Are You Ever Too Old for Plastic Surgery?

Could you have plastic surgery for the first time at age 80, but be a terrible candidate for it in your 40s? When declaring a patient suitable for surgery, health is the deciding factor, not necessarily age. In some cases, older patients may be better candidates than those who are younger, based on their medical history. So, how do you know if you’re healthy enough for plastic surgery?

Just because a patient is older, doesn’t mean they can’t get a good, safe result. Plastic surgery can be performed on healthy, older patients whose bodies can handle a procedure. As long as your doctor has fully assessed your health status and deemed you healthy, surgery can be performed. "If you’re healthy enough for surgery, age doesn’t mean anything. I’ve had patients in their 70s and 80s who are great candidates for plastic surgery," says West Orange, NJ, plastic surgeon Mokhtar Asaadi, MD.

Being younger doesn’t mean you’re a shoo-in for a procedure. Regardless of your age, some health conditions can’t be controlled in the operating room, which is why your doctor needs to know of any issues.“ All medical history should be honest and complete so your surgeon can keep you safe,” says Houston plastic surgeon Henry Mentz, MD. There are options for those who are not fit for surgery, and while the results may not be the same, they won’t put your life at stake.

Before you step foot into an operating room, your plastic surgeon needs to make sure you meet the pre-surgery checklist to minimize the risk of complication and ensure a healthy recovery. “Aesthetic surgery is real surgery and can involve real risks,” says Dr. Mentz. Problems can arise when nonboard-certified doctors perform procedures because they are less likely to “check you out”—they don’t hold to the same standards and may not take your health into consideration. If your health isn’t in good standing, you can compromise your results, and ultimately, your life.


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1 Comment
  • Dr. Dana Goldberg
    Posted on

    Being ready for surgery means even more than just being healthy enough for the procedure. A safe recovery also means having enough help after surgery and enough downtime. Many retired patients are well prepared to take it easy for their full post op recovery and are excellent candidates for surgery.

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