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Ask the Surgeon: Timing Your Facelift Surgery

Is it time for a facelift?

Patients interested in getting facelift surgery at my Orlando-area practice often wonder about issues of timing. The procedure is an excellent way to turn back the clock on the signs of aging, but it’s important to plan it for a time that’s right for a person’s lifestyle.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors involved. Anyone considering a facelift may want to address these issues:

When is the right age for a facelift?

This is a very common question with 2 variations: “Am I too old for a facelift?” and “Am I too young for a facelift?” First, it is never too late for facial rejuvenation! Health, not age, is the primary concern for older patients. Women and men in their 60s and 70s can definitely benefit from facial plastic surgery as long as their overall health is strong.

On the other end of the spectrum, patients in their late 30s and early 40s may opt for non-surgical treatments rather than a facelift at first. The determining factor is skin laxity. If you have moderate jowls and other loose skin, then a facelift may be right for you no matter what your age.

How much downtime is there?

This timing issue is an important one for working professionals, people who want to get a procedure before a big life event, and others. Downtime varies depending on the patient, but a general rule is that there may be some cosmetic signs of surgery that linger after you actually feel ready to return to normal activities. Many people choose to work from home for this reason. Swelling and bruising often resolve within 7 to 10 days, and most patients are comfortable enough to return to the office about 10 to 14 days after surgery.

Exercising and more strenuous activities should be postponed for at least 3 weeks, possibly more. Another issue may be if a patient is getting surgery prior to a big social event, such as a wedding. I typically advise patients to schedule a facelift at least 2 months before the event to be on the safe side.

How long will the results last?

One of the primary advantages of a facelift compared with non-surgical alternatives is that the results can last for years. There is a saying that is fairly common: A facelift turns back the clock but doesn’t stop it. In other words, a patient looks more youthful after surgery, but the aging process doesn’t stop. When performed by an experienced, board-certified facial plastic surgeon, the results of a facelift should last 10 to 15 years.

If you have questions about the right time for your facelift surgery, I am pleased to talk through each issue with you during a personalized consultation. Contact us for an appointment to begin planning.

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