Everyone ages at a slightly different rate, based on a number of factors, from their genes to the amount of time they’ve spent in the sun. That means that two women who are both 50-years-old can look as though they were not only born in different years, but perhaps different decades. It also means that there’s no set age for when a plastic surgery procedure, such as a facelift, might be appropriate for you. Some patients are able to postpone the surgery until they are in their 60s or 70s, while others seek out the procedure in their early 40s.
If age really is just a number, you’ll want to look out for several other factors to help you decide if surgery or another anti-aging treatment is right for you.
Signs of Aging
One of the most important things to look at when deciding if it’s time for plastic surgery or not is the amount of aging on your face. For example, a facelift might be appropriate when you start to show signs of sagginess in the chin and jowls or when your cheeks begin to lose significant volume. Eyelid surgery may be the right option if you have lids that droop or look puffy, even if you are still in your 30s or 40s.
Certain signs of aging may suggest that a non-surgical treatment is best for you. For example, crow’s feet response to Botox injections better than they would to eyelid surgery. Laser skin resurfacing or microdermabrasion can help reduce uneven texture or areas of hyperpigmentation, which aren’t affected by surgery.
In some cases, the results from your surgery may be improved if you have it performed at a younger age, versus waiting for the signs of aging to progress. A December 2011 study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery suggested that people who had a facelift performed when they were under 50-years-old were more likely to have long-lasting results.
The study included facelift patients in three age groups: younger than 50, between ages 50 and 60 and older than 60. The under 50 group had the least signs of aging at the time of their surgery. A decade later, they also remained more satisfied with their results and also had the best results.
Patients who had the surgery performed after age 60 typically had a significant amount of aging on their face, which affected both their satisfaction with the surgery a decade later and the results. The over-60 age group looked more youthful than people their age who didn’t have surgery. But, their results were more likely to have started to reverse compared to the under-50s.
Although the study points out that younger people tend to have better results from anti-aging plastic surgery, it also suggests that older people can still benefit from the procedures. The results for older patients may not be as dramatic, but they still help slow down the signs of aging compared to people who never have surgery.
A patient’s health, more than her age, plays a big role in deciding if plastic surgery is the right option for her. Lifestyle choices, such as smoking, can mean that a patient who is 50 is less healthy than a patient in her 70s. Before performing any procedure, surgical or not, a plastic surgeon will fully assess a patient’s health. Patients with chronic conditions, who take certain medications or who smoke might be advised not to have surgery.
In some cases, a patient might have to make some adjustments to her habits or health before the doctor will perform a surgery. That may mean quitting smoking for at least a few weeks before the procedure. It can also mean stopping or adjusting certain medications, which needs to be done under a doctor’s supervision.
It doesn’t matter if you just turned 30 or are pushing 80. If you are unhappy with the amount of aging on your face, specialist Dr. Jessica Kulak can help. She’ll review your health and the degree of aging on your face before recommending the procedure that will best meet your needs. Dr. Kulak practices at the Naderi Center in Maryland and Virginia. Call (703) 481-0002 for an appointment in Virginia or (301) 222-2020 for an appointment in Maryland today.