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My Mother is 80 Years Old and Wants to Have a Facelift. Is She Too Elderly for Plastic Surgery?

She hasn't smoked for decades and she's not overweight or sickly, but she does have a pacemaker and takes blood pressure medication.

Doctor Answers (25)

Facelift at 80 years of age

+2

At 80 years of age it is acceptable to undergo elective cosmetic surgery as long as one is in good health.  A pacemaker will have to be demagnetized prior to surgery since surgical electrocautery must be used during the procedure and can potentially short out the pacemaker.  Typically a cardiologist must perform the demagnetizing and remagnetizing of the pacemaker a hospital setting, which can be cost prohibitive for a patient.  In addition, the patient’s blood pressure must be under excellent control before, during, and after the procedure to prevent the occurrence of a hematoma.


Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

My mother is 80yo and wants to have a facelift. Is she too elderly for plastic surgery?

+1
Hello! Thank you for your question! Age alone is not a contraindication to a surgical procedure. There are a few medical comorbidities that contribute to a higher risk during any surgical procedure including infections, wound complications, delayed wound healing, bleeding, anesthetic risks, etc. Factors such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart problems, lung problems, etc are more common in the elderly. However, if you are healthy, or these conditions are well-controlled, you would certainly still be a candidate for a surgical procedure. If your complaints or desires are great enough to consider the surgical option, I would seek a consultation with a plastic surgeon to discuss your complaints and go over the options as well as risks and benefits of the procedure.

You should obtain medical clearance from your primary care physician that you are at an acceptable risk for undergoing a surgical procedure. For elective or aesthetic procedures, your surgeon may want to get you to a reasonable health status prior to consideration for a procedure. Discuss all of your medical comorbidities and medication with your surgeon prior and discuss these risks. Also, discuss this with your anesthesiologist as proper monitoring and medications will be watched closely. This procedure should still be very safe for you and hope for an uncomplicated course with an excellent result! Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Facelift at 80 with Pacemaker and HTN

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   A facelift in an 80 year old with a pacemaker may be more risk than most plastic surgeons want to take.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 203 reviews

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Elderly Facelift at Age 80

+1

In my practice in New York, I've performed facelift on patients as old as 87. This is based more on their physical age rather than their chronological age. I also make it a point to avoid performing surgery for longer than 2 hours and do the procedure under local anesthesia with 'twilight' anesthesia with the Quick Recovery Facelift procedure I developed. She should be cleared by her medical doctor as well as be able to be off any blood thinners (in my experience, many patients with pacemakers also are on aspirin daily).  Based on her medical situation, you should also be clear with the surgeon about desired results and see if the face lift procedure can be adjusted to her situation with minimal stress to the body.

Amiya Prasad, MD
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Age and facelifts

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if there is a anatomic indication for a facelift and facelift is a reasonable intervention inedependent of age.  so if there is cheek descent, jowels, obtuse cervicomental angel a facelift is likely indicated,  what is more important than age is a patients medical conditions and their understanding of the procedure adn its risks and benefits.

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
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Facelift Surgery and Age

+1

The age of the person is not the most critical factor in determining whether or not a person could undergo surgery. The most important factor is the health and condition of the person.  There are 50 year old patients that can't have an operation because they have severe heart disease and there are 90 year old patients that lead a healthy life style, have no illnesses and take no medications who can have surgery.

 

That being said I have performed facelifts on patients over the age of 80 without any problems or concerns. Hypertension alone does not present a concern if it is well controlled, however the pacemaker may signify that she has underlying heart disease that may place her at increased risk if she is under anesthesia. The most important thing to do is to have your mother see her primary care physician and cardiologist to see if it is safe for her to have anesthesia and surgery. Remember that this is elective surgery and SAFETY is the number 1 priority.

Jacob D. Steiger, MD
Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
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My Mother is 80 Years Old and Wants to Have a Facelift. Is She Too Elderly for Plastic Surgery?

+1

Since your Mother is 80 with hypertension and a pacemaker...assuming she can get a medical clearance from her internist...commonsense, IMHO, would dictate that a conservative approach be followed.  This may mean a minimal incision Face Lift that can be done in 90 minutes or less.  I personally would not agree to do any surgery that was more extensive than that because of her age.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Health status more important than age

+1

To be safe every patient should be thoroughly evaluated from a medical standpoint regardless of age. I would focus more on the medical issues than purely the age. To answer the question, a facelift is possible but I would only entertain that if it's safe for your mother and she is motivated to have this procedure in addition she has to be made aware of the post surgical issues and should have help as she heals.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
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Facelift in 80 Year Old Lady

+1

Age is recognized but not a critical factor in deciding if a patient should have a facelift. I have operated on patients your mom's age as long as they were in good health. Clearance by all of her physicians, including her internist and cardiolgist, will be necessary. Anesthetic techniques will be an important part of the pre-op discussion.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Facial Rejuvenation at 80

+1

Age is just a number and does not necessarily reflect a person's health. I have operated on a number of patients in their 80's, even with high blood pressure and pacemakers. I would definitely speak with her cardiologist and make sure that he/she has no concerns about the surgery. Also, if she is on any medicine that thins the blood, such as aspirin or Plavix, the cardiologist would be able to say if it is safe to stop those medicines before surgery.

My oldest cosmetic patient was 84 and she wanted to look good for her grandaughter's wedding. I did the surgery under twilight anesthesia and she did very well throughout the process and really looked great at the wedding.

Gregory J. Vipond, MD, FRCSC
Inland Empire Facial Plastic Surgeon
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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.