More and more people over the age of 65 are beginning to seek out plastic surgery—almost 85,000 in 2010 alone, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS)—but is it safe?
There have been some concerns in the past over whether seniors face higher risks on the operating table; after all, the over-65 crowd as a whole is more likely than the 30s to 50s crowd to suffer from certain medical issues (high blood pressure and heart disease, for example) that can cause complications during surgery or during recovery.
Still, age alone is not necessarily enough to mean higher risk when it comes to plastic surgery. Take, for example, a 2011 study conducted by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic. After studying consecutive facelifts in more than 200 women performed by one Cleveland Clinic surgeon over a three-year period, the researchers found that complication rates among patients over the age of 65 were not statistically different than younger patients. Essentially, 70-year-olds in good health were no more likely to experience complications than were 55-year-olds in good health—an outcome that many people would not have necessarily predicted!
This does not mean that all seniors are eligible for plastic surgery, of course; just like patients of any age, if you’re over 65 and considering plastic surgery, you should be free of underlying medical conditions like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, all of which can make undergoing general anesthesia highly risky. But as long as you’re in good general health, don’t let your age stop you from getting a procedure that will make you feel good about yourself!