“Cosmetic treatments are more dangerous for elderly patients” is a misconception that is held by many. However, a new study debunks this myth, finding that elderly patients are at no greater risk than their younger counterparts.
The study, which was presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Oct. 10-14, offers fascinating evidence that cosmetic treatments are equally safe for both elderly and young patients. The study involved an extensive review of information from the CosmetAssure database from May 2008 to May 2013. This information showed that postoperative complications occurred among the elderly at a rate of 1.94 percent, statistically insignificant from the complication rate of 1.84 percent with younger patients.
The similar complication rate for young and elderly patients is especially significant when you factor in the greater-than-average health-related indicators among elderly patients, including a higher instance of diabetes and a higher body mass index.
The study was spearheaded and by Dr. Max Yezhelyev, MD, of the Department of Plastic Surgery for Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He believes this study will give greater insight, and provide peace-of-mind for elderly patients considering cosmetic treatments.
“With increasing number of elderly patients seeking aesthetic surgery there is a need to better understand the complications of cosmetic procedures unique to this population,” said, Dr. Yezhelyev. “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.”
The study also indicated that post-surgical complication rates of patients 80 years or older was 2.2 percent, also statistically insignificant when compared to the 1.94 rate of all patients 65 and older.
What this study will mean for the future of cosmetic procedures for elderly patients remains to be seen. But with each passing generation seeing a larger number of older patients opting for cosmetic treatments, this study can be used to make an informed decision.
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The official press release for the study can be found here at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website