How important is it to be at a weight prior to a facelift? Lost 20 lbs. Should I work on the additional 30 lbs first? (Photo)

Doctor Answers 39

Further Weight Loss Prior to Facelift?

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In the ideal world you should be as close to your goal weight as possible. Each patient is different in how their face responds to weight overall weight changes. For some patients as little as ten to twenty pounds weight change can make a noticeable difference in the volume of their facial fat which can influence their appearance. 

If you truly realistically think that you will be losing another 30 lbs, then you should achieve the additional weight loss prior to your facelift surgery. Typically any weight loss less than ten pounds or so will not make a noticeable difference. 

Weight loss and facelift

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you appear to be an excellent candidate for a facelift.  Many patients are concerned that if they have a facelift and lose more weight, they will need the facelift redone.  I have never seen that become an issue.  There would be no problem having a facelift done at this point.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Facelift and 20 pound weight loss

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Hello Kendra,Congratulations on the weight loss!  20 pounds is significant.  Some of the questions I ask my patients are - how long did it take you to lose 20 pounds?  Are you still losing the weight at a consistent rate?  What diet and exercise regimen are you on?  How realistic is your 50 pound weight loss goal?  If you are still losing the weight at a consistent rate through your diet and exercise regimen, my typical advice is to wait on surgery until you have maxed out on the weight loss.  The goal is also that you can easily maintain this weight loss after surgery.  If you have starved yourself into losing the weight, in my opinion, your weight loss may not be easily maintained.  Thus, I would say do the surgery sooner than later.  I hope this makes sense.  Best of luck!

Elbert T. Cheng, MD
San Jose Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Weight loss best before facelift surgery.

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Weight loss best before facelift surgery. Otherwise you could have excess skin if you lost it after the facelift.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Weight loss before surgery

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If you have well defined plans to lose weight then it is best to lose it first.  Thirty pounds is a significant amount of weight.  The concern obviously is that with a large amount of weight loss after the facelift you could need additional work to revolumize the face(which can be done during the facelift if you go ahead and lose the weight), or that you would have skin redundant laxity of the face with the volume loss(like deflating a balloon).  If you are willing to accept these potential risk then you could proceed. It is best ofcourse to be evaluated in person and have these discussions face to face so that the surgeon can evaluate you.  Best of luck and congratulation on your weight loss achievement.

Facelift and weight loss

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Thanks for sharing.  Congratulations on losing 20 lbs and wanting to lose another 30.  50 lbs total is a significant amount of weight to lose.  You could lose half of the 30 lbs now and the other half later and would be ok. Losing weight is great for your health but a large amount may deflate your results after lifting. From the photo you should have a nice result. Best of luck on achieving your goals and your future lift!

Raymond E. Lee, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Ideal body weight for a facelift procedure

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It is best to be at your ideal body weight before undergoing any electric surgery, to minimize any complications from anesthesia. In addition, with weight loss in the face, will allow better facelift result due to the fact that there will be more loose and an elastic skin to tighten. For many  before and after facelift examples, please see the link and the video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Weight loss does affect the face, the facelift, and volume augmentation.10 pounds within you ideal weight is best before surgery

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Thank you for your question. You submitted a single photo of the side view of your face, asking about the importance of being at a certain weight before facelift. You state you’ve already lost 20 pounds, and you are intending to lose another 30 pounds.

I can  give you some perspective on how I evaluate people who ask me exactly this question in my practice. A little background: I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I’ve been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years. Facial aging is a very significant part of my practice, and I perform all types of face lifting surgery from minimally invasive, suture suspension, deep plane face lifting, facial implants, fat grafting etc. so I have a lot of experience with face lifting, so I can guide you on your question.

There are two elements of facial aging that factor into how I evaluate patients for facelift. One is volume loss, which is particularly significant in facial aging at the bone level, but also at the layer of fat under the skin. The second is the degree of sagging, especially for the skin under the neck, skin at the jawline, and cheek tissue. It is generally well appreciated by people over 40 that when you lose weight, you want to lose weight in other parts of your body like your stomach and your hips but concurrently, but you also tend to look like you lost a lot more weight proportionally in the face, which is a significant issue factored into face lifting surgery.

When I talk to patients about this particular topic, someone like yourself who intends to lose about 30 pounds, I tell them if they are within 10 pounds of their target body weight, then that’s a comfortable range for surgery. I feel I can very accurately perform repositioning, lifting procedures, and very often combine them with volume corrective procedures such as injectable fillers, fat grafting, and facial implants - all these things balance out the 2 elements of facial aging.

As someone who also performs body contouring, liposuction as well as non-surgical fat reduction with laser technology, I understand that in general, most people have a target objective for weight loss, but often they plateau at a certain point. If that plateau is somewhere within 10 lbs of your target weight, usually that is acceptable. You also want to think about how stable your weight will be, and if there are concerns about stability, you may want to wait a few months to see if you’re kind of holding steady at a certain level.

To summarize, if you plan on losing 30 pounds more, chances are it will manifest in the facial volume which impacts the surgical approach of repositioning, and restoring volume whether it is at the time of surgery or after surgery. Meet with qualified, experienced cosmetic surgeons who can guide you along the way. If you have 30 pounds you want to lose, a typical, safe estimate for weight loss is about 1 pound per week. You may want to also consider other procedures prior to weight loss so you can look your best, or perhaps do things in preparation for the face lifting procedure. I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for your question.

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Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Get to Your Goal Weight First

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Yes, I would urge you to be very close to your goal weight before undergoing a facelift. If you are actively continuing to lose weight, you'll want to reach a point of equilibrium before pursuing surgery. I say "equilibrium" because you want to be at a weight you can easily maintain. The main reason: It's difficult to predict how the face responds to weight loss or gain. For some patients, the face remains essentially unchanged; for others, there are significant volume fluctuations in the face. This can make the results less predictable. Once you are at a comfortable weight that you can maintain, your surgeon will be able to give you a better idea of your expected outcome. Best of luck to you.

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Ideally, Lose the Weight First

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The best scenario is that you are at your “best weight” prior to the facelift. Losing weight afterwards might lead to more excess skin. If you are considering fat transfer at the same time as the lift and you lose weight afterwards, you might still need more fat to give you full midface replenishment.

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.