What Is the Permanence of Plastic Surgery?

If you’re pondering getting some “work” done, you may be wondering… what is the permanence of plastic surgery?

We could go all philosophical and tell you that nothing is permanent. Just as you may get work done on your house – such as a new roof – you know that over time, you will need another.

Even so, there are some plastic surgery procedures that have far more staying power than others. And there are even a few that, under the right conditions and with proper maintenance, could be permanent.

At least for the span of a person’s life. (Which, let’s face it, is also impermanent.)

The Permanence of Plastic Surgery Based on Procedures

We’ll take a look at some of the most common procedures and what you might experience in terms of how long it will last.


Most people get liposuction to eliminate fat in undesirable areas. Yet, while the research is inconclusive, the generally held belief is that while you can permanently remove fat from one area, it may find its way back to another area with weight gain. So why bother with liposuction?

Well, here’s why.

When done correctly by a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon, even if there is a return of fat, liposuction can result in a more shapely figure.

For example, getting liposuction to remove belly fat could result in curvier hips if new fat finds its way there. While this may not be the exact scenario, if fat does return, you can be assured it’s going to be more evenly distributed across the body and not to the problem area.

Breast Augmentation

Given the right set of circumstances, breast augmentation can last up to 25 years. Even so, some patients get updates before that time.

The main reason? Most have second thoughts about the size once they’ve had their implants for a while. They may want them larger, smaller, or removed altogether.

Which brings us to our next procedure…

Breast Reduction

This is one of the few procedures that typically garners permanent results. There are two factors that determine this though. First, the procedure must be done after puberty. And second, patients cannot experience any major weight fluctuations after the surgery if they want permanent results.

Tummy Tuck

Like a breast reduction, a tummy tuck can be permanent. But also like a breast reduction, there are factors involved.

First, and most importantly, any major weight gain (anything over 20% of the patient’s weight) will render the tummy tuck ineffective. So what a patient does post-surgery makes a huge difference in terms of how long a tummy tuck will last.

Furthermore, for a woman, it’s important that she is done having children.

And a second tummy tuck is not an option, since there isn’t enough loose skin to perform the procedure (unless, of course, the patient loses a VERY significant amount of weight).


While a facelift can leave you looking 10, 15, or even 20 years younger, it cannot stop you from continuing to age. In most cases, a complete facelift will need to be updated in ten years; with mini face lifts coming in at more around two to five years.

There are occasions though where patients find that the initial face lift surgery sets up their face to age in a such a way that they find much more satisfying. This is particularly true for those with good genes and healthy skin. For them, no updates are required.

Brow Lift

As you age, the brows can begin to droop and result in a heavy appearance around the eyes. This can also lend to deep creases in the forehead.

Much like with a full facelift, a brow lift surgery will not stop the aging process. The natural breakdown of skin and tissues will continue even after the procedure. So the brow lift will also need updating in around ten years.


As long as a “nose job” is successful, the bone structure in the nose is unlikely to change over time. Thus, rhinoplasty is generally considered a permanent procedure.

It’s important to note though that natural changes due to aging will still occur. Once folks hit their 60s, their noses get bigger. So it’s possible a rhinoplasty procedure done very early in life may need a revision in later years.

Get the Most From Your Plastic Surgery Procedure

If you’re still curious about the permanence of plastic surgery and are on the fence about having a procedure performed, we invite you to contact us.

During your free consultation, we’ll talk with you about what you can expect, how long your results will last, and what your role will be after your surgery.

From there, you can make a truly informed decision.