When it comes to plastic surgery, most people are more likely to raise eyebrows at the idea of a 28-year-old getting plastic surgery than a 70-year-old. However, some people who are considering plastic surgery at an advanced age do wonder if there is an upper age limit to cosmetic procedures as well. With changes in overall health, more significant signs of aging, and other factors, many older people have additional factors to consider when pursuing anti-aging treatments and procedures. So is it possible or advisable to have elective surgery late in life?
Is There an Age Limit?
Unlike with many other scenarios in life, there is no hard-and-fast rule for age limits relating to plastic surgery. This is because aging progresses at a very different rate for each person, which means that people seek anti-aging procedures at different stages of life. As with most plastic surgery procedures, surgeons determine candidacy on a case by case basis. However, most people who seek plastic surgery later in life start asking the question: “am I too old for plastic surgery?” around age 65 or so.
Much more of a factor than a plastic surgery candidate’s age is his or her overall health. While some older people are on numerous medications and juggle ongoing health concerns, other seniors are running marathons and are healthier than people half their age. Most plastic surgeons will insist on a battery of tests to assess physical health for older people seeking surgery, but there is usually no reason that a healthy individual with realistic expectations should be turned down for cosmetic surgery.
Today, plastic surgery procedures are much safer, less invasive, and more effective than they were even a few years ago. While there are slight increases in risks relating to anesthesia for older patients and a potentially more difficult recovery period, plastic surgery has become a viable option for healthy people of any age. Emphasis is now placed on customization, allowing each patient to design a treatment plan with their surgeon that works for them.
Most Popular Procedures
Plastic surgery is on the rise among older Americans, with facial procedures overwhelmingly popular in the age group of people 65 and over, unsurprisingly. The majority of these procedures are various face lift procedures and eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). Neck lifts to rejuvenate the neck and jaw are also popular. Most people in this age group have experienced significant sagging skin and wrinkling, making less invasive procedures a less effective option for anti-aging, as gentler procedures typically produce more subtle results.
Is it Worth It?
One of the questions older potential patients need to consider is whether or not the surgery is worth the money, discomfort, and small risk associated with elective procedures at age 65+. There is only so much the clock can be turned back, and it takes more invasive procedures to produce significant results the more the face has aged. The answer to the question “is it worth it?” depends so greatly on the health, attitudes, and individual appearance of the individual that there is no way to make even a general recommendation for older patients.
Surgery is not necessarily the only option for seniors, either. Non-invasive procedures or skin treatments may be a good way to go for some potential patients. These treatments are generally gentler and require little to no anesthesia for comfort. Additionally, many people are worried about looking “overdone”, a concern that subtle treatments should help bypass.
As with any kind of plastic surgery, the decision to pursue anti-aging surgery after the age of 65 is an entirely personal decision, unless it is unsafe for the patient to undergo surgery, in which case, a surgeon can deny service. Plastic surgery is most successful when it is performed by a skilled surgeon on a healthy individual who is dedicated to the process—both pre- and post-operative. Cosmetic surgery can greatly improve self-esteem and confidence in patients who want to make the change for themselves.
Choose an Expert
No matter what procedure you are considering, it is important to seek the help of an expert plastic surgeon to help you reach your goals. Only a board certified, experienced facial plastic surgeon is qualified to assist you in choosing the procedure that works for you and will help you turn back the clock.
When you are ready to get started, take your questions to an expert you can trust, like Dr. Stuart Bentkover of Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), MA. For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bentkover, call either location today.