Which Should I do First, Facelift or Fractional Laser Resurfacing?

Which should be done first for a patient requiring 2 procedures, a facelift or fractional laser skin resurfacing? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 10

Which Should I do First, Facelift or Fractional Laser Resurfacing?

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 Technically, you could do either one first...just separate them by at least 6 months.  However, if you're having the Laser to treat unwanted lines and wrinkles, then the face lift should be done first which removes and tightens the skin causing lines and wrinkles to be less deep.  This will require less Laser depth penetration and a faster recovery IMO.  

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Timing of Facelift and Facial Resurfacing

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Both these procedures rejuvenate the face. The Laser corrects the damage from the sun and generally eliminates crinkles and lesser wrinkles. I usually require a skin care regimen such as the Obagi system first to reduce the risks of the procedure. The Facelift corrects the effects of gravity and skin stretch.It eliminates deeper wrinkles and folds. I will usually start someone with both problems on the Obagi sustem to prime the skin. I then do the facelift to correct as many of the wrinkles as possible. The Obagi increases vascularity and makes the surgery safer. Whatever wrinkles and crinkles are left, I then do the Laser to smooth them, again with well prepped skin. Although reversing this process can work, i have found this the safest method with the best results overall

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Timing of facial procedures

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II recommend that you have the facelift first and then, after you have healed, move on to the Fraxel procedure if you still feel that it is necessary.  You should allow a minimum of six weeks, and preferrably more, to elapse between procedures. 

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Facelift and skin resurfacing

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If you are already going to be out of commission with the face lift, ask about doing aTCA peel at the same time. is very effective given the right skin type.

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon

Facelift and Fractional Laser Can Be Done At Same Time

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My advise is if your plastic surgeon agrees - do both procedures at the same time and just have one recovery. This is what I recommend to the majority of my patients ( for example I do not offer this option to smokers). If you are determined to do them separately there is some theoretical advantage of doing the laser period secondly and including the facelift scars that might also benefit from the laser treatment as well as giving further tone to the facelift skin.

Timing of facelift and fractional Laser resurfacing

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There is not set rule.  I recommend either facelift first followed by resurfacing at six weeks or facelift and fractional laser resurfacing at the same time.

To be sure you are a good candidate for these procedures. See two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in consultation.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews


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A facelift and laser resurfacing are two surgeries that can be done at the same time generating great results.  All of your healing from the two procedures will be done at the same time with only one anesthesia.  These are two beneficial benefits. A facelift enhances the facial structure and the laser procedure improves the texture, fine lines and pigmented areas.  After having these two procedures it is always a good idea to begin  a skin care maintenance program

David Alessi, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Laser or facelifting

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There is no set rule. However, I generally try to determine what the predominant factor is that needs to be addressed: is it a structural change that facelifting techniques use or is it a textural change that peels or lasers are designed for? I usually advise the patient to perform the predominant correction first. If they are equal, then I approach the structural changes first.

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Facelift and laser resurfacing

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A combined facelift and laser resurfacing is a very common procedure in our practice (with fat grafting as well). The key is to limit the amount of laser on the lifted portion of the skin. This is a very safe combination in experienced hands and  I have written many articles about this technique. If you prefer a staged procedure it really does not matter which is performed first.

Jason Pozner, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Facelift can be done at the same time as laser resurfacing.

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Laser resurfacing is most effective for lines around the mouth and around the eyes, and we do it together with facelift.  So you only have one procedure and one recovery.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

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.