Can Facelift Acclerate Aging?

Hello, I was thinking about getting a facelift; but then I read an article that says facelift accelerates aging and thins the skin by taking the skin from its natural blood supply and reattaching it to new one where the blood vessels are smaller. Is this true? Thanks for your time.


Doctor Answers 17

Facelift and further aging

There is some evidence that some facelifts do speed aging. However, it probably has nothing to do with the blood supply of the skin. Instead, it appears to be related to how the facelift is done.

If you elevate the tissues, attach them to something that cannot stretch, and just put the skin back with no tension, the facelift tends to last and you age no faster, and, perhaps, slower than you otherwise would. If, however, you simply pull the skin up and attach it under tension, like some techniques do, you have not only gravity but the elasticity of the skin pulling down to speed aging.

Although most good Plastic Surgeons fix the tissues to something solid, there are still many surgeons who don’t. The easiest place to see the results of not doing so is the earlobe that stretches down the back of the jaw. My advice is to talk about the longevity of the procedure with whomever you see.

Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Facelift and accelerated aging

If you are going to ask this type of question from 'some article' you have read, PLEASE state the article so we all can evaluate what is being said. And in what context. Otherwise, I doubt a facelift accelerates aging in any way. Look forward to reading this article. Regards.

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Facelift and aging

A well-execute facelift should result in a natural, rejuvenated look. From a biological perspective, there are no studies (to my knowledge) that show that the 'trauma' of surgery causes significant changes in skin texture/aging by detachment and re-attachment to a blood supply. In point of fact, the blood supply is not completely detached (otherwise the skin would not survive). So, the answer is no, it should not make one look older.

Sam Most, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Facelift Surgery: Will it Make Me Younger or Older?

Dear facelift Patient,
There is no scientific evidence stating facelift surgery accelerating the aging process. I have perfomed thousands of face lift surgery and never had one case that looks older right after the procedure.  Face lift surgery is designed to remove excess skin and fatty tissue. This procedure will not decelerate or accelerate aging process. It will make one look rejuvenated and younger. If you read one article on the internet, it does not mean it is a fact.

Kevin Sadati, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 204 reviews

Facelift and Aging

Facelift procedures do not accelerate aging when properly performed.  The vast majority of a facelift is performed do that the skin remains attached to the deeper structures (this is in a deeper plane facelift).  

Anecdotally, I have seen if one family member has a lift performed by me and the other does not, she will look and remain younger than the sibling. 

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Facelifts don't accelerate facial aging

Exactly the opposite should be true.  I have no idea where the supposed biology of your question comes from.  A well done facelift should be extremely rejuvenating!

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Aging after Facelift Surgery

There is no evidence that facelift surgery will accelerate facial aging - in fact, my personal experience has been just the opposite. There is a fine layer of scar tissue after surgery which should actually slow down aging. Patients frequently ask how long the facelift will last; my response is "a lifetime". You will always look better than if you didn't have the operation.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Facelifts do not accelerate aging

There is no such thing as a facelift accelerating the aging process. The facelift when properly performed gives a natural contour to the face and neck structures so patients age gracefully. It will not last forever and may want to be repeated in ten years if the patient desires.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

There is no reason to believe that a facelift will accelerate the aging process

Hi there-

All things being equal (lifestyle, skin type, personal care habits, etc..), a person who undergoes a well-done facelift will always look younger than someone who did not.

There is no anatomic change that occurs during or after a facelift that would cause an acceleration of the aging process, and in fact, the re-structuring of the facial connective tissues and the resultant strong, inflexible scar tissue should provide excellent long term REDUCTION in the pace of aging.

This is not to say that you will not age after a facelift... only that there is no reason to believe this will occur faster BECAUSE you had the facelift.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Should not accelerate aging.


Thank you for your question.

While your skin is left attached to blood supply and can grow some new vascularity where it is placed, it is not completely detached - if it was, this is considered a free flap, where the piece of tissue is attached to blood vessels on a different part of the body. This is not at all what is done with a facelift.

Facelifts do not necessarily accelerate aging. Your face will continue to age naturally. How you age depends on several things such as genetics, smoking, sun exposure, etc. However, just because you reposition skin, muscles etc and achieve a more youthful look, does not mean the quality of the skin is changed. To change the quality of the skin (pore size, brown spots, veins etc), we usually recommend no down-time nondestructive laser skin rejuvenation either before or after surgery.

Best regards,

Dr. Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.