I Am Going to Have a Lower Face Lift. Would Having a Fraxel Treatment a Month Before Improve Healing - More Collagen Etc?

I am going to have a lower face lift. Would having a full face fraxel treatment a month before surgery leave my skin more robust at the time of surgery so healing is improved? Or would fraxel be counter productive because my skin may be too sensitive? How long after surgery before I could have a fraxel treatment? How long before surgery can I have a fraxel treatment?

Doctor Answers 11

Fraxel before facelift?

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Hi there,

From an evidence base point of view, I don't think there is any real evidence that Fraxel around the time of facelift will make any substantive improvement to the result.  The key is the facelift not the fraxel. There is a lot of mumbo jumbo and marketing confused as science in this area.

My advice would be:  If you're being charged extra for the Fraxel, then consider not having it - or at least ask the right questions to ensure you feel it will be worth it.  If the Fraxel is free, then why not?  Probably won't cause harm.

This area of plastic surgery is very difficult as there are not well controlled studies, and really everybody is guessing or selling you their bias.  There's no evidence that Fraxel will harm you - but equally, no real evidence that in the long run it will benefit you either, in combination with a facelift.

Timing for Facelift and Laser

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Best timing for Fraxel Laser would be at the same time as surgery, if your plastic surgeon has sufficient experience doing it simultaneously or if not anytime 3 months or later. Doing it later and including the scars may give you a less noticeable scar.

Fraxel and facelifting

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If I were considering composite treatments I would advocate Fraxel 6 weeks AFTER the facelift. This would ensure the best result as the skin would be redraped and healed in the new position. The fraxel could also be run over the incision line to aid scar healing.

Fractional laser Resurfacing After A Facelift

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There is no science that supports any benefit to a fractional laser treatmemnt before surgery. It makes more sense to do a fractional laser resurfacing after the facelift for skin texture improvement and wrinkle reduction. This could be done anytime 6 weeks or more after the facelift.

Fractional laser surgery and a facelift

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 The fractional treatment can be performed either before or after the facelift surgery. It really doesn't matter if the fractional treatment is performed before or after the procedure.   Best to wait at least a month  between procedures

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Some advantages in doing at the same time as facelift

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We usually combine our laser treatments with the surgery.

Advantages are:

  • Patient has no discomfort from the laser because the face is numb for the facelift
  • One healing session for both procedures
  • The laser is run over the incisions which gives better blending
  • Costs are less because of less time used doing both techniques as one

Disadvantages are:

  • Surgeon must be very efficient and not slow
  • Laser must be available on site
  • Cannot be combined in patients who have any healing issues such as diabetes or smoking

Dr. Mayl

Fort Lauderdale

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

Laser treatment prior to facelift

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Having a laser resurfacing procedure performed, before, during or after a facelift will enhance your overall results from an aesthetic view but not from a healing standpoint. You should discuss with your surgeon what timing would be optimal, I perform 90% of my laser resurfacing at the same time as the facelift so that my patients go through one recovery period, vs having to take time off again. Good luck. 

Dilip D. Madnani, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 104 reviews


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My feeling is that fraxel won't affect you surgical procedure. So go ahead. Many surgeons used to sell skin creams before surgery to improve healing but, in my opinion, they had no real effect

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Recommend Fraxel Treatment After Facelift for Best Full Facial Rejuvenation Results

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While a Fraxel treatment would leave your skin more robust any time it is performed, I would not recommend doing this procedure a month before your surgery.

Instead, I suggest that you consider doing this a month after your surgery to help with the skin remodeling, any scar contracture and wound healing. You may even consider doing a short series of treatments following your surgery for the best possible full facial rejuvenation results.

Michael R. Macdonald, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Coordinating laser treatments with your facelift surgeon

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Laser resurfacing treatments such as Fraxel can enhance the results of a facelift surgery.  However, they should be carefully coordinated with your plastic surgeon.  Some surgeons will perform laser resurfacing even at the time of surgery, while others like to stagger this treatment.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 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.