If you are considering having facelift and/or necklift plastic surgery, one of the critical pre-op questions you may not have considered is how any potential weight loss may affect the outcome of your surgery.
The shape and condition of your face is not a static thing. When you lose weight, your facial features will also change. If you’re considering a facelift it is critical to take your weight loss goals into consideration and discuss your intentions with your plastic surgeon.
It is not necessary to lose weight just because you are having a facelift. Unless you feel you’re over your ideal weight, or have been advised by your doctor that you need to lose weight for health reasons, it is not necessary just for the sake of your facelift. If you are unsure, please ask your GP or plastic surgeon.
However, if you are planning to lose a significant amount of weight before your facelift surgery please advise your surgeon of your weight loss plans during your initial consultation. In this case, you may be advised to set up another appointment for a secondary consultation in a few weeks — or even a few months — time. This may not be the news you want to hear, but with regards to a successful facelift surgery, patience is the key to success.
When anyone loses weight, there will be initially some amount of loose, saggy, or hanging skin. Depending on your age, genetics, and lifestyle, some of the loose skin will ‘bounce back’ naturally on its own. This is called your skin’s elasticity. It’s better for you to lose weight slowly and steadily so that the elasticity of your facial skin can ‘bounce back’ and adapt naturally before your facelift — rather than trying to make dramatic weight loss changes just before your operation.
We cannot emphasize this enough: you should avoid making dramatic changes in your weight between your consultation and surgery date because it may significantly change the surgical plan your plastic surgeon has created for you.
The question that remains is: how much weight do I need to lose before my facelift? This is something you may want to discuss with your GP, but it’s important to focus on maintaining a healthy weight that you can realistically maintain for the long-term, rather than focusing on something too drastic.
Ideally, you will have lost the weight you wanted to lose many months prior to your facelift surgery. However if you want to lose weight after your surgery, we recommend doing so after your initial recovery process is completed — about 2 months after surgery. Your facelift results will then continue to ‘settle in’ over the next 12 months, so for optimum results, make sure that your rate of weight loss is slow and steady. Ideally, 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week is a good rule of thumb for most people.
Once again, we recommend avoiding any rapid or dramatic weight loss as this may affect your facelift in an unexpected way and affect overall results.
If you lose around 10 pounds after your facelift surgery, and you notice some lost volume in your cheeks or under the eyes please ask your surgeon about minimally invasive, non-surgical options such as fat transfer (fat grafting) or injectable fillers such as Restylane®.
If your weight has been classified as “obese” in the past, and you have lost a very large amount of weight due to lifestyle changes and/or bariatric surgery, you may notice excessive and sagging skin on your body, and also on your face. Typically, most post-obesity patients notice drooping jowls, hollows under the eyes, or sagging “turkey skin” on the neck — making a facelift and necklift a logical solution.
To rejuvenate the facial features of post-obesity patients it is quite common to perform two separate facelift procedures — with an interval of a several months — to achieve the most optimum results. Two surgeries are required because there will continue to be significant relaxation of the facial skin after the first facelift, so the second facelift acts to further refine facial rejuvenation and fully optimize results.
The first of the two facelift procedures will be very similar to a typical facelift, except that more extensive ‘lifting’ of the underlying facial muscle and tissues is sometimes required for post-obesity patients. The second procedure acts to refine the procedure further, but is typically less invasive. For more information regarding the type of facelift performed, please read more about SMAS Face or Deep Plane Face Lifts.
Additionally, to undergo a facelift and necklift, you must also be of good overall health with no serious underlying preexisting health conditions.
For a facelift to be successful, planning is everything. Please advise your plastic surgeon of your weight loss plans in your initial consultation so that they can create the most appropriate surgical plan for you. Be honest and realistic about your weight loss goals, and we reiterate, do not undertake any overly dramatic or rapid weight loss before, or immediately after your surgery.