Can I Have a Facelift if I Am Fat?

I am a 50 year old female who is 5'7" 215 pounds. I have been about this weight for 20 years. I walk an hour a day, mostly vegan so my cholesterol is never over 170. I am healthy but was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis around 15 years ago. I currently take 120 of Armour thyroid and have no problems or symptoms. My face looks good except for mild sagging of the lower jaw area..but my neck is going to hell in handbasket. I would like to get a face and necklift. Am I to fat?

Doctor Answers 26

Can I Have a Facelift if I Am Fat?

If you are at a stable weight, it is OK to proceed with facial rejuvenation surgery. If you were planning to lose more than 20 pounds, I would advise you to delay surgery until you reach your goal weight. However, a face and necklift will help refine and rejuvenate the neck, jawline and lower face. It's great to hear that you are eating well and exercising. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Facelift Still Worthwhile for Heavier Patients

Facelift/Necklift is still a good option for the heavier patient.  As long as your health is stable, blood pressure is normal, and you don't have any significant health issues, a face or necklift can create a very nice improvement in the overall contour of your face and neck.  The surgery would probably entail some extra work to remove and sculpt some of your excess fat, but should create a smoother jawline, sharper neck angle, and decreased jowling.  However, the heavier patient needs to have realistic expectations and understand that it is impossible to change a very full face into a thin, angular one. But that said, we can still correct and improve a lot of the aging changes such as sagging, looseness, and jowling that is really what you describe.

Richard G. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Am I too heavy for a facelift?

Your BMI based your height and weight is somewhere in the low 30's. For most patients with BMI in the 30's, the surgical result may not be drastic enough. The surgery (i.e., lower face and neck lift with possible neck liposuction) will definitely improve your overall facial appearance, but it will be more beneficial if you could lose even 20 pounds. With more weight loss, the biggest difference you will see after surgery will be in your jawline and neck.

Kyle S. Choe, MD
Virginia Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Facelift in 50 year old 5'7" 215 lbs

   In an otherwise healthy patient, being overweight to an extent is not an absolute contraindication to a face and necklift.  If you have the stigmata of facial aging that are amenable to modern facelifting techniques, you will likely have the improvement you seek.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who has performed hundreds or thousands of facelifts.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Am I too heavy for a facelift

I typically advise patients that if they are planning on losing more than 25lbs that they should wait until they get the weight off. Patients who are heavier will generally require more attention to the lipocontouring portion of the procedure in order to produce a more defined jawline. Generally speaking, the closer you are to your ideal weight, the better the results.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Facelift patients can be skinny or fat

Being overweight is not a contraindication for surgery as long as your weight doesn't seem to vary much. For example, if you are not planning on losing or gaining more than 15---20 pounds than you may be a good candidate for this surgery.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

CanI have a facelift if I am fat

Most definitely your neck and jawline can be improved. ..Those seem to be the things that trouble you and they are able to be improved.See my video

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Can I Have a Facelift if I Am Fat?

 Technically, yes people who are overweight can and do have Facelifts.  Should you have a Facelift is an aesthetic question that honestly can't be answered without seeing pictures of your face and neck (front and side).  

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Can you have a Facelift if overweight?

You can do a Facelift if you are overweight but it is harder to get as good of a result and the definition that you like.  You can however remove some fat during the lift especially in the neck area to make the results better.

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Overweight and thinking about Facelift

Your question is a good one. Facelift results are usually best when you can easily move the skin in a vertical and posterior direction with your hands. If your face is very full, the tissues may not move very easily and your results may be minimal (this is why fat faces age more slowly!). Another factor is scar hypertrophy: if your incsisions are closed even with minimal tension, they may stretch and be unsightly. One option is an isolated necklift to avoid incisions in front of the ear. The best thing is to consult with an experienced facial plastic surgeon.

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

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.