How Old Is Too Old for Plastic Surgery?

You hear about people having plastic surgery all the time. There’s usually a very specific motivation behind these procedures — but there’s rarely any rhyme or reason involved where their ages are concerned. That’s because people of all ages seem to go under the knife for little tweaks, nips, and tucks.

But is it actually safe to do this no matter your age? Many wonder if there’s a such thing as too old to have any type of work done. Some surgical procedures are quite invasive, after all, and all carry with them some minimal risk. At the same time, the need for some procedures, such as facelifts, only arises later in life. Issues like sagging skin, jowls, noticeable bags, increased wrinkles, and creases in the face all become more prominent as people age.

Simply put, it’s natural for people who are older to think about having some work done. But if you’re over the age of 65, it’s important to keep some vital information in mind to ensure that you’re doing it for all the right reasons.

Why Age Matters

Before you venture to your plastic surgeon’s office to inquire about a breast lift or rhinoplasty, it’s good to be prepared with some basic information. A study conducted by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), over 3.8 million people over the age of 55 underwent various cosmetic procedures in 2013. The median age of patients who had procedures between 65 and 93 was 68, with some 95% of people falling between the ages of 65 and 75.

Researchers examined the effects of procedures on these patients in comparison to younger patients and found that there were no discernably increased risks of suffering complications in the older group. In fact, they assessed that the odds of experiencing any type of side effect was approximately the same. The only exception was among the group ages 65 and over who underwent tummy tuck procedures. Those individuals were more likely to develop complications in comparison to younger patients.

Other Important Factors

Perhaps more tellingly, researchers also found that patients over the age of 65 were likely to have better health habits than younger patients. In particular, they had better diets, weren’t as inclined to smoke cigarettes, and managed their weight more efficiently. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is especially key, as it may help in the healing and recovery process in the aftermath of the surgical procedure.

Moreover, older patients may also have a more realistic reason for seeking surgical intervention. They may be ready to address an area of their body that has bothered them for years, if not decades. They might have had children years before and simply never thought to target the love handles or sagging breasts that came in the aftermath. They may dream of tweaking a small imperfection purely for their own pleasure.

By contrast, younger patients might not be as swayed by their own personal motivations. Exterior factors, like social media influences and societal pressures, could play more integral roles in drawing patients of that age group to cosmetic surgery. While there may be legitimate reasons to see a plastic surgeon, in many cases there’s a desire to attain results based on images presented in the media and by friends and celebrities.

Healthier ideals often lead to healthier outcomes, especially because it often takes time for the so-called “dream body” to actually develop — in some cases, months may pass before the surgical site “settles” into what the person expected of it.

Things to Consider

Older patients are at greater risk of suffering from conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. Your doctor may also ask about certain factors that might put you at increased risk, such as smoking and drinking. Your cardiovascular health may be taken into account, too.

So long as your doctor deems you healthy and these concerns are properly managed, you are likely a viable candidate for plastic surgery. Before giving you the go ahead, though, be prepared for an assessment of the following details:

  • Symptoms: Do you exhibit excessive signs of aging that only a surgical knife can repair? There are many different options available, from mild tweaks to complete facelifts. You might want to tackle your concerns surgically if your primary concern is deep lines and sagging jowls.
  • Elasticity: How flexible and malleable is your skin? That matters because it’s an indication of how successful your procedure might be, especially if you want to undergo a facelift. As you age, your skin naturally experiences loss of volume, along with collagen and elasticity. The more that you have remaining, the greater the chances that your procedure will deliver the results you want.
  • History: What’s your plastic surgery history like? If you’ve only had a few BOTOX or fillers injected here and there and are no longer satisfied with the end result, chances are you won’t find what you’re looking for in a skin cream. Provided you’re in good physical health, a surgeon may view you as a viable candidate.

A Personal Choice

Ultimately, the decision to have plastic surgery is a personal one that you make on your own. Yes, you’ll need your surgeon’s final approval, but so long as you meet certain criteria you can expect your desired goal to be within reach.

Keep in mind that it’s helpful to have a reliable support system throughout the process. Whether it’s a family member or a trusted friend, nothing can replace the invaluable presence of someone who’s willing to give you a helping hand as you heal from your procedure. This may include driving you to and from appointments, preparing meals, and providing your medication on time. With that type of extra backbone to keep you going, you can be sure that you’ve made the right choice.

Remember, age is just a number. Ultimately it’s all about helping you look and feel your best. If you’re ready to take that next step, schedule a Dallas plastic surgery consultation with Dr. Raja Mohan today.

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