Heart Condition and Facial Plastic Surgery

I am a heart patient with an extensive history. Would this history make it impossible to find a doctor to give me a facelift?

Doctor Answers 11

This is very difficult to answer without a detailed history

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Dear Lorelei

Generally for our cosmetic patients seeking purely elective surgery, there is no reason to take unnecessary risks with surgery. This does not mean that a person with say a history of coronary heart disease can't have a facelift but no surgeon would consider this if the coronary heart disease was untreated. Occasionally appartently health adults present themselves for cosmetic surgery. It is our job as surgeons to determine if our patient is able to safely have cosmetic surgery. This may involve a careful assessment by a cardiologist. However, the testing and treatment that is need is what would be recommended whether or not you are having surgery by an large. However, there are individuals with certain types of heart disease who are as well managed as possible and they still present unacceptable risk for purely elective surgery.

Your picture also does show that you have profound upper eyelid ptosis which will be benefited by surgery. Your first step might be to talk with your primary care physician to learn if you are physically able to have cosmetic surgery. Your physician may also be able to help you identify a highly qualified surgeon.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Facelift for heart patient

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In your particular case, the surgeon should speak with your cardiologist.  You will need to have the cardiologist allow you to stop aspirin or other blood thinners.  The cardiologist will let your surgeon know if you are in good enough shape to have a facelift performed.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Being Healthy and Having a Facelift

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If you have any significant medical history or health history, you must have clearance obviously before having any elective or aesthetic cosmetic surgery. It would behoove you to get medical clearance before considering having any type of elective cosmetic surgery. Sometimes you may have medical problems, such as previous cardiac surgery or other major health issues that are now stable. In those types of cases, I do those patients in a hospital setting so they can be monitored more closely post operatively.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

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Plastic surgery and patients with heart conditions

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Prior to undergoing a facelift you should be cleared by your cardiologist for any issues related to a facelift. The facelift operation is both physically and emotionally stressful and it is important to establish that you are in good physical health. Your cardiology records and a letter of clearance from your cardiologist would be in order prior to embarking on a facelift procedure.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Does my heart condition preclude me from having a facelift?

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Hi there-

It doesn't matter how good the procedure might make you look if it is fundamentally not safe for you to have it done... You seem to understand this, so how to maximize your chances of coming through it safely?

I would recommend you visit with both your cardiologist (and/or heart surgeon), and your family doctor. Make sure that when you do, you have already chosen a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and learned the details of the operation you wish to proceed with, such as the length of the surgery, who will be doing the anesthesia and where (the facility), as well as the average blood loss for that surgeon with that operation. Share this information with your heart doctors and family doctor and ask them if they think you are a reasonable candidate for the procedure. They will also speak with your plastic surgeon if questions arise in their minds- and this is to your benefit.

It may be that they say it would be possible under certain circumstances, or it may be that they say under no circumstances would they allow you to proceed. In either case, this is the best way to understand your level of risk, and to be proactive about minimizing any risk that exists.

How to find a good plastic surgeon? Read this:

Heart conditions and plastic surgery

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You will be the younger appearing individual but will you survive the surgery is the real question. Without a complete pre operative cardiac evaluation there is no reason to consider this elective surgery. The consensus of us, posters is 100%+. 

Medical clearance for cosmetic surgery

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Certainly your health and safety should be primary to any of your medical doctors. Any surgery would require an examination and medical clearance by your physician and any other specialist that is necessary to assess your risk. Having said that, there could possibly be any number of surgical and non-surgical procedures that could be safely undertaken that might be beneficial to you. Some might be able to be performed under local anesthesia. This would require a comprehensive and careful consultation with a reputable plastic surgeon.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Perhaps an alternative to surgery might suffice

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If you cannot get medical clearance for surgery, we have alternatives now which may not give as dramatic a result but may be sufficient.

In Florida we have many older patients who wish to look better but have all sort of medical issues. In these we may combine Injectables fillers, Botox, medical pigmentation and lasers to give a result that makes them feel better about themselves and is safe. We use this approach on patients who are on heparin or have arrhythmia and many other medical issue.

Your photo is inadequate to provide any guidance.

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

Obtain medical clearance pior to elective surgery

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I would agree with both Dr, Aldea's and Rand's statements. Your overall health is the most important consideration. Only after a thorough evaluation by your cardiologist, should you even consider the face lift procedure.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Facelifts and heart conditions

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 You should absolutely not risk your life for a facelift.  Besides, the pronounced downward tilt of your eyes will always make you look tired despite a facelift.  Just not worth the risks assuming what you are saying about your heart is true.  

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.