How Many Years Does Plastic Surgery Take Off Your Appearance?

  • Posted on: Aug 3 2013
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There is an interesting study soon to be published that looks at just how many years plastic surgery can take off your face.  And, can plastic surgery make you look more attractive?


Zimm and four colleagues tracked 204 facial plastic surgery patients, all of whom had opted for primary facial surgical procedures such as facelifts, neck lifts, upper or lower blepharoplasty (eye lifts) and brow lifts at the same Toronto, Canada, plastic surgery clinic.

Out of the 204, 12 men and 37 women met the criteria for the study. These 49 subjects, who ranged in age from 42 to 73, had a series of photos taken before and after their surgery. Makeup and jewelry, which the study refers to as “confounding variables,” were not allowed in either the before or after shots.

Photos were all taken by lead author Dr. Peter Adamson, who also performed the plastic surgery, using the same standardized background, the same camera and the same type of photography techniques.

A group of 50 “raters,” primarily made up of hospital workers and lay people recruited from the community, were then asked to estimate and record the age of the patients in the before and after photographs. They were also asked to rate the patient’s attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the top ranking (as always).

On average, raters estimated the patients’ age to be about 2.1 years younger than their chronological age before surgery and 5.2 years younger than their real age after surgery. There also was a small, “insignificant” increase in attractiveness scores in the after photos.

So do you really only lose 3 years off your looks with plastic surgery?

I don’t think so.

If my patients lost only 3 years after having actual surgery, I’d be out of business.  “How much younger will I look after my facelift?” is a common question plastic surgeons like me get asked nearly every day.  My answer depends on the patient, but typically ranges from 7-15 years.  Losing three years off your appearance is more in line with spa-grade treatments, not plastic surgery in my opinion.  There was another study a couple years ago that revealed facelifts take off 7 years on average, which is more along the lines of what I’d expect.  You can read about that study HERE.

To read more about this subject, visit the Today Show article HERE.

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Posted in: Dr. Anthony Youn in the Media, Plastic Surgery News

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