Fillers & Cosmetic Surgery: How Long Will My Results Last?

By: Allan E. Wulc, MD April 6, 2015 Category: General

How Long Will Botox & Fillers Last?

No matter what intervention you have, there is a shelf life to it.  For example, the effects of Botox and the other neurotoxins, such as Xeomin and Dysport, last three months by the clock.  Function of the muscles blocked by these injections return at around three months.  So do the wrinkles.

In contrast, the effect of filler injections depends on the material used, the injection technique, and the amount of filler put in in the first place. At W Cosmetic Surgery, patients that are happy with their filler and the quantity and appearance of their filler at two weeks following injection—sometimes supplemented with more if they are not absolutely happy—are generally happy at least a year following their injections.

In both of these groups, though, patients continue to age.  The location and quantity of Botox often have to change with time.  Similarly, filler requirements and even the type of filler used may change as we age.

How Long Does Cosmetic Surgery Last?

With facial surgery, the results of eyelid surgery generally last a lifetime.  Yes, we continue to age, but most of the issues that motivate us to have the surgery, such as bags, hollows or even wrinkles, are corrected with one surgery.

A second is rarely necessary, but it becomes obvious initially or shortly after the repair and it is remedied in our office.  After this repair, patients continue to age, but aging around their eyelids is no longer a problem.  This is true with brow lift and midface lift as well; once I am happy, and the patient is happy with the position of the brows and cheeks, these areas don’t change perceptibly with time.

In contrast, I feel that fat injections (liposculpture), as well as face and neck lifts have a “shelf life”.  Fat, after it is injected, is susceptible to the same fate as it is elsewhere in the body: if we gain a great deal of weight, the face may get fatter, and even disproportionately if fat is introduced; conversely, if we lose weight, or are extremely athletic, the fat may not remain, or it may appear to disappear.  We wait at least a year before deciding whether the fat injection has been successful until the fat cells have a chance to adapt to their new environment.

An aging face ages at a different rate and in a different fashion than an aging facelift. These procedures may require revision.  In patients who choose to have these procedures done at an early age and are initially satisfied with their results, the results are generally long lasting and look good for up to 12 to 15 years.  In patients that are older, with more significant sun damage, or whose wait continually fluctuates (up or down, and both are harmful to a facelift in my opinion) a revision may need to be performed sooner—in the very elderly even within a year.  Generally, however, results last for a decade.

If you had the surgery and had a twin sister or brother that did not, you will look better than them for the rest of your life. You’ve set back the clock in that area.  But you continue to age, looking generally better than you did for the rest of your life.  Or at least that has been my experience over the past 30 years.

To sum it up, here’s what my experience has shown:

  • Botox/Dysport/Xeomin: Approx. three months
  • Fillers: Up to one year
  • Eye Surgery: Lasts a lifetime
  • Browlift: Also Lasts a lifetime
  • Midface Lift: Can also last a lifetime
  • Fat Injections: Depends on the person’s weight loss/gain
  • Facelift: 10-15 years

Allan E. Wulc, MD

About the Author

Allan E. Wulc, MD is the lead surgeon at W Cosmetic Surgery and is Quadruple Board Certified with over 25 years experience in cosmetic and plastic surgery. Dr. Wulc is a leader in his field and pioneer of new surgical techniques. His work has been featured in lectures, presentations, and publications worldwide. Find out more about Dr. Wulc.