Doctor, I am only 39 years old and would like a facelift

Question:

Doctor, I am only 39 years old and would like a facelift. I am a landscaper so I am out in the sun a lot. I am a smoker as well. Am I too young for a facelift? If I always wore a hat and quit smoking, how long might my face look good after this procedure?

Answer:

A patient who is 39 is definitely on the younger side for a facelift; however, depending on someone’s anatomy it may be the most ideal procedure. Health and aging is a relative process and depending on sun exposure, genetics and environmental issues, some patients age more quickly than others. Additionally, there are certain areas of the face on individuals that age faster than others. For example, some patients have aging on the mid-face and upper face at an earlier age and would benefit more from addressing that region. Others patients can age faster in the lower part of the face and in these particular patients a lower lift is more desirable. With regard to cigarette smoking, it is not a contraindication for facelift surgery in a smoker; however, I am always careful to inform them that they are at somewhat higher risk for scarring. In our patients, we like them to quit smoking for one-two weeks prior to the procedure and ideally not resume smoking post-operatively. Many patients use this surgical procedure as a crutch to quit smoking and we found this to be effective as well. Typically, the recovery period is seven-ten days in most patients, meaning that they should be able to go out comfortably with a little bit of make-up on after seven-ten days but not quite ready for a ‘family portrait’ at day 11. If someone takes good care of their skin by wearing a hat and stops cigarette smoking, they should achieve results for at least 8-12 years.

Posted by Dr. Williams