Am I a Good Candidate for Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Surgery?
What makes you a good candidate for a facelift?
Ultimately, the decision to have a facelift is a personal one. And if you’re considering a facelift, your plastic surgeon should be able to give you advice and guidance based on your current skin condition and desired aesthetic outcomes. However, if you are currently wondering if you are an ideal candidate, the following qualities may be taken into consideration:
Of good physical health:
Any type of plastic surgery is still serious surgery and therefore it helps to be in good overall health beforehand. If in doubt, please advise your surgeon of any preexisting medical conditions well in advance – it may make the difference between your ability to have a facelift, or opt for less invasive, non-surgical facial rejuvenation. A facelift is an invasive surgical procedure that needs significant healing and recovery time, so the healthier you are, the better the results, and the faster you will be back out in the world enjoying your life.
Overall skin condition:
Ideally, you should have facial skin that has retained some flexibility and elasticity. Your skin should still be supple and have an ability to “bounce back” when pinched. If you are a smoker, or your skin has extensive sun damage, these may all be factors in the overall success of your facelift. Please ask your surgeon about how lifestyle factors may impact your ability to have a facelift.
Underlying facial bone structure:
A big part of your facial aesthetic is your underlying bone structure. If you already have aesthetically-balanced, underlying bone structure the results of your facelift will be optimal. However, if for example, you have a “weak” chin, you may want to explore the option of chin surgery (genioplasty) before having a facelift. Or, alternatively if you’re not satisfied with the shape of your nose, you may want to consider a rhinoplasty (nose surgery) before having a facelift.
Realistic expectation of outcomes:
It’s important to understand the capability of a facelift to make us “look young again”. While a successful facelift may reduce 10 years off your appearance, it pays to be under no illusions of what a facelift can, and cannot, achieve. The goal of a facelift should be to be almost invisible, in that you look like a younger, refreshed version of yourself, but that you still look like yourself. No one wants to look like somebody else, or like they’ve “had work done”.
Age-appropriate, face-lifting procedures:
Your numerical age should not be the measure by which your decision to have a facelift should depend. This is because there is no “perfect” age for a facelift. In fact, your skin’s condition and texture, lifestyle and overall health factors — it’s ‘genetic age’ — are far more important factors than age.
That being said, most of our facelift patients are between the ages of 40 and 70 years old. If you are on the younger end of this spectrum you may consider a Facelift and/or Neck Lift (SMAS or Deep Plane facelift). If you are older, you may opt for the more holistic, full-face approach of Pan Facial Rejuvenation — ideal for older patients wanting to rejuvenate the entire face and neck area.
Less invasive plastic surgery and non-surgical alternatives.
Before you consider a facelift, you may actually achieve your desired results with a less invasive procedure such as eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), brow or forehead lift, or a temple lift (temporal lift). These less involved procedures may actually help you to achieve the results you’re looking for with less downtime.
Other popular alternatives to facelifts are non-surgical rejuvenation techniques such as dermal fillers like Restylane®, Botox® and Dysport® injections, chemical peels and facial dermabrasion. The technology and science of non-surgical facial rejuvenation has made huge leaps in the last few years, to the point that many people try these non-invasive techniques before considering a facelift.