Are You Too Old For a Facelift?

K. Mathews on 18 Dec 2012 at 5:30pm

While inevitable wrinkles and loose skin may make some senior citizens eager for a facelift, many assume that once they’re past a certain age, plastic surgery is out of the question. Not true, suggests a study. So long as elderly patients are in good physical health, the risks are no greater than they are for younger patients. 

HealthDay News reports on a study out of Cleveland that examined women of various ages who received facelifts. Although the expectation was that the older women would run into more trouble, the results showed that facelift complications for women over 65 occurred at similar rates to the younger women. The researchers stress, however, that older women should first be screened for health risks to ensure that they are good candidates for the procedure.

This study from last year appears to confirm what the RealSelf doctors have been saying. When Southworth 1659 asked whether 73 was too old for a facelift, the doctors universally agreed that she was still a great candidate. “In Boca Raton, Florida, where I am, 73 may be too young!” joked Dr. Rafael C. Cabrera

Facelift before and after from“Doing a facelift on a 70 year old patient is entirely normal and fine to do,” adds Dallas plastic surgeon Dr. Rod Rohrich, though he notes that such patients should be more reasonable in their expectations. While looking 15 years younger is feasible, appearing to be 30 again isn’t going to happen.

Worcester plastic surgeon Dr. Frank P. Fechner, who has performed facelifts on patients in their mid-80s, concurs. “More important than your specific age is your medical history, overall health, medications, prior facial surgery, etc.”

Many older RealSelf members are happy with their procedures late in life. Sandy B claims to have had a “great facelift at age 75”, and that people now guess her to be in her early 60s. Seventy-plus-year-old yogajen says that younger men have started approaching her since her facelift.

Remember, there are many ways to age gracefully, and a natural face is beautiful on a person well in to his/her 100s. However, if you feel a facelift might help you to be happier and more confident, age doesn’t need to stop you from achieving the look you want.
Would you consider cosmetic surgery when you're over 65? 
Facelift before and after photos
Photo credit: Dr. Christian Drehsen, Dr. Paul Vitenas