Secondary Facelifts Are Safe and Successful

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While the effects of a facelift are long-lasting, they are not permanent and like many other cosmetic procedures, they require maintenance. Most often performed about a decade after an initial facelift, a secondary facelift (aka secondary rhytidectomy) can help restore the original results of a facelift.   

According to new research published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a secondary facelift can achieve similarly lasting results to a facelift with a low complication rate. The study set out to gain insights into the technique, outcomes and longevity of the results of secondary facelift surgeries, which did not include patients undergoing just minor revisions after their first facelift.

Reporting on their 20-year experience, the researchers conclude that, with attention to some key surgical principles, “Secondary rhytidectomy is a safe and effective procedure for continued surgical facial rejuvenation in the aging patient.”

The researchers found that secondary facelifts tend to last almost as long as initial facelifts since some patients decided to undergo a third procedure after a similar number of years. Additionally, the risk of complication was about the same with both primary and secondary facelifts, although other reports have said otherwise.

“With an ever-growing middle-aged population and an overall interest in facial rejuvenation at an earlier age, there has been a substantial increase in patients undergoing secondary rhytidectomy,” says study author Dr. Rod J. Rohrich and colleagues. Although the research presents overall positive results, the authors note that the procedure requires some unique techniques so it’s important to seek a board-certified plastic surgeon familiar with secondary rhytidectomy. 

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