How Much Will a Facelift Change Your Appearance?

Will my family still recognize me after a facelift? It’s not the most common question we get, but we suspect that’s at least somewhat because people are hesitant to ask. With the way that plastic surgery is portrayed in the popular media, it’s not like it’s an unreasonable question. The truth is that, in most cases, a facelift is not going to somehow render you unrecognizable. But let’s find out why that might be.

before and after surgery image; will my family still recognize me after a facelift?

If you aren’t all that familiar with a facelift, but you’re investigating the rejuvenation options available to you today, you might have a kind of nagging question you’re embarrassed to ask. And that question might be something along the lines of, will my family still recognize me after a facelift?

Will My Family Still Recognize Me After a Facelift?

The chances that your face would change so radically that your closest family members wouldn’t recognize you are incredibly slim, especially if that’s not your intention. So the short answer is yes, your family will still recognize you after your facelift procedure.

But there are reasons why question might be not be quite as silly as it appears on its face (no pun intended). It wasn’t that long ago that some women were delayed re-entering their home nation of China from South Korea because they no longer looked like their passport photos. Of course, that had more to do with swelling from the surgery than from the surgery itself. But it tapped into a common anxiety–an anxiety originating and perpetuated by popular culture–that somehow a facelift can totally change how you look. Will my family still recognize me after a facelift? Almost certainly. But let’s talk about where that notion might come from.

How Does a Facelift Change Your Face?

The fact of the matter is that a facelift does indeed change your face. That’s the whole point of the procedure, so it would be a little silly if you walked out looking exactly the same as when you walked in. The purpose of a facelift procedure is to make you look more youthful.

That’s accomplished in several ways, but the single most important is the elimination of excess skin. When you get rid of your excess skin, you:

  • Combat the appearance of significant lines and wrinkles
  • Make your face appear overall more youthful and slender

The removal of excess skin is performed in such a way that none of the primary features of your face change. You will still be completely recognizable to everyone. Indeed, most modern facelift procedures are performed in such a way that most people won’t even be able to tell you had work done. Modern facelifts are exceptionally good at making the final results appear quite natural.

Is it Possible to Change the Face With Surgery?

Another way of answering this question you’re asking (will my family still recognize me after a facelift) is to think about what surgery can and cannot do. If you wanted to change some of the characteristics of your face, could surgery do that? Sure. In theory, surgery could change your jawline or the shape of your nose or the skin above your brow.

But surgery cannot make the kind of cinematic, movie-magic changes you see on the big screen, where one actor is miraculously transformed into another with perfect precision. That kind of thing doesn’t happen, in no small part because of how problematic it is (not to mention the impossibility of then transforming said actor back to his or her original face).

In other words, don’t trust the movies, the movies lie to you. (It’s not intentional, it’s just that movies are more interested in telling a good story than in being totally accurate–which is good, but it makes those movies a dubious place to learn about plastic surgery.)

Can a Facelift Change How You Look?

Ultimately, what most people want to know is whether a facelift could render them unrecognizable. There are some very rare instances when this might actually be possible, and they usually involve complications of some kind. In some instances, those complications tend to be temporary (as in the case of swelling).

But for the vast majority of patients, a facelift is about changing the face in a positive way. After you’ve recovered from your facelift, you’ll notice:

  • Fewer lines and wrinkles
  • A more athletic and slender look to the treated area
  • More youthful overall look to the face
  • Significantly less skin that hangs down (whether over the jawline or over the brow)

A facelift can be attenuated so that it provides specifically the results you’re after (to a certain degree, anyway). So the answer to that question, will my family still recognize me after a facelift, is most definitely yes. You’ll probably just look a little bit younger. And isn’t that the point, after all?

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