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Face Lifts Won't Buy You That Much Time

A new study says plastic surgery will only shave a few years off your face

Think about going under the knife for a nip or a tuck? Then consider this: A new study published in the JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery (didn't know that plastic surgery had its own JAMA publication!) found that most plastic surgery will only rate you a few years younger looking than you were pre-surgery.

The research looked at 49 people who underwent facelift procedures at a Toronto plastic surgery center. Raters were given before and after photos of the patients and asked to both rate their attractiveness and guess the ages of the people in the photos. The raters didn't look at before and after photos of the same person, so they had no model for comparison.

Researchers found that on average, pre-plastic surgery faces were judged to be 2 years younger than they actually were. And post-plastic surgery faces were judged to be around 5 years younger than the person's actual age. Which means that generally, plastic surgery seemingly only takes around three years off your face. And ... there was no significant change in "attractiveness" scores.

Plastic surgeons were understandably not thrilled with the results, though they say the study failed to take into account that not every patient received the same, or the most comprehensive, procedure. "You're not going to see as dramatic improvements in age or attractiveness with a brow-lift," said the study's lead author Joshua Zimm. "I think that could have brought down our numbers."

So is it worth it -- the $10,000 to $20,000 you'll spend on a facelift (once you figure in hospital fees)? That's something that only you and your face can decide. [Source]


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