How long do facelift results last? The answer is different for every patient, and depends on the procedure being used. As well, the appearance of aging can be very difficult to measure. That’s why I was interested to read a recent article in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery about a long-term follow-up study that found 76 percent of facelift patients look younger than they did before their surgeries – five years later.
Over the years, there have been a number of studies that examine the long-term benefits of facelift surgery. However, no previous study involved rigorous, standardized assessments in a long-term follow-up. With this latest study, three different sets of assessments were used to examine standardized photos of 50 patients. These were patients who had undergone facelift surgery, on average, 5½ years previously.
The first type of assessment involved objective measurements that gauged common factors like jowl height and the angle of the chin to the neck. There were also two types of subjective assessments: localized (examining key areas like the nasolabial folds) and general (overall assessment of the patient’s appearance).
Using these three types of assessments, the researchers were provided with a complete picture of facial aesthetic improvement after five years. There was significant improvement across all three sets of assessments in the follow-up. Although some loss of improvement in the years since the surgery was inevitable, the results were still better than the “before” photo. Overall, slightly more than three-quarters of patients still had noticeable improvement five years later.
Interestingly, the neck proved to be one of the areas that “aged” the fastest after facelift surgery. This finding even factors into the final conclusion of the study, which is that there was no “significant objective or subjective sign of continued aging or ‘relapse’ in any area except for the neck.”