On the other hand, there are no age limitations for facelift surgery, and age should not be a reason to deny surgery if the patient is in otherwise good health. A healthy patient in his or her late 70s or early 80s may have 15 or 20 more years of quality life ahead, and the desire to have an improved appearance is indeed valid.
Finally, but not least important, an accurate assessment of the patient’s psychological status is central to determining patient candidacy. The surgeon should determine patient motivation and attempt to ascertain whether the patient might fail to view a successful surgical outcome favorably or might react inappropriately to any aspect of the surgery. A thorough discussion of the patient’s goals and objectives should provide important clues to his or her psychological profile (1). Although many patients are unaware of exactly what surgery can and cannot accomplish, others have clearly unreasonable expectations, which can include looking exactly as they did 10 or 20 years ago, having surgery without scars, requesting an unnaturally tight lift, or attempting to obtain promises and guarantees. Patients who are excessively occupied with minute flaws also may be poor surgical candidates. Moreover, patients who have recently undergone a major change in their personal status, such as the death of a loved one or divorce, may be subject to depression or psychological unevenness and may require special care.
1. Tobin HA. Patient motivations and expectations. In: Krause CJ, ed. Aes
thetic facial surgery. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott, 1991;469.