Is A Second Facelift Safe For Older Patients?

Facelift for Older Women 
What happens after you get your first facelift?
Your face looks more youthful, sure, but does this appearance last forever? Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Your face will continue to age and gravity will continue to exist. On the upside, however, you’ll have a younger-looking foundation to age from.

Many patients are receiving facelifts at earlier times in their lives in order to offset the look of an aging face. This leads these same patients to contemplate getting a secondary facelift later on. Although an initial facelift lasts an average of eight to twelve years, most patients never receive a second facelift. In fact, a second facelift may not even be necessary.

Dr. Robert Singer, a plastic surgeon from La Jolla, California, notes that a secondary facelift may be indicated for patients whose facial tone and skin have continued to sag or become loose after their first facelift. On the other hand, older patients may not benefit from more skin tightening procedures – they might opt instead to augment the facial volume that has been lost during the aging process.

To replenish volume loss, doctors can use a patient’s own fat or inject dermal fillers such as Restylane, Juverderm or Sculptra to fill in areas of the brows, cheeks and temples. At times, only the neck area needs to undergo surgery to lift up the lower part of the face, allowing for a stronger foundation to support the mid face area.

Dr. Singer also notes that while tightening skin with surgery and replenishing facial volume is beneficial, patients need to keep in mind that the condition of their skin plays a very important role in achieving a youthful-looking face. While they can enhance their deep skin tissue and facial contours, the outer part – their skin on the surface level also needs to be addressed and well taken care of, if they want to preserve their youthfulness.

A Second Facelift – Yay or Nay?

When skin quality and volume are not a major issue, a second facelift might indeed be the best option. For older patients apprehensive about undergoing surgery, it’s understandable to be concerned about the physical toll that any surgical procedure takes on the body as well as the ability to recover and heal at a more advanced age.

However, a recent study documented in the journals of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery demonstrated that age sixty-five and older patients experience no higher risk of complication when compared to younger patients. Another study also showed that a second facelift is not riskier than a first facelift.


Dr. Leslie H. Stevens, another plastic surgeon, acknowledges that secondary facelifts are becoming more common as people receive their first facelift at younger ages. People are leading more active and healthier lifestyles with longer lifespans, which may necessitate a secondary facelift later on.

All in all, surgery is still surgery. It’s perfectly natural to want to preserve a natural, youthful appearance even after the initial facelift; therefore, having realistic expectations as well as choosing a board-certified doctor who’s highly-skilled in his practice should greatly increase the chances for a successful secondary facelift.

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About Victoria Strander

Writes about the latest beauty procedures. Her articles are available for syndication. Use Contact Page for inquiries.