Patients who get facial plastic surgery often assume that they will look younger and more appealing afterward. But a new study, the first to try to quantify attractiveness after a face-lift, brow-lift or eyelid surgery, found only a tiny, insignificant increase in attractiveness. The study, published online in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery on Thursday, also found that patients looked, on average, only three years younger, as judged by independent viewers who assessed photos of patients before and after cosmetic surgery.
The findings will probably provide scant comfort to the more than 120,000 American men and women who last year got face-lifts, a procedure that marketing efforts often claim can turn the clock back a decade.
Dr. A. Joshua Zimm, the lead author of the study and a facial plastic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, said, “I don’t want people to think, ‘Oh, if I get a face-lift, I’ll only look three years younger.’ This study includes people who just had an eyelift or a brow lift.”