Question: I’m ready to schedule my facelift surgery and I’m really excited. I’m male, 48 years old, a smoker and have pharmaceutically untreated high blood pressure I have been making lifestyle changes to decrease my blood pressure naturally. Does my medical condition predispose me for any complications from the surgery?
Answer: I’m very happy that you’re excited to schedule your facelift surgery. It is important for patients to understand that with any surgical procedure the primary goal is to make sure that the procedure is as safe as possible. This means that all potential risk factors that could unfavorably impact the surgery are managed before the surgery begins. Smoking may lead to small changes in blood vessels and may mean that the skin flaps that need to be elevated for this procedure are not as sturdy as a surgeon would like. This can cause some of the skin to die or lose its blood supply. If this happens the result of the facelift can be very unsightly. Untreated high blood pressure can negatively impact the potential healing and result of the surgery and is also a long-term consequence that may shorten your lifespan. Therefore, it’s important to find a competent facelift surgeon and make sure the surgeon is a medical doctor. It is important for medical doctors to make sure that all medical conditions are properly treated and optimized prior to any surgery. From a medical standpoint, I would recommend prior to any consideration of a facelift surgery to make sure that your blood pressure is under control and to see whether or not any smoking cessation techniques have been tried as well. A competent facelift surgeon will arrange for your medical management and advise a specialist to improve or manage these areas. Once these issues are completely controlled, it would be great to reassess you and determine whether or not you’re a good surgical candidate for this procedure.