One of the most common questions we hear at our Austin plastic surgery practice comes from patients over 65: “Am I too old to get a facelift?” Here’s the short answer: Age is not as important as overall health when considering facial plastic surgery, and if you’re healthy enough for surgery, you’re not too old.
The number of seniors getting facelifts is on the rise. That’s probably not a surprise: People are living longer and healthier lives and people older than 65 — just like those in their 40s and 50s — want to look as good as they feel.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of people 65 and older getting facelifts and cosmetic eyelid surgery has more than doubled during the last 2 decades. And much of that increase occurred in the last 5 years.
While there are subtle differences in the approach to facelift surgery for men that Dr. Blagg and I take, the techniques we use to perform facelifts for older patients are really no different than those used for other patients. That said, there are some issues that require careful consideration before moving ahead with the operation.
- Doctor’s clearance: Seniors considering a facelift — or any other elective surgery, for that matter — need to be cleared by their primary care physicians before scheduling an operation. And, as with other patients, we’ll need to know about any medications that they are taking regularly.
- Potential complications: Complications rarely occur following plastic surgery, and they’re not necessarily more likely to happen in older patients. But in the rare case that a complication does arise, seniors are less likely to tolerate complications as well as younger patients. Dr. Blagg and I carefully discuss the potential issues that could occur with patients who may have specific medical concerns.
I do expect the trend of older patients wanting facelifts — in addition to other surgical and nonsurgical facial rejuvenation procedures — to continue to rise for the foreseeable future. The Baby Boomer generation started turning 65 five years ago, so there are more people over 65 than in the past. And beyond the demographics, we can also rely on improved surgical techniques to serve more patients than ever before.
If you’re considering any plastic surgery procedure, it’s important that you do your homework and find a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon with the experience to customize your procedure — no matter what your age is.