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Original Investigation
Nov/Dec 2013

Objective Assessment of Perceived Age Reversal and Improvement in Attractiveness After Aging Face Surgery

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Toronto School of Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2currently with the Division of Facial Plastic Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Institute, New York, New York
  • 3currently a medical student at McMaster University DeGroote School of Medicine, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 4Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Toronto School of Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 5currently in private practice, Santa Monica, California
JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2013;15(6):405-410. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2013.268

Importance  Primary reasons why patients pursue aesthetic facial surgery are to look younger and more attractive; however, there is minimal literature about the effect of aesthetic facial surgery on perceived age and attractiveness.

Objectives  To objectively and quantitatively evaluate the degree of perceived age change and improvement in attractiveness following aesthetic facial surgical procedures.

Design  Prospective evaluation by independent raters of preoperative and postoperative photographs of 49 consecutive patients who underwent aesthetic facial surgery between July 4, 2006, and July 22, 2010. The photographs of these patients were presented to 50 blinded raters, each of whom was randomly assigned to 4 rater groups. Raters were asked to estimate the age of each patient in the photographs presented and to rate the patient’s attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 10.

Setting  Facial plastic surgery private practice in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Participants  Patient inclusion criteria consisted of primary facial surgical procedures with a minimum 6-month follow-up period, use of standardized photographs, and no cosmetic procedures in the intervening period. Raters were chosen from the province of Ontario, randomly assigned to 1 of 4 rater groups, and blinded to the objectives of the study.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The mean “years saved” (true age minus guessed age) and change in attractiveness scores after facial aesthetic surgery.

Results  The mean overall years saved following aesthetic facial surgery was 3.1 years (range, −4.0 to 9.4 years). There was a small but insignificant increase in attractiveness scores in postprocedural photographs relative to preprocedural photographs (P > .54).

Conclusions and Relevance  In this study, aesthetic facial surgery was effective in reducing the apparent age of patients but did not consistently improve their attractiveness.

Level of Evidence  4.