If we look at the data, it seems that with each year the age of people choosing to undergo plastic surgery procedures drops a little. And this is not difficult to explain: people have more access to information about plastic surgery, the procedures are now more affordable than ever so even young people can avail them, and the interventions are safe and often providing long-lasting if not permanent results. So why live with an emotional complex or a physical discomfort caused by an imperfection of the body if you can correct it and improve the quality of your life in a matter of weeks?
But aside from these young patients resorting to plastic surgery to be able to start their grown-up life with all the aces in their hands, we also have people interested in undergoing plastic surgery much later on in their lives, usually after turning 50. These patients often ask me if they are too old to get plastic surgery. In this article, we will try to answer them and many others interested in this topic.
Age considerations when it comes to plastic surgery
There are certain plastic surgery interventions that are often performed on very young patients such as otoplasty, rhinoplasty and lately, breast reductions. Other procedures erase the signs of aging or other factors that occur with aging and are requested later on in life such as the tummy tuck, facial lif, breast lift. Then we have procedures that can technically be performed at any age with good results like breast augmentation, liposuction, and butt enhancement procedures.
We could say that there is no ideal age to undergo plastic surgery. Each patient has his own body image and perception and there is a right time for everything, but it mostly depends on the patient’s desires and characteristics and is not generally available for everyone. Many patients over 50 years old come to meet the plastic surgeon when there were changes in their lives that led them to a change of beliefs or habits. The reason and motivation to undergo plastic surgery are often strong, and the patient must understand what the procedure entails, long-term consequences and what can be expected in terms of results.
Many of these patients schedule their appointments for pre-operative consultations after many years or decades living with a certain imperfection that made their lives more difficult from an emotional or physical point of view. Some examples of patients undergoing plastic surgery procedures later on in their lives include:
– Women with overly large breasts who had a partner who didn’t like the idea of her getting a breast reduction as she wouldn’t be considered sexy anymore
– Women with small breasts who couldn’t get plastic surgery before because they felt they would be judged for their choice
– Men with facial imperfections needing otoplasties or rhinoplasties who kept postponing the procedure because they felt that men do not commonly undergo plastic surgery procedures
– Men with feminine-looking breasts who were shy due to their physical appearance and didn’t know plastic surgery offers an efficient and reliable solution that can correct the issue permanently
– Women who went through a painful breakup after many years of marriage or relationship and want a new start in life
– Men and women who are still active in their professional field and want to look younger to be more successful
These are just a few examples. There are patients who have thought about the plastic surgery procedure they’ve been interested in for decades and researched the topic so much that they know everything about it. At the same time, there are patients who just made the decision to improve their appearance through plastic surgery and are waiting for the plastic surgeon to offer suggestions and advice during the pre-operative consultation. Each patient is motivated by his own set of reasons and there are usually no bad reasons to undergo plastic surgery after a certain age, as long as you are a mature and emotionally stable adult.
Young people nowadays are more and more affected by modern society beauty standards. Teenagers can suffer major emotional trauma and even be the subject of bullying due to a slight imperfection of the body and face that a few decades ago would have passed for an interesting peculiarity and nothing more. Nowadays we are stricter when it comes to the beauty and appearance of people. Studies show clearly that we respond better to people who are beautiful and we are drawn to them even without realizing it. For some, the beauty and harmony of body features are a gift received that was or wasn’t sustained over time. For others, it can only be achieved with the help of plastic surgery.
The rules and the FDA recommendations are that breast augmentation with saline implants can be performed on patients starting at the age of 18. When silicone implants are used, the age should be at least 22 years old. This means that a woman as young as 18 can have breast implants to look better and feel better about herself. But how about a woman who is 58 or even 68? Is she too old to get the breasts of her dreams? We are never too old to make our dreams come true. However, there is also the issue of the patient’s health condition that we will discuss in detail later on.
In a vast majority of cases, getting plastic surgery after 50 years old usually means that the patient is very in tune with his desires and knows exactly what he or she wants to achieve with the procedure. Moreover, the patient understands the long-term consequences and is more dedicated when it comes to post-operative indications.
Health conditions associated with old age and plastic surgery
Generally speaking, I tell my parents that plastic surgery to improve or harmonize the features of the body can be performed on patients from 18 up to 70 years old, but it depends on the patient and the procedure to be performed. For example, when it comes to very young patients, it is not recommended to perform procedures on features of the body that have not come to a complete growth. For elderly patients, it is not recommended to perform plastic surgery procedures if they are not in a good health condition.
The reality is that with age, there are several changes that can happen in our bodies. All parts of the body are affected by the passing of time, even down to the cellular level. Sadly, there is no cure for aging. The skin becomes less and less elastic and starts sagging, breast atrophy occurs, fat starts to accumulate in areas of the body where it is difficult to remove, and these are just a few of the signs of aging that we can see. Aside from these, there are changes that are not visible to the naked eye. After a certain age, people can be confronted with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, lung conditions and so on. Severe and chronic conditions are often a contraindication for undergoing plastic surgery, even if the patient is quite young. This is the reason why for patients over 50 I recommend a thorough medical checkup to assess their eligibility for the procedure they want to have.
If you are in your late 50s and want to get plastic surgery, make sure to choose a plastic surgeon that puts more value on the wellbeing of the patient than the money. A responsible plastic surgeon will make you jump through hoops and loops just to make sure you will be okay during the surgery and after. Due to the natural aging process, the recovery period can also be longer for more mature patients. The healing speed is faster in our youth and decreases with time.
Can one be too old for plastic surgery? No! Age is just a number, and often the age in our official papers is different from the age we show on our faces or the age we feel in our hearts. For patients planning to undergo plastic surgery in their late 50s and 60s, make sure to take all the tests recommended by the plastic surgeon to rule out potential contraindications to the procedure. Moreover, following the recommendations of the plastic surgeon for the pre- and post-operative period are essential.
To find out if you are eligible for a certain plastic surgery procedure that you are interested in, contact your plastic surgeon now and schedule an appointment. It is only after a proper medical examination and a discussion about your goals and expectations from the surgery that the plastic surgeon can deem you as an eligible candidate for the procedure.