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 28

How many facelifts is enough?

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.

East Brunswick Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

The number depends on the person but fewer is better

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
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

There is no set number of facelifts a person can have

There is no set maximum number of facelifts that a person can have; instead, how many facelifts can be performed while still retaining a natural appearance depends solely on the individual and will vary due to a number of factors, including when they first had a surgical facelift, skin quality, and surgeon technique. Generally, a facelift lasts for around 7 to 10 years, depending on how well you take care of your skin afterward, genetics, and lifestyle. No facelift is permanent, because the aging process continues to happen no matter what cosmetic procedures you have done. Facelifts are also not the only means of rejuvenating the appearance; some people may find that non-surgical procedures such as Botox, fillers, or laser resurfacing can help extend the life of their facelift or help push back the age that they have their first facelift at. Instead of worrying about how many facelifts you can have, concentrate on getting the highest quality facelift possible that is tailored to your unique concerns, and remember to always visit a board-certified facial plastic surgeon for your facelift surgery.

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Most Surgeons Will Agree, 3-4 Is The Upper Limit

Patients who undergo facelift procedures continue to age because of the unrelenting effects of gravity. For this reason, it’s not unusual for patients who undergo facelift surgery to request additional facial rejuvenation at a later date. Although there’s no absolute maximum number of times a facelift can be performed, most surgeons agree that 3 to 4 times is the upper limit.
No two patients are ever the same. The management of redundant facial skin varies from patient to patient and depends on multiple variables. The decision to perform multiple facelift procedures depends on the patients specific anatomic findings and unique aesthetic goals. It’s therefore important to tailor surgical rejuvenation to the individual patient. In some patients, one facelift will address their aesthetic needs for a life time, while other patients may require multiple procedures to satisfy their needs.
Each facelift removes additional skin and subcutaneous tissue. For this reason, patients who undergo facelifts can develop an unnatural appearance. In some cases their skin can appear stretched and windblown.
Patients considering secondary facelift procedures should consult a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in this area. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that not only helps them look younger but natural as well.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Facelift number

You can have as many facelifts as you'd like, as long as they're suitable for you and can address the concerns you have. However, one properly done should be enough!

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Additional facelifts do not yield better results

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
3.3 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

maximum number of facelifts

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
4.4 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

How Many Facelifts Can You have?

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, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

No Limit to the Number of Facelifts

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
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Maximum Number Facelifts: No Magic Number

When it comes to the maximum number of facelifts in a patient's life time, there is no magic number.  Older facelifts that depended mostly on skin tightening from skin removal caused significant shifts of important visual landmarks such as loss of sideburns, elevation of foreheads, and made skin seem waxy and stretched.  Contemporary facelifts cause less removal of skin with more emphasis placed on the elevation and retention of facial fat to produce more voluptuous features, not the overly tight and flat faces that are the give facelift surgery a bad reputation.  You know it when you see it.  With this in mind, after a series of facelifts, if there is no distortion of these landmarks, and there is still good elasticity of the skin, some type of facelift surgery can be performed.  Often if an adequate facelift was done primarily, a small amount of excess skin can be removed, carefully preserving the sideburns with no undue tension upon closure, with excellent results.  If further facial volume is desired, often to the cheeks and cheekbone areas, fat transfer or soft tissue fillers such as Sculptra or Radiesse can be employed.  With this in mind, generally I have not seen more than 4 faceiifts performed without something looking a bit unnatural.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 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.