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Can you have more than one facelift in a lifetime?

April 9, 2014

While the majority of patients only opt for one facelift in their life, there are certainly times when a second or even third procedure may help to retain a youthful appearance later in life. A well done facelift will last a long time and should not require subsequent treatments for at least 5 years, often up to 10. There is no specific maximum number of facelifts a patient can undergo but more is definitely not better for a number of reasons:

Facelift Procedure

  • Each time the procedure is performed, some skin is removed. As there is a finite amount of skin on your face, the procedure cannot be performed over and over ago indefinitely.
  • The first facelift will make the most dramatic difference as it removes the most skin. Subsequent procedures will remove less and have a less dramatic result.
  • While the skin may stretch and lose elasticity over time, progressive skin removal will eventually cause facial deformities. This usually begins somewhere around the 3rd or 4th procedure depending on the individual and the skill of the surgeon. There are many factors that can affect when distortion of the facial features may occur including:
    • The amount of skin removed during each procedure;
    • The time interval between procedures;
    • The health of the patient’s skin;
    • Whether or not the patient smokes;
    • The overall health and lifestyle of the patient;
    • The techniques used; and
    • Whether or not the patient has used non-surgical treatments.

Mini-facelifts will also affect this count as there is still some amount of skin removal involved in these procedures. It is important to remember that while it is possible to get 4 or 5 facelifts in a lifetime, the overwhelming majority of patients have only 1 and remain quite satisfied with the results for many years. The general rule is not to have more than 3 procedures but the key is to ensure that the patient has realistic expectations and to carefully consider their unique case before making a recommendation.

Simply put, less is more. In order to get the maximum benefit from each procedure, choose your surgeon with care and wait a significant amount of time before considering another one – you will be surprised how long a facelift will keep you looking and feeling younger. It is certainly possible to get at least a second procedure done so if you are waiting to get your first out of fear it can only be done once, worry not!


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Robert S Backstein, MD STEELES AVENUE COSMETIC SURGERY
5109 Steeles Avenue West, Unit 13 Toronto, Ontario, M9L 2Y8
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