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​Is Plastic Surgery Permanent?

plastic surgery permanent

When it comes to the longevity of your plastic surgery procedure, there’s simply no “one size fits all” answer. This applies not only to each surgery but also to each patient. Factors such as age, aftercare, surgeon, and more play significant roles in determining the lifespan of your results.

Over the years we’ve seen thousands of cases. Aside from being expert cosmetic surgeons, we’ve also become experts at estimating how long results will last—and at offering advice on getting results to last.

From facial injections that fade after months, to nose jobs that’ll remain forever, let’s discover which plastic surgery procedures are permanent and which ones will require another trip under the knife.

Breast Augmentation

Average Lifespan: 10–25 years; Sometimes no update needed

Reasons for Redo: Rippling; Ruptured implant; Hardening

The breast augmentation is the most popular invasive cosmetic procedure in the U.S. with 300,378 surgeries completed in 2017. Though everything about the procedure is continually improving, most people will still need to update their implant at some point.

Though a small number of patients require a revision breast augmentation within the first two years of the initial surgery (usually from improper sizing or rare side effects), most breast implants last for an average of 10-20 years—though they can last even longer. The need for a replacement is usually due to the implant gradually wearing down after years of the body’s natural movements.

Signs that it’s time for a breast implant revision surgery include:

  • Visible rippling of the skin (most common with saline implants)
  • Implant Hardening
  • Implant Rupture or Deflation
  • Capsule Contracture (excess scar tissue build-up)

If you notice any sudden or significant changes to your breasts, it’s time for a visit to your plastic surgeon.

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Average Lifespan: 5 years to life

Reasons for Redo: Sagging

Unlike breast augmentations, a breast lift requires no artificial materials or implants. If you’re happy with your results and never desire a future upgrade or revamp, consider this procedure good for life.

However, gravity does our body few favors—at least aesthetically speaking. As time goes on, it’s possible that your skin will once again begin stretch and sag requiring additional procedures to maintain that youthful perkiness.

To preserve the results of a breast lift, avoid sun damage, minimize weight fluctuations, and always wear a supportive bra. Women with smaller breasts are also less likely to sag. If staying perky is important, reconsider going too big if you’re pairing a breast lift with a breast augmentation.

Breast Reduction

Average Lifespan: Usually permanent

Reasons for Redo: Breast tissue regrowth; sagging

Breast reduction results are typically permanent, as long as the patient doesn’t experience weight fluctuations, and it was completed after puberty. If the patient does gain weight post-procedure, or their breasts have yet to finish growing, an increase in breast size is possible.

Though surgeons will try to resolve any sagging during surgery, some may still exist after recovery. In this case, a follow-up breast lift might be recommended.

Tummy Tuck

Average Lifespan: Permanent, without weight fluctuations

Reasons for Redo: Weight gain; stretched skin; post-pregnancy

Since no implants are used in the tummy tuck, results will be permanent barring excessive changes in weight. Also permanent is a significant scar that’ll run just below your bikini line. However, it can be easily hidden by a bathing suit.

Even though results can potentially last a lifetime, it’s no guarantee. If you become pregnant or gain significant weight for any reason, results can completely disappear. Though not necessary, if this occurs, many people choose to get another tummy tuck.


Average Lifespan: 6 months to permanent

Reasons for Redo: skin looseness, potential Fat regrowth if weight gain

Liposuction will last as long as you refrain from regrowing the eliminated fat. This is why patients should already be at their ideal weight before undergoing the procedure. If you maintain this weight, fat won’t return. Otherwise, all weight loss due to liposuction could be fully regained in less than a year.

It’s true that a liposuction procedure will permanently banish many of those stubborn fat cells, creating a smoother, more contoured body shape. However, excessive fat needs to go somewhere. Instead of distributing to more cells, existing cells just grow bigger.

This makes liposuction a less than ideal for long-term weight loss fix. Instead, it’s perfect for when you’re at the weight you love but want to redistribute where and how that fat is seen.

Rhinoplasty (Nose Job)

Average Lifespan: Permanent; if done correctly

Reasons for Redo: Not ideal results; Touch-ups

Nose jobs are considered permanent procedures. As long as the rhinoplasty was successful, the bone structure of your new nose isn’t going anywhere, though natural changes due to age will inevitably occur.

Initial results from a rhinoplasty should be visible within a few weeks, but final results can take up to a year. If you’re still not pleased with your nose’s appearance or function, consider a touch-up or revision surgery.


Average Lifespan: 3–4 months

Reasons for Redo: Results dissipate

Typically used on the forehead, frown lines, and for crow’s feet, a Botox injection works thanks to a toxin called bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The toxin stops nerve signals from telling muscles to contract. This causes wrinkles to release which minimizes their appearance.

Every person rids toxins at a different pace, but it generally takes about 3—6 months for the body to clear out Botox. To maintain the effects, you’ll need a new injection. Limiting sun exposure, not overdoing treatments, and avoiding aggressive facial cleansers for the first week after treatment may help results last longer.

Facial Fillers (Lips, Cheeks, Etc.)

Average Lifespan: Six months to two years

Reasons for Redo: Results dissipate

With over 2.6 million procedures done in 2017, the popularity of soft tissue fillers, or facial fillers, has grown a whopping 312% since 2000, exceeded only by Botox at 819%. Developed to soften lines and plump up features, fillers are an effective way to amplify youthfulness temporarily.

There are many popular fillers on the market with some of the most common including:

  • Juvederm
  • Voluma
  • Radiesse
  • Sculptra
  • Belotero

Like Botox, each injected material is eventually metabolized by the body and results will disappear. This timeframe varies depending on the specific filler.

As a patient, the best way to achieve incredible, long lasting results is to choose a board-certified cosmetic surgeon that specializes in your desired procedure. Also, diligently follow all post- and pre-op instructions from your doctors, go to every follow-up appointment, and don’t hesitate to contact your surgeon with questions or concerns.

Ready to look and feel better than ever? Looking for a board-certified plastic surgeon backed by years of experience? Trust Dallas’ Dr. Adams. Dedicated to providing every patient with incredible results and top-notch care, contact the office of Dr. Adams at 214-965-9885 or schedule a consultation online anytime.


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