Facial Cosmetic Surgery Can Turn Back the Clock 7 Years On Average, Study Reports

December 18th, 2015

When considering facial cosmetic surgery, you might wonder: How much younger will I look?

In a study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), strangers perceived a patient’s age after this type of surgery as seven years younger than before the procedure.

The authors explained their reason for the study: “Research has demonstrated significant enhancement in patient satisfaction with appearance and quality of life after aesthetic surgery; furthermore, this can have a demonstrably broader effect in the context of physical, emotional, and social well-being. Although patients generally look more refreshed with facial features that are better defined and lifted to the proper position, it is difficult to definitively assert that they actually look more youthful.”

The study used photographs of 60 patients randomly selected for analysis, including one before surgery, and another six months after surgery. Strangers were then asked to estimate the age of the subjects. The difference between a patient’s actual biological age and the raters’ estimate — referred to as “perceived age difference” — was compared before and after surgery.

Patient photos were divided into three groups, according to which type(s) of cosmetic surgery they received:
Group 1: facelift and neck lift (22 patients);
Group 2: facelift, neck lift, and upper and lower blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) (17 patients);
Group 3: facelift, neck lift, upper and lower blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), and forehead lift (21 patients).

The patients’ ages before surgery were estimated to be 1.7 years younger than their chronological age. And, when shown the post-surgery pictures, the raters estimated the subjects’ ages as 8.9 years younger than their actual ages.

So, having facial cosmetic surgery changed the patients’ perceived age difference by a substantial 7.2 years. The effect was less prevalent for Group 1 (5.7 years), and was most dramatic for Group 3 patients (8.4 years), who had undergone all three facial procedures.

For facial cosmetic surgery in Madison, Wisconsin, visit board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Clifford King.

Dr. King offers facelift and eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) to give you a fresher, younger appearance.

Contact Madison Cosmetic Surgery online or call our office at 608-821-4004 to schedule a private consultation.