More than five years after facelift surgery, three-fourths of patients still look younger than they did before surgery, according to a long-term follow-up study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (December 2012), the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
Barry M. Jones, MD, of King Edward VII Hospital, London, and Steven J. Lo, MD, of Canniesburn Plastic Surgery Unit, Glasgow, analyzed standardized photographs of 50 patients who had undergone facelift surgery an average of 5 1/2 years previously. Three different sets of assessments were performed to determine how well the facelift results held up over time:
• Objective measurements, such as jowl height and the angle of the chin to the neck
• Subjective assessments of key areas, such as lines from the nose to mouth and mouth to chin
• Overall subjective assessment-global score of the patient's appearance
All three sets of assessments showed significant improvement, although the researchers noted some loss of improvement in the years since facelift surgery. On objective measurements, the improvement in jowl height decreased by about 20% during follow-up. The angle of the chin to neck showed even greater reduction, with 70% of improvement lost.
Subjective assessments also showed lasting improvement in key areas, including lines running from the nose to mouth and mouth to chin. These improvements showed little deterioration in the years since surgery. The loss of improvement appeared greatest in the neck area.