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Aesthet Surg J. 2011 Jul;31(5):493-500. doi: 10.1177/1090820X11411292.

Management of hypertension in the facelift patient: results of a national consensus survey.

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  • 1Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390, USA. andrew.trussler@utsouthwestern.edu



In the facelift patient, uncontrolled perioperative hypertension is a difficult, acute condition that can lead to significant complications. Although the treatment of hypertension in the ambulatory medical setting has been standardized, its management in the cosmetic surgery setting has been ambiguous.


The authors evaluate the results of a survey to assess current national trends in perioperative facelift hypertension management.


A 13-question survey regarding perioperative hypertension management was sent by postal mail to 1776 members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Respondents were queried about their geographic location, caseload volume, facelift method, and hematoma rate.


A 35.4% response rate was attained (629 respondents). Superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) plication performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure was the most common facelift technique. Perioperative blood pressure management was consistent among all respondents. Beta-blockers were commonly utilized throughout the preoperative period. Administration of alpha agonists was reported more frequently by surgeons with higher-volume caseloads and more years in practice. Reported hematoma rates did not vary with medication. Medical treatment at an intraoperative systolic blood pressure (SBP) threshold below 100 (p < .04) and a postoperative SBP of greater than 139 (p < .05) significantly increased reported hematoma rates.


The data generated from the survey suggest that the timing of treating hypertension deserves more attention than the actual medication administered. Proper perioperative care of the facelift patient is paramount in the reduction of hematoma rates. Preexisting hypertension correlates with a higher hematoma rate, though this study also suggests that normotensive anesthesia, as well as strict postoperative blood pressure control did contribute to a reduction in hematoma rate.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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