Is It Ever Too Late for Plastic Surgery?

Written by Sally Perkins

If you want to look younger during your golden years, you may want to do what 68-year old Maria Vargas did, and this is signing up for cosmetic surgery. Maria told a Washington Post reporter that she missed being alluring to the opposite sex, as she had been when she was younger. She made the decision to get a neck lift, with a mind to feeling better about herself. She was thrilled with the results. These days, plastic surgery among older adults in a hot trend. So, it may not ever be too late for plastic surgery.

Seniors are Getting More Plastic Surgery

Men and women aged sixty-five or older are now choosing cosmetic eyelid procedures and face lifts in ever-greater numbers. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that the demand for these procedures by senior citizens has doubled over the past twenty years. Most of the patients who pay for these elective procedures are sixty-five to seventy-five years old. Seventy-five percent are getting their very first cosmetic procedure.

What Are the Pros and Cons?

Plastic surgery has the power to change the way that seniors feel about themselves, for the better. In this sense, it may be very empowering. However, it’s still surgery. Surgery always comes with risks. In terms of pros, plastic surgery may create a more youthful look or change the look of body parts that patients aren’t happy with. In terms of cons, a plastic surgery procedure may not turn out the way that a patient hoped it would.. Another drawback to be aware of is the risk of complications, such as infection or bleeding.

What About the Cost?

Well, to give you a sense of what you’ll need to spend on the most popular plastic surgery procedures for seniors, let’s look at median average prices of cosmetic eyelid procedures and face lifts. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website, getting your eyelids done will set you back $3,026, while a face lift will typically cost $7.448. These prices don’t include the cost of operating room facilities, anesthesia and related expenses.

How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon

If you want to improve your appearance, you should choose your cosmetic surgeon with care. While some seniors are opting for lower-priced plastic surgery abroad (this is known as medical tourism), it’s smarter to pay a bit more for a board-certified plastic surgeon in your home country. Medical tourism adds to the risks of plastic surgery.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, patients who do go for plastic surgery in other nations often find communication to be difficult. Problems with communication may heighten the risk of misunderstandings which may negatively impact quality of care. Also, medications may not be genuine, or they may be of inferior quality. Another issue is that resistant bacteria is more prevalent in countries outside of America. Lastly, taking a flight after a procedure may boost the chance of blood clots.

When seeking out a plastic surgeon, look for the right credentials and a strong reputation. A Self.com article advises seekers of cosmetic surgery to check out online reviews of plastic surgeons in their regions. It’s also vital to inquire as to whether a plastic surgeon has an affiliation with a local hospital. Dr. Anthony Youn says that hospital privileges are imperative. Cosmetic surgeons who don’t have them should be avoided.

Are You a Good Candidate for Plastic Surgery?

Good candidates for plastic surgery (at any age over 18) should have expectations which are reasonable. They should also be aware of the risks of the procedures that they want to get. According to the WebMD website, cosmetic surgery may not be right for you if you suffer from hypertension, heart disease, depression or diabetes. As well, if you smoke, overdo it with alcohol or are obese, plastic surgery may not be a good fit.

Is Plastic Surgery Safe for Seniors?

The good news is that a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery report determined that seniors aren’t at greater risk than younger patients. Researchers found that there was no real difference in frequency of major or minor complications between older adults and younger ones. Recovery times will vary based on procedure, patient medical history and other variables. Patients of all ages will need some time to recover, unless they choose non-invasive plastic surgery procedures, such as Botox or fillers. Results from invasive plastic surgery last longer than results from invasive cosmetic surgery.

An eyelid lift (upper blepharoplasty) is usually permanent, so you’ll only need one of these plastic surgery procedures. Results from a full face lift will generally last for at least five years. Now that you know the facts, you’ll be able to decide if it’s too late for plastic surgery. For many American seniors, the golden years are prime time for cosmetic procedures which boost self-esteem.

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About LoveBeingRetired

Dave Bernard is a California born and raised author and blogger with an extensive 30 year career in Silicon Valley. He has written more than 300 blogs for US News & World On Retirement and his personal blog Retirement – Only the Beginning. He has authored three books: "Are you just existing and calling it a life?"; "I want to retire! Essential Considerations for the Retiree to Be"; and " Navigating the Retirement Jungle". Dave was also a contributing writer for the books 65 Things to do when you Retire (“Positive Aging – Old is the New Young”) as well as 65 Things to do when you Retire – TRAVEL (“Travel to Discover your Family Heritage”). He lives in sunny California with his wife, his Boston Terrier "Frank" and a passion for the San Jose Sharks.