At our cosmetic surgery clinic, patients come to us with a myriad of questions they want answered. Often times, these questions try to figure out the cost of the procedure they are considering along with the quality of our work. However, one of the most common questions we encounter is “Am I too old or too young for surgery?”
The truth is, there are many factors that determine whether cosmetic surgery is right for a person. Age is just one of them. A person’s overall health and past medical history also play a role, as does their healing capability. Quite frankly, the latter factors are more important when evaluating if surgery is safe. That is why surgeons want to know if you are a smoker, or have smoked in the past, for example. Smoking restricts the flow of oxygenated blood to tissues in the body. Since oxygen plays a major role in the healing process, it is easy to see why surgeons must know if you have ever smoked.
Now, yes, it is true that some procedures require a person to be a certain age. You cannot get saline breast implants until you are 18, and silicone implants until you are 22. Nor will most surgeons operate on an individual whose body has yet to fully mature. That said, there is not a clearly defined age limit where people are too old for surgery.
This is evident when you consider the story of Sherri Cook. In 2011, at the age of 75, she decided it was time to enhance her breasts. She’s not alone either. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, from 2009-2011, there has been a 5% increase in the number of cosmetic procedures performed on individuals 55-and-older. Furthermore, when the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery conducted its annual Consumer Attitude Survey in 2010, it found that 77% of those 65-and-older would be willing and open to the concept of undergoing cosmetic procedures.
The bottom line is when it comes to cosmetic surgery, the old adage “Age is just a number” rings true. Somebody in their 70s may make a better candidate for surgery than someone in their 20s or 30s. It all depends on the health of the individual.