Is Deep Plane Facelift Safe for a 72 Year Old?

I am 72 and considering a Deep Plane Facelift. I am not overweight, work out every day, but I have what is called unspecified Neutropenia with no change in test results WBC 3.4. I also have a lower than normal platelet count of 137. Is it safe for me to have the facelift?

Doctor Answers 23

Deep plane facelift for patients with thrombocytopenia

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The deep plane facelift has been replaced in many practices (including ours) by techniques that address volume much more, and rely less on pulling of facial tissues.

The pulling is actually just one of many things that can now be done to harmoniously rejuvenate the face.

We have found that this yields a much more natural result, and uses all the deep volume to maximal benefit, rather than by reducing it or by creating a high lateral vector that looks unnatural.

Regarding your medical conditions, the platelet count is adequate for stopping bleeding, but are there other bleeding issues? My colleagues are absolutely right that a workup with a hematologist is in order. They can tell you with pinpoint precision your risks. Platelets are just one small part of the puzzle.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 reviews

Facelifts for a 72 year old

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Dear Kynn, It sounds as though you might have some stable medical conditions and these probably don't mean you can't have a safe facelift. The deep plane technique was popular several years ago but has largely been replaced by other techniques that create a great, natural result with a quicker recovery. Don't do your research based on the "name" of the procedure but on whose results look the best to you.

Check my web site and RealSelf photos for examples.

Deep plane lift safe for older patients

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Deep plane lift, Smas lift, skin face lift are ok for any patients as long as the patient is cleared for surgery. The technique is not the important thing, it's the patients health that is important. Low platelet counts should be evaluated by a hematologist to determine if the patient can undergo surgery safely.

Good luck.

It seems you're healthy for Deep Plane Facelift

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Hi Kynn,
It appears that you are you are healthy aside from the unspecified nuetropenia.
As long as you medical doctor has cleared you for surgery, you can absolutely have the procedure. I would recommend doing it under local with mild sedation. In my experience there is always less bleeding with mild sedation vs. general anesthesia.


Safety of Deep Plane Facelift VS other Facelift Methods with low white cell and platelet counts

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A consultation with a Hematologist is in order. A low white count may be associated with a higher risk of infections while a lower platelet count may be associated with a high risk of bleeding and hematoma.

That being said - Which Facelift should you have should NOT be a contest between titles and catchy monikers - it should be the result of what features you which corrected and based on that - pick the least involved Facelift method that would deliver it.

I share the opinions voiced below. The Deep Plane Facelifts methods were extremely popular a few years ago. They produced great result BUT were associated both with higher complication rates AND prolonged swelling. There are better procedures these days that could give you similar results without having to take those risks and increased swelling.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Deep plane facelift is a safe procedure for a 72 year old

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Regarding your specific condition of having a low platelet count. I would suggest, as I hope your surgeon would, getting a hematology consult before having surgery. A qualified hematologist can work with your surgeon and discuss the risks as well as potential downside of surgery with a low platelet count.

A deep plane Facelift may actually be a plus for you. Published reports discuss that the rate of hematoma (blood collecting under the skin) is lower in a deep plane than in a traditional SMAS lift.

Again, this is up to your doctor, but if you do go ahead with surgery, you should consider having it in a hospital so if there is a problem or you need spacial medications during or after surgery it is more readily available.

Steven J. Pearlman, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 134 reviews

Deep Plane Facelift

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There are several preoperative concerns I would like to address, the first of which is age.

1) Age has a chronological and physiological component. In other words, many patients are physiologically healthier at 72 than many others at age 52. Given that you work out every day and are not overweight, chances are you could be a suitable candidate.

2) Neutropenia and Platelet levels: Your platelet level is numerically acceptable. The question I would have for you is, "how functional are your platelets?" Do you bruise very easily, have frequent nosebleeds, take aspirin or other NSAIDS? If so, further evaluation is necessary. Regarding your white blood cell count, are you showing signs of immunosuppression, do you get frequent respiratory or other infections, are you seeing a Hematologist for this condition? If not, chances are you should be fine.

3) Deep Plane Facelift. Many surgeons utilize modifications of the deep plane technique. The keys to a good result are: appropriate indications, adequate SMAS mobilization, appropriate vectors of pull, and meticulous closure of incisions without tension. As long as you are seeing a surgeon that adequately mobilizes the SMAS layer, has a good reputation, and that you feel comfortable with, you should be fine.

Good luck with your procedure.

Not too old

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If you're healthy physically and psychologically and have realistic expectations of the procedure, then 72 is not too old. However, you should discuss your platelet count with your surgeon before your procedure.

Facelift safety

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It sounds like your general health is good although you may gave mild neutropenia and thrombocytopenia.  Your surgeon will probably need to get medical clearance for you, but you probably will be able to proceed safely.

Deep Plane Facelift at 72 years old

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Dear, Kynn.

Age is not a limiting factor in your ability to undergo surgery. Most plastic surgeons will evaluate the overall health of the patient to determine your ability to undergo surgery. Your plastic surgeon can work closely with your internist and hematologist to thoroughly evaluate your blood work and make sure you are not at increased risk of infection or hematoma. I’ve found less bruising and a more natural result with the deep plane facelift. Which type of procedure you undergo will depend on your specific concerns and your surgeon’s experience with the procedure.   

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.