What Happens During Facelift Surgery After Massive Weight Loss?

After massive weight loss, many people experience excess skin in different parts of their body. Because the skin is often not able to fully retract after being stretched, large folds of skin can appear on the arms, abdomen, and thighs. When this happens, plastic surgery after weight loss can remove excess skin and tighten underlying tissues.

Sagging skin can also appear on the face. This is one of the most troubling aftereffects of massive weight loss, as this skin cannot be effectively concealed. The effects of massive weight loss on the face include sagging cheeks, deep nasolabial folds, and sagging jowls. This can cause problems for weight-loss patients that include:

  • low self-esteem
  • difficulty getting a job, especially in the service sector
  • hygiene problems, including rashes and infections

Fortunately, excess skin on the face that results from massive weight loss can be corrected through facelift surgery. Cosmetic surgeons can use incisions hidden at the hairline, which loop around the front of the ear, to remove this excess skin and tighten the underlying muscles of the face.

Liposuction is also commonly performed alongside plastic surgery after weight loss in order to remove persistent pockets of fat. These fatty deposits, which can endure through massive weight loss, can be easily removed during facelift surgery. A medical tube, known as a cannula, is inserted through the facelift incision and allows the cosmetic surgeon to vacuum out the fat.

It can take roughly 1 to 2 weeks to recover from facelift surgery following massive weight loss. Your recovery time will depend on your health and the extent of the procedure, including whether or not liposuction is used. You may decide to have your facelift alongside another body contouring procedure, or as a standalone surgery.

The results of your facelift surgery after massive weight loss will be apparent almost immediately. They will become even clearer as your swelling subsides and incisions fade.

Is There a Best Age for a Facelift?

When is the best age to have facelift surgery? It’s a tricky question, since most facelifts are between the ages of 40–60, and many people choose to have their procedures at other times of life. A conversation between cosmetic surgeons on RealSelf.com shows that there are many differing opinions on the subject.

In fact, most cosmetic surgeons agree that there is no “best age” for facelift surgery in general. However, there is a best age for your individual procedure, which will depend on factors such as genes, lifestyle, and personal priorities.

When considering facelift surgery, you should consider:

  • whether sagging skin, deep folds, or significant wrinkling have begun to develop on your face
  • when these signs of aging begin to appear in your family
  • whether you want your surgical results to be apparent to others

Benefits of an Earlier Facelift

Having a facelift earlier in life is often preferable to waiting for significant signs of aging to appear on the face.

  • It allows for a smaller procedure, such as a “mini facelift,” which entails shorter incisions and a shorter recovery time.
  • The results of your facelift will provide subtle rejuvenation, rather than the more dramatic changes that come later in life.

Benefits of a Later Facelift

Many patients can benefit from waiting until their late 50s to have a facelift.

  • This option is ideal if you’re one of those lucky people who don’t experience significant signs of aging until their late 50s and early 60s.
  • Since you’re closer to retirement age, your greater financial stability can help during your downtime. It may also be more difficult to take time off while you’re still building your career in your 40s.
  • You may desire a more dramatic change with long-lasting results.