How long do the results of face lifts last?

Thanks for your question.  Changes from facelifts can be maintained over several years.  More than ¾ of facelift patients still look better than they did before, after some five years after the procedure.  The longevity of rejuvenation depends on many factors including some that can be controlled by the patient – not smoking, keeping well hydrated, taking sun protection seriously (wear protective clothing & use sunscreen with SPF 30+), taking care of the body from the inside (eat foods from whole food sources, limit alcohol intake) and having regular exercise.  There are also other practices you can observe to make the results of a face lift last longer — scheduling laser skin resurfacing procedures regularly (removing top layers of skin allows new skin cells to surface to reduce appearance of lines/wrinkles plus laser promote collagen production); injectable appointments (Botox and dermal fillers)  and of course, using the right skin care products.  The exact combination of internal and external regimens will depend on your specific needs which will be based on genetics, lifestyle and your environment.

What happens during a brow lift?

A brow lift is called a browplasty or a forehead lift.  This procedure tightens the soft tissues of the forehead to rejuvenate the forehead skin, upper eyelids and eyebrows.  There are various brow lift methods, which vary in the length of the incisions and in the locations they are made.  An Open Brow Lift involves a long incision across the forehead and lifts the skin away from the tissue below.  The muscles below are loosened and any fat therein is removed.  Excess skin is then removed, the rest of the skin is pulled and the brow stitched into its new position.  An Endoscopic Brow Lift is so called because a long, thin tube attached to a video cam, is inserted through several tiny incisions in the scalp.  A Limited Incision Technique is a combination of both previous procedures.  It is recommended for those with marked crow’s feet.  The type of brow lift that will be performed

How is facelift procedure done? Jojo

Hi Jojo, thanks for your question.  Facelifts are surgical procedures performed on patients wanting to improve aging/stressed areas in the neck and facial areas.  These last about two hours and require anesthesia, and all things considered, are still considered as outpatient procedures.  It is done to refresh deep facial creases along the nose, below lower eyelids, loose skin in the jowls (under the chin/jaw), sagging in the mid-face and lost fat in the facial area. A facelift procedure is done through an incision beginning in the hair or hairline above and in front of the ear (the temporal region).  Since this procedure does not help with brows, eyelids and the eyelids in general, some patients opt to have injections of soft tissue fillers, facial implants or skin resurfacing.

What are the complications of having a face lift? Alice

Hello Alice, facelift surgical procedures have been performed and refined for a considerable period of time that the potential side effects of a face lift are more or less the same as they are for any surgical procedure. Some pain can be expected post-surgery, as well as swelling, bruising (especially around the eyes), scarring (expect these to stay pink for a few months before fading to a less noticeable white color).  There’s also the low but possible risk of nerve damage or infection after a face lift.  Some patients react to anesthesia (nausea), some experience hematoma (bleeding under the skin), bleeding (postoperative), and infection.  But there are some complications unique to face lifts: nerve injury, slow healing of the skin (especially for smokers), scarring, blood or fluid retention, crustation of face lift scars.


Can a facelift get rid of my wrinkles and lines? After a facelift why do some patients look like they just came out of a wind tunnel? Rhett

Hello Rhett, it’s important to set the right expectations on what cosmetic surgery can and cannot do.  Most people have this idea that it’s a catch all solution for all the problems that aging brings to a patient’s face/body   It can address physical changes like sagging facial & neck skin, eye bags, even loose skin under the jaw/chin.  But it can’t address the quality of the skin (lines, wrinkles).  As for the “wind tunnel look” – you may be referring to surgery that has been pulled too tight or when a patient should have had a different treatment rather than the surgery.  This is easily avoided by having a proper consult with a board certified surgeon who may recommend topical treatments to reduce lines:  Alpha-hydroxyl acids (AHAs) natural fruit acids, Retinoids (including Retin A), Topical Vitamin C and Idebenone antioxidant, application of growth factor compounds as well as the use of pentapeptides to boost collagen production.  There are also medical treatments you can look at: Botox injections, wrinkle fillers like collagen, laser resurfacing, chemical peels and dermabrasion.

I’m Asian and want to have a face lift. Do I need to find a good doctor experienced in working on Asians or is someone who’s good in general ok? Annie

Hi Annie – it should be equally fine to have a board certified cosmetic surgeon with general experience (i.e., not specialized in a particular ethnic group) or one with patients belonging to a specific ethnic group.  It boils down to your personal preference, whomever you will feel more comfortable with.  However there is a growing Asian social consciousness (the Look East movement), that has encouraged cosmetic surgeons to develop techniques to preserve ethnic characteristics and retain their Asian identity.  This has resulted in more subtle changes (i.e., noses are not as pointy and less fat is being removed near lower eyelids).  growing appreciation for diversity and higher social awareness and the Asians’ preference to maintain their ethnic identify by not losing important facial features that exhibit racial character.  In effect, the typical Asian patient who undergoes eyelid surgery does so while wanting a wider, fuller eye that looks natural in an Asian face, while keeping an almond shape.


My cheeks and eyebrows don’t look the same? What can I have done to fix this?

Hi, thanks for your question. To make your eyebrows match, you can try what is called a liquid lift.  There are several pluses for choosing this procedure:  it isn’t an invasive procedure, so it won’t require extensive recovery time. Liquid lifts are done using Botox which relaxes the muscles that pull the eyebrow down. If you want something more permanent, think about having an endoscopic brow lift.  Not only will it reposition your eyebrows, it will also minimize wrinkles.  As for the uneven cheeks, ask about fat grafting procedures that transfer fat from areas of excess fat (ex. outer thighs), and processes and injects the same into your cheek area.  This safe, long-lasting, well-tolerated procedure produces natural-looking results. Every year, a large number of people undergo successful fat grafting and are pleased with the results.  If some facial areas look sunken and you want more long lasting corrective results, and that you’d also like to improve your body shape, minimize scars.  At the end of the day, d take the time to meet with a board certified facial plastic surgeon.  Good luck.

My midface lift 6 days after surgery looks like a disaster. What went wrong? Angelo

Hi Angelo, sorry that you didn’t get the results you were looking for.  There are several possibilities on why the midface lift didn’t deliver.  It could be that not enough excess fat and skin were removed, making the area appear bulky.  If this was the case, it would be best to see your doctor.  Your doctor may recommend fillers to even out the skin.  But it is really too soon to be planning additional work since you just had your surgery barely a week ago.  Try your best to be patient about all this.  What is important to remember is that the results of midface lifts are intended to be subtle.  If you want more pronounced results, you can have additional surgery done to get an even more refreshed look.

When will the swelling subside after a face lift? Also had upper eyelid surgery and lip injections.

Patients’ recovery times differ, but in general, noticeable swelling will go down within 10 to 14 days. My patients often return to work in two weeks. To be sure you’ll be at your best for special occasions, schedule surgery a month before the event.  If no special occasion but you just want to look good, just be sure to follow post-op care instructions which   include:  keeping the head elevated and immobile to minimize swelling; NOT to blow-dry hair and wearing earrings; avoid vigorous exercise for up to two weeks after surgery.  And to avoid alcohol, saunas and steam rooms for at least several months.

How long does it take to have facelift done?

Since there are several types of facelift, the duration of any such surgery will vary according to the complexity of the procedure.  From the traditional full facelift to the mid facelift, to the Mini facelift, the lower facelift, the Thread facelift, the procedure may take from 1 hour to up to 8 hours.  Accordingly, patients’ recovery times differ, but in general, noticeable swelling will go down within 10 to 14 days. Most patients often return to work in two weeks, but best to wait a full month after surgery to be at your best.  Keep in mind that skin type and age influence facelift results which realistically speaking can rejuvenate the face with a fresher appearance, and is not a permanent solution to aging.  The positive results of a facelift only become apparent after several weeks.  You should expect that things will be worse before they become better. It is best to discuss your questions and concerns with a qualified cosmetic or plastic surgeon to set realistic expectations.