A face lift performed by a skilled plastic surgeon can help a woman to enjoy a more youthful appearance for many years. If you are thinking of making this type of investment in your face, you are probably wondering how long the results might last. At Cosmetic Surgery of DWF in Fort Worth, TX, our lead plastic surgeon, Dustin C Derrick, MD, performs this procedure with exceptional results that can be maintained on a long-term basis.
How Long Does a Face Lift Last?
Having a face lift is a big decision and patients of course want to know that this procedure will be worth it. While it is important to have realistic expectations (a face lift will not necessarily make you look 20 again!) we can give patients the assurance that this procedure will give them a much more youthful appearance that will last considerably longer than any results that can be achieved with a less invasive treatment.
What motivates many women to invest in surgery is the knowledge that they are getting a semi-permanent solution to the signs of aging on their face. We say “semi-permanent” because we of course cannot stop the aging process, but it is reasonable to expect that a face lift will make you look at least 10 years younger, with results that can last for anywhere from 10 to 20 years.
Post-Surgery Aging Timeline
In the first year after facial surgery, the skin will be noticeably tighter with the underlying tissues and muscles lifted to restore the face to how it looked when the patient was younger. How significant this effect is will depend on whether the patient opted to lift the entire face, or to focus on the mid or lower face and neck. While we always aim for a natural effect, it will be noticeable that the patient has a more youthful and rested appearance.
As the years go by, the effects of a face lift will “relax” but even at the five-year mark most patients still look very good and have no need for any touch-up treatments. Some women choose to keep up their Botox and filler regimen during this time, but others find that it’s not necessary. With a good personal care routine, the effects of aging should not become noticeably apparent for at least 10 years.
The Best Outcome Possible
Ideally, it is our hope that patients will be very satisfied with their appearance for many years. It is not unusual for patients to find that even at the 15-year mark, they still look better than they did pre-surgery, but we cannot guarantee these results. Women who follow a careful beauty routine and use high-quality skin care products can expect to maintain their results longer.
How To Extend the Results of Your Procedure
Genetics, of course, play a big role in how long your youthful appearance will last following surgery, but there are also several things women can do to maintain their results for as long as possible. Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, and limiting alcohol consumption will all make a difference. Smoking is of course not a good idea for this and many other reasons.
We also strongly recommend that patients keep their face out of the sun. Sun exposure is a top contributor to skin aging and will certainly speed up the aging process even if you have had a very good face lift. Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day and a hat when you will be in direct sunlight is a great idea. Many makeup brands have an SPF built right into their formulations to make this easier.
How Does a Face Lift Work?
There are several ways to perform this procedure, and we always aim to personalize each surgery in a way that will take into account the shape of the patient’s face and their aesthetic goals. Typically, the incisions are made around the ears or behind the hairline so that any scarring will be in an inconspicuous location. The skin is then gently pulled back to smooth out any sagging and wrinkles.
In some cases, light liposuction will be used to remove fatty deposits that are causing a “jowly” appearance. The skin is then held in place with sutures that are normally removed within one to two weeks after surgery. A bandage will cover the incisions, and there will be gauze wrapped around your head. In some cases an elastic bandage will be wrapped around the chin and extend over the top of your head, to secure the entire area.
The Recovery Process
You will feel very tired when you get home after any surgical procedure that involves going under general anesthesia, so it’s important to get plenty of rest. Hopefully, you will have someone to help you at home for at least the first few days after your procedure. You must resist the temptation to get up and do things around the house! Resting with your head elevated, taking your medication, using cool compresses, and staying hydrated will help you to get through this time.
Most people feel like themselves again within a few weeks, but it’s important to remember that it can take several months for the face to heal completely. This is perfectly normal and not a process that can be rushed. You will continue to check in with your surgeon periodically throughout this time to make sure that your face is healing well and that the scars are fading nicely.
Is It Safe To Combine This with Other Procedures?
Even if opting for a full lift that includes the forehead, mid face and lower face, it is usually still fine to add in some other procedures if the surgeon deems that it is safe to do so. Most commonly, patients request a bit of liposuction around the face and neck to remove stubborn fat deposits. For those patients who have significant signs of aging around the eyes, they might also request an eyelid lift to further open up this area.
Another popular option is to include a neck lift, to create a more balanced look between the face and neck. At your consultation, we can discuss the best options to ensure that you get the overall aesthetic result you are looking for. If you are concerned about doing too much at once, it is also possible to break up your procedures into installments, or to combine surgery with other less-invasive treatments.
When Is It Time for Other Treatments?
If you regularly scheduled non-invasive anti-aging treatments such as Botox, fillers, and chemical peels before your surgery, you might be wondering when you can get back to these treatments. While these are all options that can help to extend the results of your face lift and give you an even more youthful glow, we do ask that you be completely healed from your surgery before you begin scheduling other treatments.
Always talk to your surgeon first to make sure you have the “green light” to resume your previous beauty routine. Your surgeon might also be able to recommend other minimally invasive treatments that can help to keep you looking great for many years.
Working With a Reputable Plastic Surgeon
When opting for a facial procedure or any other type of cosmetic surgery, it is vital that you find the best plastic surgeon in your area. This is the only way to ensure optimal, long-lasting results that you will be happy with for many years. Do some research to make sure you are working with a surgeon who specializes in facial procedures and who has a great reputation in their field.
Being treated by an experienced plastic surgeon who frequently performs facial work is the best way to help you achieve the results you are hoping for. At your consultation, be prepared with many questions and always ask to see some “before and after” pictures of other patients so that you can get an idea what the doctor’s work looks like, and what results you can hope to achieve.
Choosing To Put Your Best Face Forward
If you are bothered by the signs of aging on your face and want to find a longer-term solution to help you look and feel your best, we’re here to help. To schedule a consultation with Dustin C. Derrick, MD, contact us today at Cosmetic Surgery of DFW in Fort Worth,TX. We can be reached through our website or by calling 817-562-7979.