Am I Too Old For A Facelift?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 82 years old and want to have a facelift. Am I too old for plastic surgery? I stopped smoking 25 years ago and I think I am in pretty good health. I do take blood pressure medication and have a pacemaker.

A:  Even though you are not at the typical age of most facelift patients, you can have elective plastic surgery done with several caveats. It would be critical to first talk to your cardiologist and get both their clearance and to find out what type of pacemaker you have.  A pacemaker needs to be demagnetized prior to surgery since the electrocautery used during a facelift will cause the pacemaker to malfunction. Whether this is best done in a hospital location or can safely be done in an outpatient surgery center is a judgment for your cardiologist. Your blood pressure must also be under excellent control before a facelift to decrease the risk of a hematoma after surgery. Lastly it would be important to have a type of facelift that produces a good improvement but also limits the surgical time to do it and has a fairly quick recovery. Facelift surgery needs to be adjusted for the unique needs of each patient and, at your age, the need for safety supercedes the degree of facial change.

Dr. Barry Eppley