Conventional wisdom informs us that women and men consider having a facelift when they have exhausted all of the other possibilities for maintaining their facial appearance. This typically occurs in the mid-fifties to early sixties. However, a recent study to be published in the January issue of ASPS – Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® indicates that younger patients are generally more satisfied with their short-term and long term results.
Drs. Liu and Owsley compared the short-term and long-term patient satisfaction ratings with expert analysis of follow-up photographs. They analyzed differences in long-term outcomes for patients in three age groups: patients younger than 50, 50 to 60 years, and over 60 years old at the time of facelift surgery.
Consistent with a previously published study, younger patients had higher and more consistent satisfaction scores at both short and long-term follow-up. Those subjective ratings were supported by expert analysis of follow-up photos, which showed that patients who underwent facelift surgery before age 50 had “remarkable maintenance of their youthful appearance.”
In contrast, at the time of surgery, patients in the over-60 group already had “significant facial aging changes.” At long-term follow-up, they still looked more youthful than other people of the same age, although they did show signs of “regression” in the five facial areas graded by plastic surgeons. Patients in the 50 to 60 year old age group had intermediate results.
The patient satisfaction ratings were generally consistent with the expert ratings of before-and-after photographs. On long-term follow-up, using a 5-point scale (5 being most satisfied), patients in the under-50 age group continued to rate all facial areas with 4′s and 5′s, compared to 2′s to 5′s for the 50-to-60 group and 2′s and 3′s for the over-60 group.
According to the authors of the study, Drs. Tom S. Liu and John Q. Owsley of California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, patients younger than 50 should be considered preferable candidates for facial rejuvenation due to their superior long-term results.
Although there is no perfect age for a facelift, the study suggests that early intervention may be most effective in facial rejuvenation. Many patients in my practice achieve excellent results with the MACS facelift, which offers much quicker recovery time than a traditional facelift.
If you would like to learn more about facial rejuvenation or facelift surgery, please call our office to schedule a private complimentary consultation with Dr. Ringler to determine which of our services may be right for you.