Facelift Candidacy: Are You Ready?

Dr. Houtan Chaboki, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, explains why considerations such as age, cosmetic goals and overall health can affect patient candidacy for a facelift. People from Washington, DC and surrounding areas turn to Dr. Chaboki for his advanced training and surgical skills.

I treat every one of my facelift patients in Washington, DC uniquely, evaluating each person based on a number of factors. This is not simply a cliché; several very important reasons exist as to why cosmetic and reconstructive surgery requires an individualized approach and how certain factors are key in determining candidacy for a procedure.

“That Woman Looks Just Like…”

We have all experienced this: We see someone who looks almost identical to someone we know. We may even make the embarrassing mistake of talking to a complete stranger. Or we comment to our friend about the man sitting in a booth on the other side of the restaurant who looks like a celebrity.

Likewise, we recognize similar physical characteristics among members of various ethnic groups. Yet upon closer inspection, one can discern that unique differences do exist between those who share similar appearances. Even the physical features of identical twins can differ to some extent.

For that reason, before I perform procedures such as a facelift or eyelid surgery for Maryland and Northern Virginia patients who come to me, I consider a number of factors that affect my treatment approach. Important aspects to address in a thorough surgical plan include the patient’s age, personal aesthetic goals and overall health. These factors play a role in determining candidacy for treatment.


There are certain ages at which certain procedures will achieve the most beneficial results. For younger patients, I often recommend injectable facial rejuvenation treatments, such as JUVÉDERM® or BOTOX®. The ideal average age for considering facial plastic surgery is between 40 and 60. That is when the skin typically begins to show more pronounced signs of aging.

While chronological age does not directly prevent a patient from being a candidate, certain health risks are more prevalent in older patients. Yet, many older people routinely receive facial plastic surgery without complications.

Overall Health

As plastic surgery has become more common in our culture, some people have lost sight of the fact that it is still a serious medical procedure. Patients’ safety during the procedure and recovery, and even the effectiveness of the procedure, can be directly linked to overall health.

All patients should receive a physical and a comprehensive review of their health before moving ahead with any elective surgery. There are certain conditions that might cause your surgeon to postpone or disallow your surgery. For example, diabetes, cardiovascular disease or smoking may cause your surgeon to decide against operating on you.

Cosmetic Goals

Just as every person’s appearance is unique, so are his or her personal preferences. No two people’s personalities and inclinations are identical. Cosmetic goals should be based on a personal desire to improve oneself, not a desire to meet standards set by others or to fit an ideal appearance determined by cultural trends. Like fashion, trends in physical beauty can change within a significantly short period of time.

What’s more, it is important that you have realistic expectations about the results of plastic surgery. Photoshopped images on the covers of magazines and actors who are digitally touched up in films can lead to unrealistic goals concerning personal appearance. Plastic surgery can accomplish impressive results, but do your research and make sure your expectations are reasonable. Look at before-and-after pictures from your surgeon, and talk with your surgeon about what to expect.

First Steps

A consultation with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon will help determine if you are a candidate for a facelift. A thorough, experienced surgeon will help you determine if you are a candidate and what other options are available to you if you are not a candidate for cosmetic surgery.

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