How Long Will A Facelift Last?

How long does a facelift last for?

FaceLift Lifespan

The loss of youthfulness and contours in your face can be due to a variety of factors, including heredity, gravity, environmental conditions, and stress. As a restorative surgical procedure, a facelift should not alter your vital appearance. It will also not stop the ageing process.

One of the questions that I am always asked, ‘is how long, will my facelift last’?

The answer is more complex and requires an understanding of what a facelift does—it reduces your apparent age;  and what it does NOT do—stop the ageing process.

However, by lifting and restoring tone to the face, a facelift can reverse many of the effects of time and gravity.

Whereas genetics and skin quality are important in longevity of a facelift, TECHNIQUE by a highly skilled plastic surgeon is the number one factor in how long the result will last.

It is important to note that aesthetic outcomes are significantly improved when a facelift is combined with volume restoration.

A good example: in order to return a sultana back to a grape, volume needs to be added. If it is only ‘tightened’ a sultana may appear like a pea rather than a grape.

In addition, rejuvenation procedures typically performed in conjunction with a facelift are brow lift, to correct a sagging or deeply furrowed brow; eyelid surgery to rejuvenate ageing eyes; and in many cases, neck surgery to address the ageing neck. 

How Long Do Facelift Results Last?

  • Fast recovery and minimal facelift techniques will last the least amount of time. Thread Lifts for example–that have been popular in the media, but have resulted in poor patient satisfaction—lasted 1-2 years.
  • Mini Face-lift—S-lift refers to a face lift with a small amount of skin damage (non-extensive), with limited SMAS mobilisation. These last longer than thread lifts—lasting 2 -5 years.
  • Full Face Lifts–There are many versions of the operation that fall into this class. The SMAS platysma, SMASectomy, SMAS imbrication, Deep plane, Composite lift, Sub periosteal, etc. Without going into too much detail, as a group these all require extensive ‘re-arrangement’ of the underlying facial tissues, in addition to significant skin undermining. These are technically demanding procedures that must be done by highly skilled and experienced surgeons. The recovery is longer (2-4 weeks), but the results generally last between 10 – 12 years.

Simply put, the more extensive the procedure, the longer the recovery period will be, and the longer you will enjoy the results.

A Simple Facelift Guideline

  • The type of skin—fair thin skin ages faster than darker thin skin.
  • Age at time of Facelift. Younger patients (45-60) with fewer ageing changes tend to have longer lasting results than older patients (70’s onwards.)
  • Condition of skin at time of Facelift. Patients with severe sun damage, smokers and others with advanced ageing changes often do not achieve as long a lasting result as people with healthy skin.
  • The skill of your surgeon–this is probably the most important factor.

Generally speaking, the better the skin condition the better the outcome.

Factors Which Affect How Skin Ages

  • smoking
  • sun exposure
  • genetics
  • stress
  • nutrition

By Kate Moreland


By Kate Moreland