Cosmetic Surgery for the Elderly: 3 Things to Know

woman cosmetic surgery in face

Most people have at one point or another felt insecure about their physical appearance. While it’s important to remember that this is a common and normal human experience and that insecurity about one’s physical appearance is amplified by comparing oneself to others, receiving negative feedback or criticism from others, experiencing changes in the body due to aging or other factors, and internalizing societal pressure to conform to certain beauty standards, there’s no reason to ignore the fact that advances in medicine mean changes can be made. Examples of cosmetic surgery procedures include breast augmentation, rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), liposuction (removing excess fat), facelifts, and tummy tucks.

While anyone can have cosmetic surgery, it’s more suitable for certain age demographics than others. In particular, the elderly – new retirees, residents of assisted living facilities, etc – are often discouraged from this kind of procedure. Yet, there is no maximum age for cosmetic surgery, and plenty of seniors do it successfully each year. Still, it’s best to be informed, so here are 3 things to know if you’re elderly and considering cosmetic surgery.

Increased Risks

You may have an increased risk of complications during cosmetic surgery because of certain age-related factors.

First, the skin becomes thinner and less elastic with age, making it more susceptible to bruising, swelling, and other postoperative complications.

Also, elderly patients may likely have underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension, that can increase the risk of complications during surgery. For example, certain conditions increase the risk of bleeding.

Then, elderly patients are often taking multiple medications, many of which can interfere with surgery. For example, drugs used to treat high blood pressure can interact with anesthesia and cause low blood pressure during and after surgery.

Potential Benefits

Despite the risks, cosmetic surgery can offer undeniable physical and psychological benefits.

First of course, physically, your appearance will certainly be enhanced with a skilled surgeon. For example, a facelift can reduce the signs of aging. Then, studies have shown that cosmetic surgery can have a positive impact on mental health outcomes, including improved mood, reduced anxiety, and improved body image.

Cosmetic surgery can also mean an improved quality of life. For example, a breast reduction can relieve back pain, while a liposuction procedure can reduce joint pain caused by excess weight.

woman hand holding mirror and check the face

Consultation is Key

It is essential to have a thorough consultation with a qualified surgeon who is experienced in working with older patients before you make a final decision to undergo cosmetic surgery. During a consultation, the surgeon can assess overall health, discuss potential risks and benefits, and recommend the most appropriate procedure for your specific needs and goals.

To find a qualified surgeon who is experienced in working with older patients, you can start by asking for recommendations from your primary care physician, friends, or family members who have undergone similar procedures. You can also check with professional organizations to find qualified, suitable surgeons in your area.

Cosmetic surgery can be used to correct physical features that individuals are unhappy with, to address the effects of aging, or to improve self-confidence and self-esteem. However, it’s important for elderly patients to undergo a thorough medical evaluation to assess overall health and identify any potential risks or complications.

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