People often tell me that they have thought about having a particular procedure, but they are either “too young” or “too old” to have it done. Face lifts and neck lifts (platysmaplasty) are two procedures that commonly fall into this trap. But when it comes to cosmetic surgery, there is no right age. But if your age isn’t a factor, what does matter? If you are considering having a face lift, the two most important questions to ask are:
- Will a facelift give you the improvement you are looking for?
- Are you medically healthy enough to have the operation safely?
A facelift improves laxity along the jawline, tightening the area that commonly becomes “jowly” as we age (see the circled area in the photo below). Adding a neck lift, or plastysmaplasty, tightens sagging skin under the chin (refer to the area indicated by the arrows).
If you have laxity along the jawline, a facelift will improve that. This laxity does tend to worsen with age, but may also be seen in younger individuals. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery statistics from 2012 (the most recent year available), ⅓ of all face lifts were done in the 40-54 age group. So clearly younger patients can benefit from a face lift. In respect to being medically healthy enough for surgery, your Plastic Surgeon should do a full evaluation of all your past medical problems. A history of smoking, high blood pressure, or diabetes can all increase the risks associated with having a face lift. But barring any serious health problems, there is no specific cut off age for having a face lift done.