Facelift and Laser Resurfacing at Once Recommended?

Do you recommend Facelift and Laser resurfacing at the same time? One doctor wants to do this but others say it's crazy to do both at once.

Doctor Answers 12

Don't combine a facelift with ablative lasering

To do a proper facelift, the skin must be undermined to release it from the deeper tissues which are in turn lifted and tightened.  The blood supply of the skin is compromised by this but not to the extent where it can't survive in most all cases.  But to burn it with a laser would very possibly kill it.   

Facelift with Laser: A Safe Idea?

Laser resurfacing in combination with facelift has traditionally been reserved for the periorbital area.  The periorbital area has a robust blood supply, is often a problematic area for wrinkles (smokers lines), and is not "undermined" during the facelift process.  Areas where the skin has been undermined should generally be avoided for this combination procedure.  If full face laser resurfacing is attempted then thick facelift flaps can provide a better blood supply to undermined skin:  composite flap technique.  Also, areas of undermining should be treated very conservatively or with a fractionated laser.  This technique should absolutely be avoided in smokers or patient with impediments to wound healing:  diabetics, smokers, and the elderly.

John Burns, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Facelift and laser

Laser can be done on certain parts of the face at the same time as a facelift.  I prefer not to perform a full face kaiser at the same time, however.  I think it is too much trauma for the skin to undergo at the same time and can increase the risk of would healing problems.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Laser at Same Time as Face Lift

Depending on the type of laser, the settings and number of passes and how invasive the facelift is will determine the safety of this procedure. Mini Face lifts and those that have limited undermining such as the MAC or LiteLift procedures are safer procedures for doing both of these procedures. Also it should be safe to do laser on those areas that are not undermined - such as the lips and chin area. We often do chemical peels and lasers at the same time as our limited incision face lifts and have not seen an increase in complications. 
My advice is to make sure you go to a board certified plastic surgeon you feel comfortable with and follow their recommendations.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Facelift and laser procedure

I would not recommend a full facelift and a full facial laser peel. There is a higher risk of skin slough or loss from this procedure.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Facelifts and LASER resurfacing

Facelifts can be combined with LASER resurfacing, and has been reported in the scientific literature to support their use together.  However, there is a slightly increased risk of delayed healing and prolonged swelling when using both modalities at the same time.   

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Better to have facelift first and laser resurfacing later at 3 -6 months

Newer fractional laser resurfacing can be doen at the same time as a facelift. However their is a risk that the laser resurfacing can interfere with the blood supply and slow your healing from the facelift.

I have been doing facelifts for 25 years and laser resurfacing for 15. I have combine dthese procedures in the past, but even with new fractioanl erbium laser resurfacing, the facelift healing is delayed.

There are situations where I still do it, but as a general recommendation it is better to wait until after your facelift and have laser resurfacing 3-6 months later.

The benefit is that after 3 months some additional tightening of the skin arpound the mouth will be obtained by a delayed laser resurfacing

Better to have laser resurfacing done later

It is not a good idea to have the two procedures combined at the same time. It is important not to insult the skin from the underneath side and the top side simultaneously for fear of having tissue slough from necrosis. The laser resurfacing can be performed at a later time.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Laser and Facelifting can be a great combination

Lasers and facelifts can be done at the same time. I have combined plasma resurfacing, fractionated CO2 and light CO2 resurfacing with facelifts with excellent results.

The quality of the patient's skin, that is the thickness, the patient's health (smoking, underlying diseases etc.) have an impact and may alter the decision to do the procedures the same day or on separate days.

In any case, there are areas where you can use aggressive laser resurfacing and other areas over a facelift where you must laser cautiously to avoid complications. You cannot laser skin over a facelift flap as aggressively as you would perform a laser resurfacing procedure by itself. Despite these lower energies, you will still get a beautiful result.

If you are considering the two procedures together, discuss these issues with a physician experienced in both laser and facelifts. It must be done carefully and correctly. Being able to combine the two is not "crazy;" it actually produces a wonderful outcome by lifting and repositioning the face underneath the skin and resurfacing to provide a smooth texture, more even skin color and tone on the surface... a total rejuvenation package.

Edgar Franklin Fincher, MD, PhD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Facelifts and Laser Resurfacing

In general, most surgeons do not want to laser the portion of the facial skin that has been 'lifted up' or undermined during the facelift. So if you are having a mini-lift type of procedure, the central areas of the face and most of the cheeks can typically be safely lasered.

One exception to the above would be a deep plane facelift, where the skin is lifted up as a thicker layer. Some deep plane facelift surgeons feel that the entire facial skin can be safely lasered.

Hope this helps!

Jason L. Swerdloff, MD
Palm Harbor Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.