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How much younger will I look after a facelift?

by | Aug 16, 2013 | Blog, Facelift

“It depends on many factors,” says Dr George Marcells. “Every person is unique. Every face is unique. While everyone looks younger and more refreshed when their features have been more clearly defined after facial plastic surgery, it can be difficult to quantify exactly how much younger a person would look after surgery.”

The objectives of a facial plastic surgeon include achieving a more rejuvenated and youthful appearance, restoration of facial harmony and the preservation of anatomical landmarks. Avoiding undesirable surgical marks or stigmata is also a key objective.

According to Dr Marcells, even though there are many studies that examine outcomes of cosmetic surgery, most of the studies look at outcomes from the patient’s point of view and how patients report satisfaction. As we all know these can be very subjective.

A number of studies have clearly demonstrated that patients report significant levels of enhancement in appearance, satisfaction and quality of life after cosmetic surgery. It is also clear that cosmetic surgery can have a wider effect on an individual’s physical, emotional and social wellbeing.

On the other hand, if the whole idea of cosmetic facial surgery is to restore a youthful appearance and to minimise signs of ageing, what ultimately matters is how many years the surgery has managed to take off your face.

How many years does surgery take off your face?

Sometimes a facelift can take as much as ten years off the face. But, exactly how many years depends on several factors, including the way you look before surgery and the types of procedures you undergo.

According to a study published in the Facial Plastic Surgery journalby Canadian and US researchers, after surgery patients on average looked 8.9 years younger than their chronological age.[1]

Here’s how the study was conducted: 60 patients awaiting facial procedures were photographed before and after surgery. Survey participants were presented before and after pictures in a random assortment and asked to estimate the chronological age of the faces shown. Overall, participants estimated that the patients looked 1.7 years younger than their actual age before surgery. After surgery the perceived age difference (between estimate and actual age) was 8.9 years.

Differences among participants, the chronological age before surgery, the order in which photos were presented and the surgical procedures performed, all factors that can affect the outcome,were taken into account in the statistical model used in the study.

The patients were put into three groups according to the type and number of procedures. Group one included those awaiting face and neck lift surgery. Group two consistedof those wanting a face and neck lift together with upper and lower eyelid surgery. Group three was made up ofpatients undergoingface and neck lift surgery, upper and lower eyelid surgery and a forehead lift.

The study data showed that the perceived age difference after surgery was most dramatic for group three patients and much less so for group one.

“On average, this has also been my experience,” says Dr Marcells. “The key cosmetic procedures that take years off your face are a face and neck lift, eyelid surgery and a brow lift. If well executed, facial cosmetic surgery can take 10-15 years off a person’sappearance. And it has a significant impact on boosting confidence andself‑esteem.”

“Most people look upon cosmetic surgery as a last resort. Regardless of how well you look after yourself, there comes a time when other treatments can no longer help you look better. If you have loose or sagging skin, facialsurgery becomes the most effective way to bring about a moreyouthful appearance.”

For more information

If you’d like more information about what cosmetic procedures can do for facial ageing or you’d like to make a time to talk withDr Marcells, please contact us on 1300 555 095. You can also use the email or ‘book consultation’ feature of this website to make an appointment.

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[1]Chauhan N, Warner JP, Adamson PA. Perceived age change after aesthetic facial surgical procedures quantifying outcomes of aging face surgery. Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2012 Jul-Aug;14(4):258-62. doi: 10.1001/archfacial.2011.1561. Accessed on 30 July 2013 at:

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Meet Dr Marcells

Past President – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons

Dr George Marcells is known for excellence in facial plastic surgery and is considered a true master of rhinoplasty. He performs advanced surgical techniques to restore balance and harmony to the face and can also resolve functional issues such as breathing difficulties.

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