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Is There An Upper Age Limit For Face Lift Surgery?

The Cleveland Clinic recently published results from a retrospective study to determine the safety of face lift plastic surgery procedures in the elderly.  The study was published in the June 2011 issue of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.  The specific issue for this study was whether chronological age alone is a risk factor that can lead to higher complication rates in face lift surgery.  {By elderly, the investigators mean >65 years of age, which hits just a little too close to home!}.  Investigators reviewed medical data in 216 patients who had a face lift by the same plastic surgeon over a three year time period.  The sample of 216 consisted of 148 who were less than 65, and 68 patients who were over 65.  The mean age for the non-elderly group was 57, and 70 in the “elderly” group.  Researchers evaluated the patients’ progress, results and complications.  The study’s results indicated that when screened properly, patients 65 and older who seek face lift surgery are at no additional risk than younger patients.  The important part is pre-operative screening for those 65 and older.  Obviously, before undergoing any surgery, your family physician will perform extensive tests, which might include blood work, EKG, chest x-rays, and the like.   Researchers concede that more research is needed to determine the safety for patients beyond their 70’s.  When you are considering a face lift or any other plastic surgery procedure, always consult with a board certified plastic surgeon with considerable experience in performing the surgery you seek.  Ask lots of questions!  Michael Eisemann, M.D. is triple board certified, has been a Houston Top Doctor for several years, and has faculty appointments at Houston’s medical schools.  For more information, contact Dr. Eisemann’s office today.

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