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Will a second facelift fall again?

Q:

I had a face lift one year ago. It looked good for 4 months then my face fell. When I went back to doctor he suggested that I have a chemical peel. I refused, now he wants to add fillers from liposuction to my lines around my mouth and cheeks. I asked to have another facelift done, but was told it would only fall again. What should I do?

A:

When a facelift procedure is properly selected and done correctly, it should last for much longer than 4 months. The worst I have had was some recurrence after a few years in a significant smoker whom I could not get to stop smoking. Even then, she did not return to anywhere close to her pre-op state. Many people do a "mini facelift" which only tightens the tissue a little bit. This really does not address the main areas of tissue descent. The tissues can stretch back easily and usually do. I suggest you obtain your operative report from the procedure you had and take it with you when you see a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in facial rejuvenation surgically as well as non-surgically.

A:

A facelift, in properly selected patients, which includes suture suspension of the deep layers (the SMAS ) in a vertical direction and also vertical lifting of the skin should give a good correction for 5-7 years, longer in patients with good elastic skin and perhaps shorter in patients with poor elasticity from smoking or extensive sun damage.  4 months is an unusually short time to return to your pre operative appearance.  If you have addressed this with your plastic surgeon and are getting no resolution, take your records and have other consultations with board certified plastic surgeons.  The records will enable the new surgeons to see what has been done and possibly offer corrective measures.

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