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What's the Maximum Number of Facelifts You Can Have?

How many Facelifts does one get in life (without looking like Joan Rivers)? I've heard the max is 3 to 4. Do mini facelifts count? Hopefully they're only a 1/2! Thanks in advance for all posted answers!

Doctor Answers (25)

How Many Facelifts?

+2

There really is no specific number of "the most facelits someone can have."

If done well, a facelift lasts a long time. In the minority of instances, a woman may have a second procedure.

Repeating facelifts for the "wrong" reasons knows no limit!  Then, of course, the rsults will be predictably unnatural and appear surgical!


Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

More is Definitely Not Better.

+2

Every time a Facelift is performed, some skin is removed. Typically for any given patient, the first Facelift involves the most amount of skin removal, and subsequent Facelifts result in less and less skin being removed. Skin may stretch or lose elasticity with aging, but there is a finite amount of skin on your face. That being said, progressive skin removal will begin to cause facial distortion at some point. That point is variable for individuals, but it usually starts somewhere around the 3rd Facelift, and as early as the 2nd (assuming that the surgery is done in a competent manner).

Many factors such as the amount of skin removed at each procedure, time interval between procedures, and quality of the skin, may affect when distortion starts to occur.  The maximum number of face lifts an individual should have depends on these factors, but in general 3 or 4 is usually the limit before distortion becomes noticeable to the casual observer.  A mini Facelift will contribute to 'the count' because skin is being removed. Depending on how the  mini Facelift is done, I would considered it  the same as a Facelift, in terms of skin removal.

Keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of patients who undergo Facelift, only ever have one.

Best Regards

Lawrence Tong, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

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Loaded question

+2

Determining the maximum number of facelifts is a complex task.  The first consideration is the patient's health so having few medical conditions, nonsmoker status, healthy lifestyle etc.certainly facilitates the decision making.  Secondly, the ability to have more than one facelift depends on what technique was done and what other nonsurgical procedures have intervened.  During residency, I had a patient who had protocol silicone injections to his face to camouflage a genetic abnormality called hemifacial microsomia.  After 30 years, the silicone provoked granulomas or hard knots which were painful and visible.  We were unable to debulk the granulomas, through a classic facelift approach because the skin flap was so scarred down to the deeper structures.  The force of culture in the form of "peer pressure", fashion, hopes of retaining a job or relationship also enter in the calculus for the patient. This is the driving force which is hardest to manage for a PS because even the most technically well executed facelift may not be satisfactory for an individual who is basically unhappy with life. Society's focus on youth is likely to continue to be a "driver" for facial rejuvenation for the foreseeable future.  Good luck to all of us!

Lavinia Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

The number depends on the person but fewer is better

+2

A really well done facelift will last most people 8-10 years before they would consider redoing it. Even if they never redo the operation, they will always look better than if they hadn't done the surgery. Minis count as fulls in this regard. The more they redo the surgery, the more operated on people can look. But in the hands of an excellent surgeon, you don't have to look tight and pulled.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Additional facelifts do not yield better results

+1

There is no exact limit to how many facelifts a patient can undergo. However, facelift surgery is comprehensive and skin, tissue, and/or fat is removed each time which can result in the “wind-blown” look from excessive skin tightening if not performed properly. Candidacy for facelift surgery also depends on the patient’s medical history, current health, and what type of rejuvenation goals he or she is seeking. Other facial rejuvenation procedures such as eyelid surgery, chin surgery, or non-surgical treatments like dermal fillers and Botox® can help address specific facial features. After one facelift surgery, many patients maintain their results with minimally invasive treatments like dermal fillers (Juvéderm®, Restylane, etc.) or chemical peels.

Fernando D. Burstein, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

maximum number of facelifts

+1

There really is no given answer as to the amount of face lifts that you can have during your lifetime. It really depends upon the type of face lifts that were done, the quality of your skin, and various techniques that might also be used. Generally we tell our patients the facelift should last about seven years. Obviously the patient who seeks a facelift for the first time at age  45 has a very different sense of aesthetics than that of the patient who seeks her first facelift at the age of 70. What also helps is the reason introduction and popularization restoring volume to the face with the injections of fat as opposed to just pulling thinner skin tighter. This will also help extend the life of a facelift.

John E. Sherman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

How Many Facelifts Can You have?

+1

The amount of laxity in the skin and soft tissue would determine when a patient would have their first Facelift, more so than age. Many have had their first in the 40's. A good Facelift usually lasts 8 to 10 years, or more with good skin care and avoiding over exposure of the sun. So it is possible to have 3 or 4 in a lifetime, if the patient is in good health. But it is very important to choose a qualified Board Certified plastic surgeon that will advise you for your personal situation, as this is a very individual procedure, with many factors to consider. You do not want the "over done" look we have all seen that many celebrities end up with. In their quest to stay youthful for the camera, they have convinced their surgeon to do much more than they should have.

Miguel Delgado, Jr., MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

No Limit to the Number of Facelifts

+1

There really is no limit to the number of facelifts one may have.  The over-done look is a result of excessive skin tightening, which you can see with one or several facelifts.  After your first facelift procedure, secondary procedures may be periodically needed to maintain your look.  These "touch-up" operations may not be as involved as your first procedure, however.  Your plastic surgeon can help you keep up with time.

Randy J. Buckspan, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

How many facelifts is enough?

+1

This is a very good question. I think theorectically there is no limit to how many times a person can have a facelift. The key is what the person is trying to accomplish and what look they are going for.

Our understanding of facelifts has changed over the years. It used to be that the average patient coming for a facelift was between 65 and 70 years old. And that the surgery was a once in a lifetime event. Right now with advances in plastic surgery and increased popularity amongst the younger generation the youngest facelift person that I have seen is 27 years old. Given this is not your typical patient. However, patients generally start asking about facelifts or mini facelifts when they are in their 30-40's. The facelift term usually includes not only the facial lifting procedure, but also the process of skin tightening, volume correction and so on.

The question on how many facelifts a person can have also is tightly connected with the question what are the expectations of a facelift? We commonly see that after a facial rejuvenation procedure, patients become far less tolerant of wrinkles on their face. The question becomes when has the benefit of the first facelift been exhausted and it's time for a new one. I don't think anyone has a good answer to that. If the proper technique is utilized and the deep tissue aka SMAS is properly secured the facelift or mini facelift can last for years to come. Some people estimate it between 5-15 years. It is usually longer in younger people when the skin and deep tissues are stronger and it is less durable in older patients where the skin starts to weaken due to a variety of factors. However, ultimately the decision on how durable the facelift is lies with the patients perception of their own appearance. If they feel they are ready for another facelift when looking in a mirror chances are the procedure may be warranted. In my experience the time gap between the first and each procedure is progressively shorter.

In patients considering facelifts it is important to remember the normal skin architecture and facial structure have to be maintained. Unfortunately after multiple procedures these landmarks become quite vague and may be difficult to distinguish. When the patients come in requesting another surgery to get rid of relaxing skin and newly appearing wrinkles it is very easy to fall into a trap of pulling as hard as we can to make them happy at the expense of losing the natural facial appearance.

So technically a person can have multiple numbers of surgeries, however I think that if the goal of multiple surgeries is to maintain that indeterminate age for as long as possible this plan needs to be discussed with your plastic surgeon so that the plan of action can be devised and conformed to each individuals specific needs. It is not unheard of for TV personalities to have some form of facial rejuvenation procedures done every 2-3 years to maintain skin quality, volume of the face and skin tightness. However, the key to success is to remember that the balance lies not only in skin tightness but in overall volume and shape of the face.

Boris Volshteyn, MD, MS
East Brunswick Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.