Facelift: Does Looking Younger Help You Live Longer?

New York, NY (July 9, 2001)—A Mayo Clinic study suggests that women who have a facelift may live more than ten years longer than those not having a lift. The study was presented at a meeting in New York sponsored by the 1900-member American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). The meeting showcased research by young plastic surgeons in accredited residency or fellowship programs.

The study involved 250 female patients who had facelifts from 1970 to 1975. The average age at the time of surgery was 60.4 years. Death from any cause was treated as the end point, and survival was compared graphically and statistically with life tables for the female United States population.

At the time of follow-up, 66 percent of the facelift patients were still alive, with an average age of 84 years. Of those patients who had died, the average age of death was 81.7 years. When compared statistically, the facelift patients had a life expectancy more than ten years greater than that of the general female population, say the authors of the study.

“Obviously, this interesting analysis does not claim to prove a cause-and-effect relationship between having a facelift and living longer,” says Mark Jewell, MD, chair of ASAPS Communications. “However, other studies have shown that patients who have a facelift generally have a greater-than-average commitment to maintaining their overall health and fitness. That can easily translate into living longer.”

The study’s authors, Lane F. Smith, MD, and Stephan J. Finical, MD, say that enhanced “self-esteem and life optimism,” proven benefits of cosmetic surgery, may also contribute to longevity.


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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