Cosmetic Surgery For Seniors Shows Equal Success
There’s good news for older men and women who are interested in improving their appearance with cosmetic surgery: A new study shows that plastic surgery is just as safe for seniors as it is for younger patients.
Motivated by the aging U.S. population, researchers wondered whether older patients are at greater risk of complications. Their results show that seniors can proceed with physical rejuvenation without added worry: “Our study demonstrated that patients over 65 years old can safely undergo cosmetic procedures with a complications rate similar to younger patients when surgery is performed by board certified plastic surgeon,” explains study author Dr. Max Yezhelyev.
According to statistics from 2008 to 2013, younger patients (mean age 39.2 years) experience postoperative complications at a rate of 1.84 percent. For seniors (mean age 69.1 years), the rate was just 1.94 percent — a statistically insignificant difference. The post-surgical complication rate was 2.2 percent for patients aged 80 years or older — also statistically insignificant.
These results are somewhat surpising, considering seniors have higher risk factors, such as a higher incidence of diabetes and a slightly higher average Body Mass Index. But, older patients are less likely to smoke.
The most common postoperative complications in older patients were hematoma, infection and problems with the healing of wounds.
The study, Safety of Cosmetic Procedures in Elderly and Octogenarian Patients, was presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in Chicago and was published in October’s issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.