Over the past several years there has been a hype over mommy makeover surgery, which is a combination of two or more procedures that improve the post-pregnancy body of women. However, a new trend is now emerging, which some surgeons dubbed as grandma makeover surgery.
According to a survey released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, patients aged 55 years and older accounted for 23 percent of the total cosmetic plastic surgeries performed in 2016. This means that last year alone, more than 387,000 procedures were performed in seniors, a 4 percent increase from 2015.
Eyelid lift, facelift, and forehead lift, all off which are facial rejuvenation procedures, were the most commonly performed surgeries on seniors. Nonetheless, body contouring surgeries such as tummy tuck, breast lift, and liposuction were also popular, according to the survey.
Contrary to popular belief, the patient’s chronological age does not increase the risk of postoperative complications, says leading Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley. However, he warns that patients over the age of 65 are more likely to suffer from certain conditions as compared to younger people.
In an attempt to ensure patient safety during grandma makeover surgery, Dr. Smiley highlights the importance of conducting lab screening and consultation to determine any risk factors, many of which can be eliminated or at least controlled through lifestyle changes and medications.
In general, the right candidates for grandma makeover, says Dr. Smiley, are healthy seniors who have realistic goals and expectations.
Another common safety protocol is to limit the operative time to four hours. A team of researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, has suggested that after 4.5 hours of surgery the risk of complication could triple.
And after about seven hours, the risk of complications following a surgery increased 4.7 times.
Aside from the operative time, other independent risk factors include smoking and use of blood-thinners (aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) well in advance of the surgery. Hence, it has become a common practice among plastic surgeons to require their patients to avoid them 2-3 weeks before and after their operation.
Despite some of the challenges in grandma makeover surgery, a study involving patients who have had some type of facial plastic surgery has suggested that seniors scored significantly higher in satisfaction rate compared to younger people. The researchers attributed this result to the older patients’ more realistic goals and expectations.