Plastic Surgery 101

Younger boyfriend wants 76-year-old to get eyelift

Q. This may sound crazy to you but I’ll go ahead anyway. I am 76 and my younger boyfriend wants me to do my eyes. We have been dating for six months and he feels that I would look younger if I had surgery. What is your suggestion and do you think this is a crazy idea?

The short answer is: Wow, that’s great!

Now for my more logical, thoughtful answer. There are several important factors you should consider. First, he may not be your permanent boyfriend , so your decision to have surgery should come from within. If you do not want it or do not feel comfortable having surgery, you should not have it. I find that patients who have surgery because someone else “forces’’ it on them are never really happy.

Second, you should have a complete evaluation of your health. Thus, if you wish to have surgery, you are not taking unnecessary risks.

Now, let’s assume love is in the air, you want to have the surgery and you are in great health. How should you go about selecting your surgeon for this procedure?

While you are considering this procedure for cosmetic purposes, it may actually be a functional procedure. In some cases, patients have a loss of vision because of excess skin over their eyelids. If that is the case, your insurance company may cover your procedure. To determine this, you would have to have a visual field exam.

If you have determined that you do not have a visual field loss, but you still want to bring that twinkle back to your eyes, whom should you pick to do your surgery?

Blepharoplasty, or eye lift, is performed by various doctors. You should pick a board-certified facial plastic, plastic, oculo-plastic surgeon or ophthalmologist. Ask where the doctor performs the surgeries, who does the anesthesia, what type of anesthesia will be used and if the facility is certified by a certifying agency. Ask to see before and after pictures to determine if you like the outcome of other patients.

It is imperative that you pick a surgeon who performs many blepharoplasty procedures. Discuss with your prospective surgeon the risks of surgery and ask specifically what problems he or she has had in the past.

Surgery at your age can be a wonderful and safe experience when approached in a rational manner.