5013 Facelift Complications and the Risk of Venous Thromboembolism: A Single Center's Experience

Friday, May 6, 2011: 12:15 PM
Nour Abboushi, Plastic Surgery, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, Foad Nahai, MD, Atlanta, GA, John Symbas, Paces Plastic Surgery, Atlanta, GA and Maksym Yezhelyev, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

The number of facelifts performed in the US has been steadily increasing over the past decade.  Moreover, the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in plastic surgery has recently been established.Our objective was to determine the overall complication rate in our facelift population, determine risk factors, and specifically identify the risk of VTE.


A retrospective medical record review of patients who had a facelift at Paces Plastic Surgery was performed (2004-2009).  A total of 630 patients were included.  Collected data included patient demographics; comorbidities; BMI; smoking status; operative time; and combining the facelift with other procedures.  All postoperative complications were recorded.


The mean age was 58.4 (SD 7.3).  Males comprised 8.1% of the patient population; 23.2% had hypertension; 4.9% were smokers; and 3.5% were on aspirin.  The mean operative time was 255.6 minutes (SD 81.6).  Almost a quarter (23.6%) of the patients had other procedures in addition to the facelift at the time of surgery.  There were 38 recorded complications:  29 hematomas, 2 deep vein thrombosis, 2 eye infections, 2 partial skin loss, and one ectropion.  Risk of complications was significantly higher in males, older patients, and those with BMI> 30kg/m2. The risk of hematoma was higher (p<0.05) in males; older patients; those with a history of hypertension; and those taking aspirin.  The risk of DVT increased when the procedure time was greater than 5 hours.  Both patients who developed DVTs had undergone a facelift in combination with another procedure.  There was also an increase in the risk of complications when the facelift was combined with two or more procedures.


In our patient population, the risk of developing complications after a facelift increased in males, older patients, those with hypertension, and those who were on prophylactic aspirin.  Combining the facelift with other procedures also increased the risk of complications, especially DVTs.

Back to: Session 4