Plastic Surgery: What’s age got to do with it?

Plastic Surgery: What’s age got to do with it?
Plastic Surgery: What’s age got to do with it?

Most of us agree that age isn’t a number - it’s a mindset. We hope that our old age will be illustrated through earned wisdom and the care we’ve shown our bodies, not the number on our driver’s license.

Yet, no matter how much we tend to our physical self, there may still come a time when professional help is needed to get the exterior to match our inner sense of youth. From Botox to facelifts, eye surgery to skin tightening, procedures abound to get our physical appearance to reflect our youthful spirit.

But could you be too old for surgery? Turns out, no – at least in terms of what we know about factors in successful surgeries. Given the advancements in technology and techniques to perform a procedure, older patients are just as safe as younger patients to undergo plastic surgery, provided their overall health is not an issue. There are numerous factors involved when you are considering a plastic surgery procedure, which is why it is important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon in order to determine if you, at any age, are ready to have plastic surgery.

First know that if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or are on blood thinners elective surgery is not for you, so thank goodness for all the new advancements in non-invasive procedures.

A key factor in surgery success is the invasiveness of the surgery. Surgical procedures have progressed, such that even invasive procedures are not so invasive anymore. They require less anesthesia and can be performed more quickly, which diminishes chances of complications. On that note, it is generally advised to avoid choosing procedures lasting more than 3-4 hours because longer surgeries increase the risk of complications.

Speaking of complications, an article in New Beauty magazine, shares a few to be aware of, at any age.

Kidney Failure - if you have existing issues with your kidneys, the stress of surgery could cause organ failure.

Respiratory Depression - Allergies to anesthesia can lead to respiratory depression, which can lead to severe complications during surgery.

Respiratory Arrest - Patients with sleep apnea may need to be monitored during their recovery if strong painkillers are prescribed post-surgery. The combination could lead to cessation of breathing. Yikes!

The way to prevent these from becoming an issue is to provide your complete health history to your surgeon when you begin to discuss surgery options and details. Expect to get a full medical check-up, including blood work and an EKG. Your surgeon needs to understand your body so that every precaution can be taken to prepare for a successful outcome.

There’s an added benefit for older patients who have decided to undergo plastic surgery too; they will reap benefits of the surgery that extend beyond the obvious. A study was conducted to show the psychological benefits of plastic surgery. Results found that plastic surgery produced long-term psychological benefits and improved the quality of life for older patients. Medical clearance with your primary doctor is usually a good idea after age 60. When it comes to age, we’re allowed to grow old gracefully, but it’s good to know that modern procedures allow us to enlist the help of a good plastic surgeon to help get us there… safely!

About the Author

Mary Cunningham is a health and wellness writer and co-founder of the lifestyle site, Girl Around Town and travels regularly between New York, Austin and Houston. She loves speaking about the beauty we have inside and how to do the inner work to let that beauty radiate. Prior to leaving the corporate world to start her own company, Mary worked at the GRAMMYs in Los Angeles, before moving to Manhattan, where she joined Nokia's Digital Music Department.