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How Long Does a Facelift Last?

This is without a doubt one of the questions that we hear most often.

The answer, though, is not quite as simple as some people expect.  There are a few ways to think about this topic, but the important thing is for you to understand the problem areas addressed by a facelift procedure and have a basic understanding of the techniques involved.

charleston facelift


So, how long does a facelift last?  The simple answer is — forever.

You will always age more gracefully after having a face and neck lift procedure than if you had done nothing at all.  Patients who have had a well-done and natural facelift typically look much better for their age, even years after.

Part of the reason for this is, of course, that many of the signs of aging were corrected with the facelift.  That is obvious.  One additional benefit is that the healing that occurs underneath the skin surface after a facelift tends to provide some long-lasting support to the skin, muscle, and fat so that these areas do not sag as easily.


But the clock keeps ticking . . . .

This next concept is probably more important to appreciate when talking about how long a facelift lasts.  Yes, the results are there and last forever, but the aging process keeps on going.

how long does a facelift lastImagine being on one of those moving sidewalks at the airport.  You are sitting there cruising along, getting closer and closer to the end (old age and everything that comes with it!).  Having a facelift can pick you up and set you back a significant distance on that moving sidewalk, but you’ll keep on heading in the same direction.

Maybe the better question is how long does it take for most people to get to the point where they start to notice some areas begin to show sagging again and consider that it might be time for a “tuck up” procedure.  For most people that usually occurs around the 8 or 10 year mark, but some people may begin to show signs of aging in certain areas of the face a little sooner.

The areas that begin to relax first are the loose skin and muscle in the neck followed by some relaxation around the jowls, which is to be expected based on the anatomy in these areas.


How to make your results last longerdreamstimemedium_38197559
  1. Genetics
  2. Sun Damage
  3. Smoking
  4. Poor Diet
  5. Weight Gain

These are some of the most important factors that will cause a facelift not to last as long in some people.  Unfortunately, #1 is out of your control, but you can do something about all of the others.

A healthy lifestyle, good diet, and avoiding sun damage are all critical to help your results last.  These issues effect the quality of the skin to a significant degree, so some people consider CO2 laser treatments to improve the quality of the skin and boost the amount of collagen support in the deeper layers of the skin.

There are other treatments that compliment the results such as Botox for wrinkles or fillers to add some youthful volume in areas that need it.

Remember to understand how the face ages as we discussed in a recent blog post.  A facelift makes a huge impact but does not address all of the overlapping causes of aging in the face.  Once you have a better understanding of why certain areas that bother you are looking the way that they do, you can then feel more confident in choosing the best treatment options.


Dr. David Rodwell specializes in facial cosmetic surgery including facelift and necklift procedures.  To learn more about your options and what to expect after these procedures call our office at (843) 628-1415 to schedule a private consultation.