With regards to the safety of plastic surgery, age really may be just a number. According to a recent study, seniors over 65 years of age who undergo cosmetic surgeries performed by board certified plastic surgeons are at no greater risk of suffering postoperative complications than younger patients.
In the study, which was presented at the American Society of Plastic Surgery’s annual meeting, researchers reviewed data collected over a five-year period between 2008 and 2013. Their assessment determined that, while the older patients did have more health issues, there was no statistically significant difference in the postoperative complication rates of the two age groups. Even when researchers focused on patients over 79 years of age, they found no statistically significant rise in complication rates.
“A patient’s overall health and habits matter more than just age,” agrees Dr. Shahram Salemy, a fellowship trained, board certified plastic surgeon who has been consistently deemed one of the nation’s best by the Consumers’ Research Council of America. “Smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, and severe, underlying issues with the pulmonary and cardiac systems are all more worrisome than age. Those are things that we take very seriously and want addressed or treated prior to any surgical procedure, regardless of the age of the patient.”
One distinct difference the study did note between the senior patients and their younger counterparts involved their choice of procedures. Patients today are able to choose from a wide array of plastic surgery procedures that target various areas of the face and body with the goal of revitalizing the appearance and providing firmer, healthier-looking bodies. While younger patients elected to undergo surgeries aimed at tailoring several areas of the body, seniors tended to select facial procedures. In fact, older adults underwent facial procedures at more than five times the rate of younger patients.
A highly respected, award winning plastic surgeon, Dr. Salemy has been appointed as a clinical instructor in the plastic surgery division of the University of Washington’s Department of Surgery. In his own practice, he sees patients at his offices in Seattle and Richland, WA, providing them with personalized treatment plans that are customized to match each patient’s aesthetic goals.
To request a personal consultation with Dr. Salemy, call (206) 467-1101 or email the Seattle office.