Plastic surgery, once thought to keep the middle aged forever young, has now been deemed just as safe for their older counterparts wishing to maintain or rejuvenate their appearance. A study released by Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee, shows that cosmetic surgeries performed on patients over the age of 65 have almost identical margins for post-operative complications as those for younger patients. With a compilations rate of 1.94% for patients in their senior years and 1.84% for patients who are younger, the study deems these differences “statistically insignificant”. The only procedure that showed a higher complication rate among older patients was Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)—5.4% to 3.9%, respectively. Further in the study, the author states that plastic surgery is even safe for those in their octogenarian year, with a post-operative complication rate of 2.2%.
Dr. Tong agrees but adds that age is not the only factor used to evaluate whether a patient is a suitable candidate for surgery. Other very important factors include prior medical history (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity etc…), smoking history, prior surgical procedures, and any difficulties with prior anesthetics, to name a few. When appropriate, further coordination between the anesthesia staff and a patient’s own physician(s) may occur to determine a patient’s suitability. We strive to provide the highest quality care for adult patients of all ages, and patient safety is our highest concern. If you are interested in cosmetic surgery but are unsure of your eligibility, please contact his office at the Yorkville Institute of Plastic Surgery for a consultation with Dr. Tong.
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