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Risks: Cosmetic Procedure and Aging

Advances in medicine, increasing awareness of individual healthcare as well as techniques that promise less invasive procedures coupled with quick recovery have encouraged patients to enhance their appearance for personal and professional reasons.

According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the younger population of women seeking cosmetic procedures are mostly concerned with the the shape and appearance of their bodies while their elder counterparts are concerned with their faces. Negative stereotypes and myths associated with aging are some of the contributing factors why older population are encouraged to undergo procedures such as facelifts, eyelid tightening, liposuction, and breast surgery.

Younger patients' complications rates are only half than those of their elderly counterparts. However, with regards to elective aesthetic plastic surgical procedures , research revealed that octogenarian patients are still safe with an acceptable complication rate compared to younger patients.

In a study conducted by Dr. Yeslev, et al from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, it was revealed that:

The elderly patient population had more men, a higher mean body mass index (BMI), a higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM), and fewer smokers compared with the younger patients. The overall postoperative complication rate was not significantly different between elderly and younger patients. When stratified by type of cosmetic procedure, only abdominoplasty was associated with a higher postoperative complication rate in elderly compared with younger patients.

The study involved the participation of 6,786 elderly patients with ages ranging from 26 to 74 years. Also, comorbidities and postoperative complications in elderly and younger patient groups were recorded and compared.

Dr. Yeslev and his fellow researchers found that the most common postoperative complications in elderly patients were hematoma and infection. The overall postoperative complication rate in octogenarians was 2.2%, which was not significantly different from the younger population.

Cosmetic procedures involving elderly patients are still safe with an acceptable complication rate.

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