I watched a segment on the news a while ago that was talking about new laser procedures for aging skin. The doctor said to hold off on getting a surgical facelift as long as you can because if you get one in your 40's you will need on in your 50's. They didn't explain why though. I was wondering if anyone knew what they meant? Thanks for your time!
Would Getting a Facelift in Your 40's Gaurantee That You Would Need One in Your 50's?
Doctor Answers (17)
Optimal Time for a Facelift
The optimal time for a facelift is when you have signs of aging such as sagging skin, facial atrophy or a combination. Once you have sagging skin and facial atrophy then you need to transition from Botox to fillers. The timing is more important. Facelifts done in your 40’s or early 50’s have better results than being done later in life.
Earlier Facelift or Avoidance
If you have stigmata of facial aging amenable to facelifting techniques, then a facelift should be performed if there is interest. Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA
Facelifts Now, Facelift Later?
I’ve ben performing facelift surgery for about 20 years at my practice in New York and have many patients who have been with me throughout this time. This statement is not clearly accurate. Having a facelift at any time is for a specific reason to improve the sagging of cheeks, jowls and neck skin. Since facial aging is a combination of factors such as genetics, stress and health, you can’t make such an assumption. There is also no laser or ultrasound procedure that prevents the skin from getting older. 40s and 50s covers a range of 20 years. If you have this laser procedure at 42, does that mean you won’t need a facelift at 58? I doubt that.
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The age at which someone should consider a facelift varies considerably depending on numerous factors. People age at different rates, and some factors, such as sun exposure or individual anatomy may make one person a good candidate for a facelift in their forties, while others can wait longer. Having a facelift in your forties doesn't necessarily mean it will need to be redone in your fifties. Again, everyone is different. an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon will be able to advise you appropriately.
Women under 50 benefit most from a facelift
Women under 50 benefit most from a facelift, the same is true for men.
My experience and that of a recent study indicates that patients under 50 years old have a consistently higher rate of satisfaction with their facelift results than patients over 50, a recent study from California Pacific Medical Center has found. This study was conducted by Dr. Tom Liu and Dr. John Owsley, who compared short- and long-term satisfaction ratings of patients in under-50, 50–60, and over-50 age groups. The doctors also factored in expert analysis of patient photographs for a more objective analysis of surgical results. The findings are consistent with previous research as well as the experience of most surgeons.
The study concluded: “Younger patients (younger than 50 years) with mild or early signs of facial aging have the highest and most consistent satisfaction and the most natural long-term results”. The study also concluded that younger patients are ideal candidates for what is called a maintenance lift or maintenance facelift. The reason is that patients under 50, essentially because their skin is younger, will have a better result that will last longer than it will if they choose to have surgery later. Furthermore, their results will look better in the long-term.
I think what happens is that you get used to this younger look and after 10 years want to refresh this appearance as you can't stop the aging clock. Often a simpler procedure, such as a mini-lift (e.g. LiteLift, Quick Lift, LifeStyle lift, MACS, etc) can be done later on with a abbreviated recovery. Everyone wants to age gracefully. If you feel you have an aged appearance that affects your well being then maybe its time to come in for a consultation.
Does Early Facelift Surgery Create The Need For More Facelifts Later?
While it is true that facial aging is an ingoing issue, it is not an accurate statement that the earlier you have a facelift the more of them you will eventually need. To prove that point, I just saw a lady this week who had a 'mini-facelift' when she was 42 and now at age 66 (24 years later), she feels she is ready for another procedure. There are many variables that go into how one ages and their perception of it. It is not simple as appears to have been described on this TV segment. The role of lasers for skin resurfacing and the actual lifting of sagging facial tissues must be determined for each patient on an individual basis as they age.
When to have a face lift
The information on the TV show is wrong.
- People having early face lifts (younger than 50) are the most satisfied, least likely to need or want another face lift. They have the best results. Research proves this.
- Why would a doctor tell you otherwise? Either he/she doesn't know, or he/she doesn't do face lifts or he/she has a commercial interest in selling you laser treatments.
- I always recommend seeing a Board Certified Plastic surgeon when considering cosmetic facial treatments. We do all the procedures, have the most experience and are most likely to give you balanced information. Best wishes!
Does A Facelift In Your 40's Mean You Will Need Another One In You 50's?
There are two things I loved about your question. The first was the doctor discussing lasers as a means to avoid a facelift. If treating the aging changes in the face were as simple as just treating the outer layer of the skin, then a lasers would be the cure to all our facial aging concerns. Alas, aging of the face is not just a skin issue but instead involves changes in the deep tissues, the fatty tissues in the face, the support structures of the face, and the bony structures of the face. Think of your face like the layers of a bed. You cannot just make the bed by pulling on the outermost layer-the bedspread. Just as you cannot treat all the issues of facial aging by using a laser on the skin of the face. Sounds like the doctor had an expensive laser and needed some "nails" to hammer.
Second, long term studies show that having a facelift earlier in your life does not set you up for having to have more procedures in the future .In fact, those who start earlier often will have better long term results than those who start later. The best way to truly address your concerns is to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon and discuss your goals. Hope this helps.
Would Getting a Facelift in Your 40's Gaurantee That You Would Need One in Your 50's?
No, this is an old wives tale and a very common question for me during consultation. Just because you have a Face Lift in your 40's that is performed following the proper aesthetics of facial beauty for the creation of a naturally, more attractive face and you look say, 10-15 years younger. There's no requiremnent for you to ever have anything else done, Face Lift, Brow Lift, whatever...and moe importantly, there's no penalty in 10 years for having done the initial Face Lift.
Think of your face and your hypothetical exact twin before the surgery. Both show the same signs of aging. Now, you have an aesthetically inspired Face Lift making you look say, 12 years younger. The moment the Face Lift is finished, both you and your twins faces begin to age and will continue to do so for a decade and beyond. Ten years later, your face will still be at a better aesthetic point than your twin that has never had any improvements through surgery. If you choose to do something els, the aesthetic gap between you and your twin will widen further as long as the proper aesthetic principles are followed.
Now, a similar question is the one that aks "when"....that's more an indivuidual decision on when you want to push back the clock. In the past 15 years, people are more inclined to have less invasive Face Lift procedures earlier and more often. This does two things. One, you look better, beginning at a younger age and stay that way longer and two, the amount of downtime is less than doing 1 six hour procedure in your 50's. But at the end of the day...it's what's best for you that rewally matters most. Hope this clears this up.
No guarantee that you will need another facelift in the future
Having a facelift in your 40's is definitely not a guarantee that you'll need one in your 50's. As we know, the clock does not stop with respect to the aging process and it's possible that you would need additional procedures in the future, but having a previous facelift wouldn't increase that likelihood.
As for laser procedures, most of them treat the outer layers of skin and can be a valuable adjunct to aging face surgery. It cannot, however, lift and reposition skin and soft tissues in the way that surgery can.
Michael Kim, MD
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.