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It's Your Face, Trust it to a Specialist

The Best Age for a Facelift? Pittsburgh Facial Plastic Surgeon Has the Answer

February 22, 2016

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Dr. Paul Leong of Sistine Plastic Surgery says, while there is an average age range for facelift surgery, it ultimately depends on an individual’s unique needs and goals.

Pittsburgh, PA – According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, facelift surgery remained one of the top five most popular surgical cosmetic treatments in 2014 with approximately 128,000 procedures performed. Facelift surgery – a treatment that has been around since the early 1900s – is designed to reduce signs of age and smooth the skin of the mid to lower regions of the face. Dr. Paul Leong, a facial plastic surgeon in Pittsburgh and the Greensburg area, says significant advances in plastic surgery have yielded a variety of facelift techniques that can help both women and men of varying age groups achieve their cosmetic goals with results that look natural. With that in mind, Dr. Leong says many people wonder whether if it is too late (or too early) for them to have a facelift. While there is an average age range, he notes, the answer to that question is different for everyone.

Dr. Leong says that telltale signs of age along the face such as wrinkles, lax skin, and deposits of excess fat often begin to become noticeable when a person is in his or her late 30s. This happens as the skin loses its elasticity as part of the natural aging process, in addition to factors such as heredity, the environment, exposure to ultraviolet rays, and others. Dr. Leong says facelift and procedures for the aging face comprise about half of all procedures performed at his practice, Sistine Plastic Surgery, and most patients who come to him for facelift surgery are in their mid-40s to early 70s; however, he says, since signs of age and an individual’s needs and goals are so unique and distinct among each patient, the procedure has been performed in patients of earlier and later age ranges as well.

Ultimately, Dr. Leong says some of the most important factors in determining whether individuals are good candidates for facelift do not even necessarily involve their age. For instance: Dr. Leong reveals that one needs to be in relatively good overall health before a facelift in order to minimize the risks of surgery. He says patients considering the procedure should also have clear goals and reasonable expectations for results. Dr. Leong says the best way he determines whether a patient is an ideal candidate for facelift and facial plastic surgery is by conducting a thorough consultation and skin evaluation. He explains that it’s very important to do a comprehensive review of the patient’s medical history and to talk with the individual in detail about all aspects of the procedure. Dr. Leong notes that it is equally important for patients to feel comfortable enough to ask any questions they may have and to be completely honest with him about their needs and goals. He says good communication between doctor and patient is not only a hallmark of his practice, but also a way to maximize the chances that the results will meet or even exceed the patient’s expectations.

Dr. Leong feels that it’s very important to communicate to patients that not all physicians perform facelifts in the same way. Dr. Leong uses very advanced facelifting techniques that involve tightening and elevating the muscular structures below the skin, as opposed to the skin itself. There are a many factors that go into creating world-class facelifting results, he notes. One of the most important is placing the incisions in the correct location to make them very hard to see and to allow the surgeon to move the skin and underlying facial layers in the correct direction. Dr. Leong says this is very critical in achieving a totally natural appearance. Another critical factor is elevating the deeper layers of the face and putting no tension on the skin. Dr. Leong explains that this avoids the “pulled” or “tense” look that can make a facelift result appear artificial. As Dr. Leong often says, “If it doesn’t look natural, it doesn’t look good.”

In some cases, patients who are considering facelift surgery simply may not need the procedure to achieve their goals, regardless of their age, says Dr. Leong. Depending on the circumstances, he notes, a patient may benefit more from another type of surgical procedure or may require a less invasive, non-surgical treatment that can help them attain the results they want. Ultimately, Dr. Leong says, the degree of skin laxity and signs of age along the face, the specific areas of concern, the patient’s health and unique facial anatomy, and what the individual is hoping to accomplish are all critical factors that go into determining whether this is an ideal procedure. Dr. Leong says the main goals of treatment at his practice are to provide patients with safe procedures, advanced techniques, and results that can meet their expectations without yielding skin that looks “pulled,” “windswept,” or that otherwise give away the fact that they have had plastic surgery.

About Paul L. Leong, MD
Dr. Paul Leong is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and is a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He earned his medical degree at the Yale University School of Medicine, followed by completion of his internship in General Surgery and a residency in Otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Leong also obtained a Fellowship in Advanced Head and Neck Surgical Oncology at that same institution, and later completed a Fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University. At Sistine Plastic Surgery, Dr. Leong offers some of the most advanced facelift techniques available – including the SMAS facelift. His practice also offers a full range of other surgical and non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures, including eyelid surgery, laser skin rejuvenation, and cosmetic injectables. Dr. Leong is available for interview upon request.

For more information about facelift surgery, Dr. Leong, and Sistine Plastic Surgery, please visit and


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Suite 101B
Sewickley, PA 15143

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2643 E. Carson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

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# 101
Greensburg, PA 15601

1000 Stonewood Dr.
Suite 200
Wexford, PA 15090

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1050 Bower Hill Road
Suite 308
Pittsburgh, PA 15243

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