Background: Patient satisfaction is a major factor in determining success in aesthetic surgery. To the authors' knowledge, a long-term study measuring patient satisfaction with face-lift surgery has not been published. The authors' study was designed to measure patient satisfaction with the overall experience of a face lift and to assess the patient's level of satisfaction 10 to 15 years after surgery.
Methods: Three hundred ninety-four consecutive patients were identified who had face lifts performed by the senior author (J.Q.O.) between January 1, 1994, and January 1, 1999. Contact was achieved with 146 patients (37 percent), and 131 patients (90 percent) agreed to participate by completing a four-page survey. Eighty-nine patients (68 percent) returned the survey.
Results: One year after face-lift surgery, 87 patients (97.8 percent) described the improvement of their facial appearance as very good or beyond expectations. After an average follow-up of 12.6 years, 61 patients (68.5 percent) rated their current degree of improvement as very good or beyond expectations, and 61 patients (68.5 percent) felt 10 or more years had been added to their youthful appearance. Thirty-four patients (31 percent) indicated disappointment in some aspect of the face lift.
Conclusions: This work assesses the long-term satisfaction of face-lift patients who had a superficial musculoaponeurotic system–platysma face lift. The results suggest a high degree of satisfaction following face-lift surgery at short-term and long-term follow-up. The authors recognize that recall bias may be present when recalling the satisfaction at 1 year postoperatively. We present the survey questionnaire as a template for future research in face-lift patients.