Study: Elderly Not at Increased Risk during Cosmetic Surgery

A recent study out of Vanderbilt University Medical Center showed that cosmetic surgery is just as safe for elderly patients as it is for younger patients. The study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, looked at five years of data from more than 129,000 patients that had procedures ranging from facelift to liposuction. They found that the rate of post-operative complications was nearly the same for patients older and younger than 65.

For patients over 65, the average rate of complications was 1.94 percent, compared to 1.84 percent for patients under 65. The average age of elderly patients in the study was 69, and the average age of younger patients was 39. As may be expected, the elderly patients had more facial plastic surgery procedures.

The research team looked at data of 180 octogenarians, and found very little difference in the rate of complications (2.2 percent rate of complications, compared to 1.9 percent for their younger counterparts). Their average age was 82.

The author of the study, Dr. Max Yezhelyev, noted, “Similar outcomes of cosmetic surgery in younger and older patients have never been shown before on such a large scale.”

This positive development dovetails nicely with trends that show plastic surgery is still popular among men and women over 65. Older plastic surgery candidates will be pleased to learn that they are not at an increased risk during plastic surgery, despite having higher rates of health conditions such as diabetes, and a higher average body mass index.

One procedure showed a higher rate of complications among older patients: abdominoplasty. Older abdominoplasty patients experienced a 5.4 percent rate of complications compared with 3.9 percent among the younger patients.

Why Plastic Surgery Is Still Popular among People Over Age 65

This generation is healthier than ever.

Many people in their 60s and older have worked hard to stay fit and look good. It’s natural to explore cosmetic enhancement options to complement their appearance and active lifestyle.

They have greater financial resources (and more time).

After years of working hard and saving, people over 65 have the financial resources needed to pay for elective cosmetic enhancement. Also, without work and young children, they have the time required to have surgery and recover at their leisure.

They want to remain competitive in the workplace.

However, overall, people are also working later in life than ever. It’s not uncommon to seek out cosmetic enhancement to look youthful and remain competitive in the workplace, where vitality and vigor is important.

With the knowledge that surgery at an advanced age is no riskier than it would be at age 30 or 40, older plastic surgery candidates can feel confident as they pursue cosmetic enhancement to satisfy their aesthetic objectives.

Schedule a Cosmetic Surgery Consultation with Dr. Sayah

Whether you are 25, 45 or 65, if you feel that cosmetic surgery will help you look and feel better about yourself, Dr. Sayah would like to meet you and discuss your options! Please schedule a consultation with him by calling (310) 905-8405 or sending an email.

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