Looking Young with Face Lift?

Face lift surgery was first performed by a certain Madame Noel in Paris, France, in the early 1900s. Since then, face lift surgery has become a common cosmetic plastic surgery that has given thousands of men and women a younger and more attractive look. But is it true that people are looking young with face lift surgery?

There are a number of posts here in which I have written about how facelift surgery and facial rejuvenation is performed.

https://tavmd.com/2013/05/10/when-to-have-a-face-lift-surgery/

https://tavmd.com/2013/04/15/face-lift-with-local-anesthesia/

https://tavmd.com/2013/06/30/face-lift-surgery-by-non-plastic-sugeons/

 

A recent study shows that what some cosmetic plastic surgeons have been telling their facelift patients for years may not really be true. For full disclosure, I have always been particularly careful to tell facelift patients that I cannot make them look younger, as I am not privy to fountain of youth secrets. As a plastic surgeon I have told my facelift patients that I am looking for a natural and rested look after the surgery. If a cosmetic patient wants to call that youth, so be it.

 Face lift photo

Face Lift study

A recent study took a number of subjects and showed them before and after photos of cosmetic patients who had undergone facial rejuvenation surgery and facelifts.

They were asked to rate patients on attractiveness and whether they looked younger after the facial surgery and facelifts.

The results of the study showed two interesting facts.

1. Face lift surgery does not make you more attractive

Attractiveness has more to do with basic facial anatomy and proportions than with aging or looseness of the skin. In fact, my plastic surgery professor taught me that some cosmetic patients were “BU”—basically ugly—and frankly beyond hope. One could pull skin tight, fill and remove fat and do all sorts of surgery, but the patient will ultimately remain BU.

 

2. Face lift patients were found on average to look three years younger

Three years is certainly not that much time, yet cosmetic patients who have facelifts do look better if they have been operated on by a skilled, board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon. So what is going on?

 

After a face lift, patients do not look more attractive and barely look any younger. Yet face lifts continue to be performed at increasing rates, and patients seem to be happy with their surgical results. One answer may be that it is just removal of the signs of facial aging that give a rested look to the patients, who then sees themselves as looking “better” and feeling better and more confident; the idea is that it’s the inner youth and beauty that shines through.

How about that?

 

Morad Tavallali, M.D., FACS