Posts Tagged ‘too old for facelift’

Not All Elderly Patients Have Higher Risk for Facelift Complications

Monday, June 20th, 2011

How old is too old for plastic surgery? The answer may surprise you. A recent study has indicated that carefully selected patients who have facelifts after the age of 65 are not at a greater risk for facelift complications.

While no one is certain about the best age for a facelift, many doctors are uncertain about the risks of facelift complications among their elderly clients.

The prevailing wisdom is that facelift surgery in the elderly carries more post-operative risk, since this has often been the case in other areas of medicine. Slower healing times and latent medical issues often entail more complications among older patients than their younger counterparts.

However, a study by the Cleveland Clinic shows that the potential for facelift complications among the elderly can be significantly reduced through careful patient selection, so that a 65-year-old patient may be as safe entering surgery as someone 20 years their junior. The study, published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, examined consecutive facelifts in 216 women performed by a single surgeon from 2005 to 2008.

The women were divided into two groups, with 68 patients being 65 years or older, and 148 patients being under the age of 65. Elderly patients were carefully selected based on their medical history. After comparing various factors (such as co-morbidities, operative details, and overall health status) with statistical analysis, the study revealed that age was not an independent contributing factor to post-operative facelift complications.

The key to preventing facelift complications, according to the study authors, is to carefully screen patients and exclude those with significant co-morbidities (related medical conditions). While co-morbidity rates are higher among the elderly, this does not mean that all elderly patients should be excluded.

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