Can multiple facelifts damage the underlying skin enough to cause permanent rippling?

I am 59 years old. After having 3 facelifts during my lifetime, the skin around my lower cheeks and chin area is now starting to look wavy (lumpy). Could this be caused by having 3 facelifts? I am currently seeing a cosmetic dermatologist who is injecting filler to smooth out these areas, but the lumpiness can still be seen. Is there anything besides filler that can correct this problem?

Doctor Answers 5

Multiple Facelifts Can Cause Rippling

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I'm sorry to hear about your concern. Multiple facelifts can, indeed, add to "rippling" of the skin. If it occurs, it is usually due to scar tissue or sutures that are placed. Fillers (including fat transfer) can help to camouflage the rippling. Occasionally more surgery is needed. If the rippling is due to scar tissue, it may resolve over time as the scars mature and the skin contracts. Best wishes.

Skin rippling after multiple facelifts

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Rippling of the skin after facelift suture can be due to many factors, such as blood clot, swelling, scar tissue, stitches, folding of tissue, etc. Most irregularities after facelift are temporary. Keep in mind that scar tissue occurs after each surgery, and repeated surgery of the face or neck can contribute to permanent rippling. Multiple facelift procedures may contribute to permanent rippling of the skin. Treatment is variable. Filler or fat injections is a good option to consider.


Dr. Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Too many facelifts?

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If you have some lumpiness or rippling in your face after having had three facelifts by the age of 59, I think an argument can be made that more surgery is not the answer.  Using fillers to correct some of this should work.  Also, strategic use of fat grafts might have some application, but I do think that a hands off policy at this point might  make the most sense.
Dr. Hargrave

Post face lift skin rippling

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Rippling after a face lift  have two likely causes:

  • irregularity from raising skin repeatedly from deep tissue, This can be improved with filler or fat injections.
  • irregularity from skin sutures - most common in MACS lifts. This can be improve by careful reoperation to smoothe the skin and remove the sutures. Best wishes.

Skin damage

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The combination of aging and multiple facelifts certainly can impact the condition of your skin.  Your seeking out a cosmetic dermatologist is a good idea.  Sometimes, laser resurfacing can be helpful, as well.  Unfortunately, without photos it is difficult to provide more precise advice.

John Frodel, MD
Atlanta Facial 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.