Facelifts are a popular cosmetic option among middle-aged and older patients attempting to recapture a look of youth and vitality. According to a new study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, however, it seems that younger patients reap the best results from what’s being called “maintenance facelifts.”
An earlier study had already revealed that patients who underwent facelift surgery at 50 years or older had lower satisfaction scores than their younger counterparts. This is because the skin at 50+ shows signs of aging that cannot be corrected with facial rejuvenation surgery, such as discoloration. Younger patients have traditionally avoided facelift surgery in favor of simpler, short-lived nonsurgical and surgical procedures.
This new study involved comparing short-term and long-term patient satisfaction rating with expert analysis of follow-up photographs. Patients were divided into three age groups: less than 50, 50-60, and more than 60 at the time of the surgery.
The study found that patients who had received facelifts under the age of 50 had a “remarkable maintenance of their youthful appearance.” The 60+ group, however, had significant signs of aging at the time of the surgery. While the facelift managed to reverse most of these signs, so that the 60+ patients looked younger than their peers, satisfaction scores and expert ratings were lower than the 50- group. The intermediate group had intermediate results.
Due to the high rates of long-term satisfaction among patients under 50, the researchers noted that this group is particularly well-suited to receive facial rejuvenation surgery: “a ‘maintenance’ facelift should be offered to and even preferred in younger patients as a surgical option for facial rejuvenation.” Younger patients who stave off the signs of aging with cosmetic fillers or Botox may want to consider taking a quantum leap forward with a facelift. Based on this study, it may be one of the most satisfying cosmetic procedures that they ever receive.
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