Plastic surgery can be expensive and many patients want to know how long the results of their plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery will last before they invest a lot of money.
Most plastic surgery patients choose to have a cosmetic procedure because it can significantly improve the signs of aging depending upon the procedure. For some cosmetic surgery patients, aesthetic surgery is a way to improve or accentuate their body shape. It may also be used to correct certain flaws with their facial features. Since facial and body corrections are achieved by means of incisions, the time it takes to heal or recover will vary. The results from most aesthetic plastic surgery procedures will last much longer than a noninvasive approach although there are some non-invasive or non-surgical procedures like permanent fillers that will last a very long time. Each procedure or body area can be different in terms of how long it will last, how long it will take to heal and recover. Similarly, how long will it be between plastic surgery procedures is often asked by patients and again, this depends upon the procedure and the patient’s desires.
The following is a guide to each area of the body and an attempt to answer these questions.
A facelift or rhytidectomy is generally performed to improve the overall appearance of the face, jaw and neck. A facelift also reduces sagging skin, wrinkles and other common signs of aging.
How long will the results of a facelift last?
Essentially, a facelift will last the rest of your life but we have to remember that after a facelift we continue to age. The research on how long a facelift will last shows that although you will look better for the rest of your life if you have a facelift, at around 8 to 10 years a facelift will start to “show it’s wear”. But the results and length of time a face lift will last also depends on several issues such as your genetic or how your parents aged, your skin quality, changes in weight, and things such as whether the patient is a smoker or has spends a lot of time in the sun in the ensuing years after a facelift.
In other words, a facelift will last are different lengths of time for everyone. The facial tissues will remain tighter than pre-surgery, but the results will fade some over time as you continue to age. How long until that happens depends on the procedure you have done and the skill of your surgeon, along with genetics and lifestyle factors.
There are many different types of facelifts and potentially, each type could last a different amount of time. For instance, if only the skin is tightened, the result will not last very long at all. Techniques that also lift and reposition the under structure will last much longer and examples of these techniques are the SMAS facelift, the deep plane facelift and the MACS facelift. I prefer the MACS facelift since the results will last at least as long as the others, gives more natural looking results and has by far fewer complications.
But with the right procedure, you should be able to enjoy your results for well over a decade.
How long will the healing and recovery of a facelift take?
Facelift recovery should only be about a day. Most patients are up and can be outside walking or at the gym the next day. Normally the dressing that is placed at the time of surgery is removed the next morning and the patient is able to get in the shower and wash their hair. They are not healed and there will be swelling as well as bruising. The swelling normally takes about 10 to 14 days to subside. The bruising will resolve between 2 weeks and up to one month to go away completely depending upon the extent of the bruising originally. The bruising can usually be covered with makeup and most patients are out in the public eye within days of their surgery as a result.
How long between plastic surgery procedures like a facelift?
This question is related to how long a facelift will last. Again, the results should produce a younger more refreshed look but over the years, as we age, some patients may want to “upgrade” their look and when they chose to do that is an individual decision.
Eyelid Lift Surgery
Eyelid lift surgery or blepharoplasty is a great plastic surgery to open up your eyes and get rid of the tired, sad eye look that comes with age.
How long will and eyelid lift last?
Like all plastic or cosmetic surgery, an eyelid lid lift will last your life time but, again, we cannot stop the aging process and some patients will need to have their eyelid lift repeated in in 8 to 12 years to maintain the look they got after the initial eyelid lift or blepharoplasty.
How long will the healing and recovery of a facelift take?
Recovery from an eyelid lift is very short and most patients can be out that night or the next day. The swelling and bruising is the thing that slows people down form getting out in public. Swelling will last 3 to 4 days and bruising can last 4 to 7 days if it is minimal initially but it can last up to 2 weeks before it completely resolves if there is a lot of bruising in the beginning. Most patients actually look quite good at a week and if there is still some bruising they cover it up with makeup.
A breast augmentation is a surgery with many variables and choices for the surgeon and the patient. Issues that are relevant to a breast augmentation are, the type of implant, where it is placed, the state of the breast tissue and amount of sagging or ptosis of the breast.
How long will the results of a breast augmentation last?
A breast augmentation with the right breast implant should last a lifetime. Although the FDA is careful to warn patients that a breast augmentation is not a “permanent” operation and most patients will need another surgery at some point in the lifetime of the breast implant, today there are implants that are warranted for your life and most breast implants should out last you.
I prefer the natural feeling gummy bear breast implants from Sientra for a number of reasons. These implants are made of the highly cohesive silicone gel that does not leak and are therefore called gummy bears because they go right back to their original shape when they are deformed. As a result, Sientra has a lifetime warranty on these breast implants and will also provide money for surgery if you do have a failure problem in the first 29 years after they are placed. That is essentially a free insurance policy for your breast implants.
What is amazing about these implants is that they can be placed above the muscle to give a better shape and they actually feel like normal breast tissue at about 6 months. Sientra did a focus group of women who had breast implants of all types and what came out of that group was this marketing slogan. “Feels so good you will want to share.”
For more on why Sientra breast implants are so good, here are links to 2 articles that may be of interest to you:
How long will the healing and recovery of a breast augmentation be?
Breast augmentation recovery should not be longer than 24 hours. With the 24 hour, no narcotic, breast augmentation patients are back to work the next day, often out to dinner the night of the surgery and frequently back to the gym within just a day or two. I often need to remind patients that they are not healed and that over the first few days they have to be somewhat careful of the wounds. For instance, while the wounds can get wet in a shower, they should be soaked in a bath, swimming pool or hot tub for a week. With this breast augmentation protocol, there are no narcotics and patients who, for whatever reason want to have a minimal downtime after surgery love it.
I am frequently asked why other surgeons do use the same technique and I really do have a good answer other than many surgeons are reluctant to change from the old ways of doing things,
How long will it be before new breast implants have to be placed?
The great news here is that, as I mentioned above, your implants should last a lifetime and should not need replacing at all.
Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty
A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a surgery to get rid to excess fat and skin of the tummy and often tighten the rectus muscles of the stomach. This is most frequently done after pregnancies but can also be done after weight loss.
How long will a tummy tuck last?
How long a tummy tuck will last is very similar to how long any plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery will last. Essentially, a tummy tuck will last a lift time and the only reason why someone would need a redo is if they gain a lot of weight after their initial tummy tuck, stretch their skin out and stomach out and then lose the weight so they now have hanging skin. This may also happen after a pregnancy or two after the initial abdominoplasty or tummy tuck, but that is very uncommon.
How long does it take to recover from a plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery of the tummy, like a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty?
Recovery from a plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery like a tummy tuck should b no more than 24 hours. You are not healed and may have some discomfort the day after your surgery but you should be able to get back to the things you would routinely do in daily living. This includes any daily activity we normally perform such as dressing, grooming, work, homemaking, childcare, driving and light leisure activities.
This is possible with the 24 hour, NO DRAIN, no narcotic tummy tick protocol. It involves getting going, exercises and anti-inflammatories, all of which is opposite to the conventional post-operative routines employed by the majority of plastic and cosmetic surgeons.
How long does plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery of the tummy, like a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty take to heal?
Much like a breast augmentation and other plastic surgeries or cosmetic surgeries discussed above, healing after a tummy tuck does take time but with the 24 hour rapid recovery you should be back to most of your daily routines within a day. You will not be back to the gym for about a week and even then we advise that you start slowly and work up to your full work out routine. Patients who have more active jobs, like a nurse who has to help with lifting, can certainly be back to work within a couple of days but usually will take 4 to 5 days off and then be careful with her lifting for a week or two.
How long will it be between a plastic surgery like a tummy tuck and when it has to be redone?
As mentioned above, a tummy tuck or breast augmentation should last the rest of your life and redoing a tummy tuck is actually very unusual.