New Study Reveals Facelift Outcomes from the Patient’s Perspective

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Dr. Swanson from The Swanson Center says that "Well-informed patients are more likely to be satisfied."

The average reduction in apparent age as reported by patients themselves was 11.9 years

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Patients believe they look an average of almost 12 years younger after a facelift performed simultaneously with other rejuvenative procedures, according to a new study published in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

A majority of men and women are satisfied with the results according to the study, which was led by Eric Swanson, MD, a plastic surgeon practicing in the Kansas City area. "These findings support the recommendation of surgical facial rejuvenation to patients who wish to look younger," Dr. Swanson concludes.

Detailed interviews were conducted among 93 patients - 82 women and 11 men. Most underwent other cosmetic procedures at the time of their facelift, such as a forehead lift or eyelid surgery. The average reduction in apparent age as reported by patients themselves was 11.9 years, with a range of 0 to 27½ years. Ninety-seven percent of patients said the result met their expectations and 40% rated the result even better than expected.

Patients were asked questions about how the procedure was received by others and how it made them feel about themselves. Nearly 90% said they had received positive reactions from others regarding their more youthful appearance. Over 80% reported an improved self-esteem and 70% reported an improved quality of life.

The study also evaluated the recovery period. Patients were asked to rate their pain on a scale of 1 to 10. The average pain level was rated a moderate 5.2. Patients typically took prescription pain medications for 6 days. Most patients reported that the pain was what they had expected or less. One-third of patients reported some type of complication, although these were mainly temporary problems (for example, dry eyes). Only 2% were unhappy with their scars. Patients felt presentable again in public an average of 1 month after surgery.

Dr. Swanson writes that this approach is for the patient who puts a premium on results and is prepared for a recovery period after surgery. He points out, "Well-informed patients are more likely to be satisfied."

About Dr. Swanson and the Swanson Center

Dr. Swanson is a highly-regarded advocate of evidence-based medicine, which is the application of science to evaluate the effectiveness of plastic surgery procedures. Dr. Swanson has presented his findings at international meetings and in numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Swanson is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He practices exclusively cosmetic surgery at the Swanson Center, in the greater Kansas City area.

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Kim Oermann
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