Facelifts: Can you wait too long?

Yesterday I talked about the benefits of considering a facelift sooner rather than later.  Contributing Editor for Vogue, Dodie Kazanjian, discusses the issue in her column this month. Conventional thinking is to consider having a facelift when changes in your face begin to bother you.   The author quotes Dr. Patricia Wexler, the New York dermatologist to the stars as saying, “If you do a facelift in your 40’s, you are thrilled.   If you do it in your 50’s, you wonder why you waited.   But if you have a facelift in your 60’s, you say, ‘Why did I bother?’

When patients wait too long, say perhaps in the 60-year range, the results can look too harsh, look pulled too taught.  Facelifts on older patients tend to relax quickly, thus some surgeons resort to pulling the skin too tight to counteract this phenomenon.   Of course when this is combined with overly plumped up lips and maybe a severe brow lift, a freakish appearance is almost guaranteed.

A facelift may be performed successfully on an older patient, however, it is important for the surgeon to pay careful attention to draping of the skin and tightening the underlying muscles.   Less is more in this case and patient expectations must be realistic.   While plastic surgeons may turn back the clock, it is impossible to create a natural, well-rested appearance when patients expect to shave off a few decades!

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