I had a consultation with a plastic surgeon who does approximately 2-4 Facelifts a month. Is that enough? (photos)

Full face lift with fat graft in cheeks , bletharplasty with some fat removal . How many face lifts should a plastic surgeon have performed and do I need a facial plastic surgeon?

Doctor Answers 12

How many facelifts should a surgeon have done before they are sufficiently experienced?

The critical things in performing good facelifting surgery are

1 The ability to listen to the patient and understand what they seek.

2 A thorough practiced understanding of facial anatomy and how this is effected by the ageing process

3 A meticulous approach to tissue handling with an emphasis on precision rather than speed

4 A full armamentarium of techniques that can be selectively applied to meet the different requirements for the many differences in the ageing process in different individuals

5  An obsessional devotion to quality rather than quantity and an enjoyment of the art

All truly devoted facelifting surgeons would consider that they are still learning new things about how the face ages and what to do about it. We attend meetings devoted to the subject even though we have been performing the surgery for many years and may have done many hundreds or even thousands of facelifts. The precise number of operations is much less important than the care and attention with which they are performed. It is a bit like the difference between fast food and good food, the big fast food chains churn out many thousands of meals whilst the great restaurants produce just a few, I know which I prefer. That said a great chef takes many years and lots of experience to master their art. It needs to be good experience starting with good training followed by regular practise and frequent updates and appraisal of results. There needs to be variety, not just endless repetition of exactly the same operation in a " one size fits all " approach. There needs to be peer review and criticism and an endless pursuit of doing it better. A good sign is if the surgeon genuinely enjoys what they are doing rather than just marketing themselves for financial gain.

So how many is enough? twenty well performed facelifts per year are much better than fifty rushed "face-tweaks"

How many years experience? Most surgeons take a decade or so from completing their training to reaching their optimum balance between experience and dexterity. This sweet spot may last two or occasionally three decades  but eventually with ageing the skills start to slip even though the experience continues to expand.


It is a good thing you are asking questions of a prospective plastic surgeon.  It sounds like the surgeon has ben honest with you. By viewing many, many before and after images, you can have evidence that a plastic surgeon has experience performing facelift surgery. It then is up to you to determine whether or not a surgeon shares your aesthetic ideal. Some people prefer a look that doesn't look like surgery. other people want a result that is, in my opinion, more severe and extreme. Once you find a plastic surgeon with results that are appealing to you, check their educational background, experience and safety record. Know who else will be in the OR and involved in patient care. Have an understanding about post operative care and appointments. The video below could be helpful in providing a list of questions to ask before making this very important decision. 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Face lift

The decision to move ahead is yours. A great surgeon can be someone who does two a year!  A bad surgeon could be someone who does 500 a year.  Numbers are not everything. But find a good surgeon who gets good results. Best of luck!!

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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I had a consultation with a plastic surgeon who does approximately 2-4 facelifts a month. Is that enough?

Both facial plastic surgeons and plastic surgeons perform facelift procedures. More importantly is to look at your surgeon's before and after photo gallery to get an idea of the caliber of their work. Make sure their photo gallery is extensive. It's important to find a surgeon who performs a very natural look that rejuvenates the face. In our practice, we perform a lower face and neck lift which accomplishes tightening loose facial and neck skin, tightening loose facial and neck muscles, removal of fatty deposits in the neck, and lifting the jowls. A blepharoplasty procedure can also be performed at the same time under the same anesthetic along with the same recovery period. For more information and many examples of both procedures, please see the link and the video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Seek a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

It is important to choose a highly skilled and experienced surgeon to match your #facelift goals and skin type with the appropriate surgical techniques.

Also, its best to work with a #board #certified plastic surgeon who is highly trained with your desired procedures. I also encourage you to look at before and after photos of the surgeons actual patients. Also, reading patient reviews of those who have had combined surgeries will be beneficial. Gathering all of this information will help you make a well-informed decision.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
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Consultation for Facelift and Eyelid Surgery.

 Hi, I have performed facelifts for over 30 years and have performed many minimally, invasive type facelifts.  From the photos your cheeks are flat anteriorly (in the front), jowls are present and I suspect that the chin is weak with some degree of ptosis.  These factors combine to create an elongated, rectangularly, shaped face. The Brows appear to be quite low with excess fat and skin of the upper, excess fat in the lower eyelids.

 Following the beauty principles outlined in my book on face and body beauty, women look the most feminine, youthful and attractive with heart shaped faces.  Heart shaped faces have cheeks that are full and round in the front.  Cheek augmentation with a dermal filler or using cheek implants for a permanent enhancement will create full, round cheeks that will feminize the entire face.

 When the chin is weak, this creates an imbalance making the nose appear larger, the mid face top heavy and the lower face look short that de-emphasizes the lips and allows early formation of a double chin.  Chin augmentation using a chin implant will add projection to the chin creating harmony and balance to the lower face.   I have found that placement of a silastic chin implant, through a small curved incision under the chin (also allows excess skin removal) to be very safe, quick and highly effective.

 "Jowls” are sagging facial tissues and an indication for some form of a SMAS facelift.  The underlying SMAS layer, of the face, must be dissected, lifted, trimmed and re-sutured (not merely folded or suspended with threads or sutures that will not last).  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, deep plane, cheek lift and subperiosteal facelifts) but with these added benefits:

  • very small incisions and no incisions extend or are placed within the hair.
  • minimal tissue dissection = less bruising and swelling = rapid recovery ( several days instead of weeks or months with the more invasive type facelifts mentioned)
  • 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 Restylane Lyft) or facial implants
  • most patients fly back home to parts all over the world in as little as 3 days post-op

I combine facial shaping with every facelift procedure.  When jowls are present, these should be done in concert and not alone or separately in order to create a naturally, more attractive face.

 A Brow Lift should be performed in concert with upper eyelid surgery (Blepharoplasty).  If the upper eyelid fullness shown is removed with an upper eyelid surgery alone, this will result in lowering the eyebrows further.   

Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Facelift experience

That should be an adequate number for the surgeon to be proficient.  The important thing is the skill of the surgeon.  There are some busy surgeons whose results may not be what you are hoping for, so ask to see some before and afters.  Make sure you like your surgeon and that you can communicate well with them as to what you want done. 

Based on your pictures you need a lot of work.  Face and neck lift, eyelid surgery, browlift, fat transfer and laser resurfacing.  but you should be able to get a good result.  

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

I had a consultation with a plastic surgeon who does approximately 2-4 Facelifts a month. Is that enough?

Yes, and most important the surgeon has been honest with you. Many plastic surgeons embellish their numbers of cases to impress the patient. Most busy plastic surgeons do many types of cases including breast, eyes, body and other surgeries.


Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you may benefit from a mini facelift with a neck lift.  If good technique is used, this can be done with minimal scarring and can result in a natural look, not over-done look, with rejuvenation of your face.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results. The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Facelift qualifications

Given the prevalence of facial fillers and Botox and patient preference for non-invasive procedures, this is not a low number.  There is no magic number to vest expertise. Board certified plastic surgeons are amply qualified to perform rhyidectomy and blepharoplasty.

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.