People who have undergone a facelift surgery rate themselves as looking an average of 12 years younger after surgery.
According to the study by Eric Swanson, a plastic surgeon in private practice in Leawood, Kansas, the vast majority of patients undergoing facelift surgery are satisfied with their results after a "significant" recovery period.
Swanson performed a detailed analysis of the outcomes in 122 patients who had a facelift between 2002 and 2007.
The patients were 82 women and 11 men, average age 57 years. The patients were interviewed an average of seven months after their operation.
Most underwent other cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, such as forehead lift and/or eyelid surgery, at the same time as their facelift.
The patients were highly satisfied with their results. The "average subjective reduction in apparent age" was 11.9 years, with a range of 0 to 271/2 years.
97 percent of patients said the results met their expectations. 40 percent rated the results even better than expected.
Nearly 90 percent of patients said they had received positive reactions from other people regarding their new appearance, while only seven percent reported negative reactions.
More than 80 percent of patients reported improved self-esteem, and 70 percent reported improved quality of life.
Just over one-third of patients reported some type of complication, although these were mainly temporary problems (for example, dry eyes).
Just two percent were unhappy with their scars.
Swanson also asked in detail about recovery after facelift surgery. On a scale of 1 to 10, the average pain rating was 5. Pain lasted an average of ten days, with six days on prescription pain medications. Most patients felt that pain was about what they expected or less.
The study appeared in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.