I am a 60-year-old female who has smoked for the past 30 years. Am I still eligible for a facelift? What are the potential risks associated with smoking?
Smoking is the single most important factor for the potential for adverse results in facelift surgery. If you have smoked for 30 years and are still smoking, it is very unlikely that any surgeon will recommend a facelift surgery. If you have smoked for a prolonged period of time it is highly recommended that you have quit smoking for at least 3-4 weeks prior to any facelift procedure. Your surgeon will likely alter the type of approach they choose to perform your facelift to minimize the risk that the skin of your face will become compromised and scar from the facelift procedure. Smoking alters the small vessels that nourish the skin of your face. When a facelift is performed, the skin is separated from the larger vessels of the face and the health of the facial skin depends entirely on the blood supply of the these smaller vessels of the skin in order to heal appropriately. If you are a smoker your surgeon will perform a less aggressive facelift procedure so that the risks of the facelift surgery do not outweigh the benefits.
Posted by Dr. Philip Schoenfeld