Struggling With Your Weight? Is A Facelift A Good Idea?

If your face is beginning to show signs of age that can't be corrected with even the highest-powered makeup or retinol creme, you may be considering minor plastic surgery—a facelift, brow lift, or jaw lift. However, being overweight when you undergo these types of procedures could potentially cause complications during recovery. In addition, if you later lose weight, you may find yourself in need of a subsequent surgery to restore tautness to your skin. Read on to learn more about how your weight can affect the way you heal from facelift surgery, as well as what you can do to maximize your odds of a successful recovery even before you've reached your goal weight.

Will a plastic surgeon perform a facelift on you if you're overweight? 

In some situations, your weight may prevent you from undergoing surgery entirely. If you suffer from severe sleep apnea, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or other complications associated with your weight, the general anesthesia you'll need in order to have a facelift could be too taxing to your body. You may find it difficult to find a board-certified plastic surgeon from a clinic like who will take on your case unless you first address your underlying health issues. However, in most cases those who are overweight or even obese without major comorbidities should be able to safely undergo anesthesia without issue.

Even if you've passed the safety hurdle, if you tend to carry excess weight in your face you may receive some frank feedback after consulting with a plastic surgeon. While facelifts, brow lifts, and jaw lifts can help tighten sagging skin, remove jowls, or reduce wrinkles at any weight, losing a large amount of weight in the future could cause scars remaining from the surgery to shift and become visible. And although losing weight can provide a number of health and appearance benefits, one unfortunate side effect includes sagging skin—so you may find yourself in more need of a facelift than you were before your surgery.

Should you delay surgery until after you lose weight?

Losing weight and keeping it off long-term can be the struggle of a lifetime, and you may be dismayed at the thought of putting off plastic surgery until you've finally reached your goal weight. However, even losing a small amount of weight can improve your odds of surgical success. If you can demonstrate to your plastic surgeon that you're actively reducing your weight and have the physical and emotional support to continue on your diet after surgery, it's likely your operation will be approved. Knowing you're planning on weight loss, your surgeon should be able to carefully place any incisions in areas where they won't be seen at any weight.

What can you do to reduce your chances of complications following surgery?

Although your odds of a bad reaction to anesthesia are quite low unless you have an underlying medical condition, being overweight or obese can increase the likelihood you'll have certain recovery complications. Being obese in particular can put you at risk for everything from heart attacks to urinary tract infections (UTIs). Fortunately, you'll likely be prescribed a blood thinning medication after surgery to help reduce the risk of blood clots, and this may provide some protective value against cardiac conditions.

During your recovery, you'll want to make a special effort to drink as many clear liquids as possible. This will help flush out any toxins from your system, improve blood flow to the surgical sites, and help prevent you from developing a UTI or kidney infection. You'll also want to keep a careful eye on your incision and contact your doctor if it suddenly changes. Preventing infection by being proactive on all fronts will allow you to recover with ease.