How young is too young for a face lift?

I have drooping nasolabial folds. First, I tried fillers, juvederm, even though it looked great, I had it removed as I was allergic. Secondly, I tried a fat transfer but found that my folds were still too visible. I will be 36 next year. Am I too young for a midface lift? What are the dangers of doing a facelift at this age? How many more facelifts will I be able to do after this one - I believe there may be a limit?

Doctor Answers 28

Too Early for a face Lift??

In Short, it is not too early for a facelift.
The reason to do a facelift is dictated by your facial anatomy and it sound like you would really benefit from a facelift incision and high SMAS flap to address the mid face and naso-labial folds.
With a High SMAS flap it would be expected that this would last 15-20 years. There is no limit on the number of facelifts that may be performed. A facelift is a more natural than using non surgical techniques for the face.

Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

No Such Thing as 'Too Young'

Hi there. I do not think there is an absolute age that is too young for a facelift. I have performed a facelift in a patient in her late 20s who had lost 100 pounds and had significant sagging, and I've performed facelifts on a number of patients in their 30s with emphasis on the midface. The midface has many deep attachments (retaining ligaments), and unless the SMAS is released from all of the retaining ligaments, surgery will give minimal improvement. However, it is best to be conservative at your age, and enter into surgery with realistic expectations of the outcome as well as the risk. Without seeing pictures and an in-person consultation, it would be impossible to fully assess the potential benefits of surgery. Given that you have had disappointing results from fillers and fat, it is worthwhile exploring surgical options, but keep in mind that more effective fat transfers may also be useful. Best of luck.

Thomas A. Mustoe, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Facelift Age

There is no age limit for undergoing a facelift and the decision for whether you are a candidate requires a consultation.

There are three areas that we look at:
  1. skin surface
  2. volume
  3. laxity of skin an muscle

#facelift and #facialrejuvenation

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Condition Matters More Than Age

Age alone is not a criterion for facelift surgery. The main goal of a facelift is to lift the jowls and tighten the neck. Secondary effects can include adding volume to the midface and improving the nasolabial folds. Better ways to add volume to the face and address the nasolabial folds and marionette lines are with fillers — either "out of the box" or fat transfer. Midface lifts tend to have a higher incidence of complications and longer recovery. A better option would be to undergo a more traditional lift to directly improve the jowls, jawline, and neck and to undergo fat transfer at the same time. Fat can be placed in the midface, jowls, and marionette line region. This will "lift and fill" and should give you a more youthful appearance with a shorter recovery and fewer potential complications. Fat transfer alone can be performed to improve facial volume if you want to hold off on the facelift. It is possible that your fat resorbed or that more may be needed. Good luck with you decision.

Louis C. Cutolo, Jr., MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

How young is too young for a face lift?

Hi, I have performed many Facelift procedures on women between in their early thirties that have "jowls".  If you have "jowls" this is sagging facial tissues and an indication for some form of a facelift.  The underlying SMAS layer, of the face, must be dissected, lifted, trimmed and re-sutured. The excess skin is then removed and the facelift incisions closed.

My most popular facelift is the minimally invasive, short incision facelift that has all the benefits of more invasive facelifts (traditional, mid-face and subperiosteal facelifts) but with these added benefits:

•very small incisions
•minimal tissue dissection = less bruising and swelling = rapid recovery
•can be performed in 90 minutes or less, with or without general anesthesia
•no incisions within the hair = no hair loss
•excess fat can be removed
•excess skin removed
•cheeks, chin and jaw line can be augmented with dermal fillers (I prefer Perlane) or facial implants
•most patients fly back home to parts all over the world in as little as 3 days post-op
Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Young Age for Facelift

Although you are certainly on the young end of the facelift age spectrum, keep in mind that we do not treat a number (i.e., age) but you with your very particular anatomy, aging pattern and goals. In general, I do like maintenance facelifts in young people - they simply work, look great if done with expertise and hold up for many years.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Too young for facelift

Hello.  While there is no specific age where one cannot have a facelift, I think 36 is a bit young to have a facelift.  It sounds like you've tried the commonly recommended injectables and have not been happy with your results.  A mid face lift (vs. lower facelift) may be an option, if you're looking at improving the nasolabial folds.  The best way to determine your options is an in office exam, where a surgeon can perform a detailed evaluation.  All facelifts, regardless of age performed, carry the same risks.  A good facelift should last about 10 years.  The younger one has a facelift, the more facelifts that patient may want--compared to another patient who waited.  With all surgeries, each time you perform another surgery, the risk profile increases as there is scarring and altered anatomy.  Take care.

Kenneth Yu, MD
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

How young is too young for a face lift?

When looking into a procedure like this, you need to see what is causing what you don't like in the mirror. The things that can be address surgically are the skin, the fat and the muscle. Definitely seek out a board certified plastic surgeon in your area with an expertise in Facial Aesthetics for a consultation and more details. Good luck, Dean Vistnes.

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

When To Do A Facelift

The time to do a facelift is really dependent upon your genetics, loss of facial fat, aging, and if you have aging with cheek jowls. It is optimal to do facial rejuvenation using a “Lift and Fill” facelift technique. This will look better, last longer, and have a more natural look if done in this manner at an early age.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Nasolabial Folds

There are no age absolutes for facial surgery.The treatment must fit the problem. You are on the yougish side for treatment but if there is a real droop that bothers you it can be treated using a midface lift technique using Goretex sutures and pledgets (Sasaki). This can be done under local anesthesia and should not be confused with a thread lift In addition, the sutures can be tightened in the future if more lift is required. 

A. Dean Jabs, MD, PhD, FACS
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 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.