With all the non-surgical treatments available today, it might seem that a facelift is a thing of the past. After all, why have surgery and spend weeks recovering when you can go in a for a few quick injections?

Although there are plenty of options available if you are looking to reduce the signs of aging, from injectables to laser skin resurfacing, those treatments aren’t necessarily a replacement for a facelift. Other treatments don’t provide the same results or results that last as long as a facelift.

If you are considering facelift surgery, there are a few things to consider first.  Not everyone is a good candidate for the procedure, for several reasons.

Your Habits

Some habits can mean that a facelift isn’t the best option for you now and might not be the best option for you in years to come. One habit that is a big determining factor in whether or not a facelift is right for you is smoking. Smoking, or using any product that contains nicotine for that matter, can interfere with the surgery in a couple of ways.

For one thing, smoking can raise your risk for complications when you receive general anesthesia. For another, it also slows down the healing process. Since nicotine interferes with blood flow, using tobacco products can cause you to take longer to heal, making the scars more visible in the long run.

If you are a smoker, all is not lost. You might still be a candidate for the surgery, as long as you quit smoking in advance. Your surgeon will let you know how far in advance before surgery you should quit for best results.

Your Age

Age is in many ways just a number, but it can also influence your candidacy for surgery. Generally, a facelift is a good option for people over the age of 40. If you’re under 40, you most likely don’t have enough sagging to benefit from the surgery. Fillers, Botox and other non-surgical treatments might be better able to take care of your concerns.

Although people over the age of 50, 60, or even 70 can see good results from facelift surgery, generally speaking, the younger a person is, the better they can expect their results to be. A study published in 2011 in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that people who were under age 50 at the time of surgery had better results and reported being more satisfied with the results of their surgery.

One reason for the increased satisfaction could be that people who are younger typically have fewer signs of aging and need less work down during the procedure to get the results they hope for. Since the results are less dramatic, they might look more natural, and are likely to last longer compared to the results achieved by an older patient.

Your Skin

The quality of your skin also determines whether you’re a good facelift candidate or not. Although you should have some looseness or sagging to benefit from the surgery, you also want there to be some elasticity remaining in the skin, so that it heals more quickly and is better able to adjust to the changes made during the procedure.

Your Health

How healthy you are has a direct impact on whether a facelift is a good option or not. Having long-term, uncontrolled medical conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes can increase your risk for complications during or after surgery and make you not a good candidate. If you do have a health concern, your surgeon might recommend getting it under control and waiting until you do so before performing the surgery.

Your weight can also affect whether or not a facelift is a good choice for you. Ideally, you want to be at or very close to your goal weight before the procedure, for a couple of reasons. Being very overweight or obese increases your risk for complications during surgery. Also, if you are overweight and lose a lot of that weight after your procedure, you can undo the results of the procedure.

If you have additional questions about a facelift or would like to know more about whether you’re a good candidate for the procedure, contact Dr. Kyle Choe, a board certified facial plastic surgeon in Virginia Beach. Dr. Choe can help you review your options and decide on the procedure that best suits you. To schedule a consultation, call 757.389.5850 today.