hairline, around the ears, or along natural skin creases to minimize their visibility. Over time, the scars tend to fade and become less noticeable, especially if you follow proper scar care. It’s essential to discuss scar management techniques with your surgeon to optimize the healing process.

What are the risks of a facelift?

All surgery carries some risks. Potential complications may include infection, bleeding, adverse reactions to anesthesia, poor wound healing, asymmetry, nerve injury, hair loss around the incision sites, and changes in skin sensation. Rarely do serious complications occur. Dr. Hasen ensures you are fully informed of potential risks before the procedure and answers any other questions.

If you’re wondering if the time is right for a facelift, this previous blog post describes 4 common signs that you’re ready for a facelift. You can also discuss your aesthetic concerns and goals by requesting a consultation with Dr. Hasen using the online form. Or call our practice at (239) 262-5662 to schedule an appointment.

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