Even though women and men often think they’re too old for cosmetic surgery, age really isn’t a critical factor when I assess whether someone is a good surgical candidate. That’s especially true for my tummy tuck patients in Austin, many of whom believe abdominoplasty is a “young person’s procedure.” Not true. A patient’s overall health is much more important than their age.
People consider having a tummy tuck for many different reasons and at various stages of life. Women who have just finished having children often want to regain their pre-pregnancy figures. Some patients who’ve undergone weight loss surgery want to remove excess abdominal skin. I’ll describe below the characteristics of an ideal tummy tuck candidate, regardless of age, and how recovery and results can vary for younger and older patients.
When I consult with women and men considering tummy tuck surgery, we discuss their cosmetic goals, and I perform a thorough physical examination to assess overall health and suitability for surgery. I also review each patient’s medical history. Some older patients may be better candidates than their younger counterparts because they’re in better health. Being a non-smoker and exercising regularly are essential criteria for anyone considering a tummy tuck.
I also evaluate each patient’s situation. A woman in her 20s, 30s, or 40s who wants a tummy tuck after having children may also be considering cosmetic breast surgery or other procedures as part of a mommy makeover. In this situation, the ideal candidate should be as close as possible to her ideal weight and not plan to have more children. Older patients, say in their 50s or 60s, should also be close to their ideal weight and have healthy lifestyle habits to ensure they get the best results.
For example, one of the patients I feature on my A Surgeon’s Perspective on Tummy Tuck Cases page is a woman in her 60s who pursued her career and raised children before choosing to get a tummy tuck. Over the years she remained in good physical shape by exercising and watching what she ate, but she was always self-conscious about her abdominal area. Because of her good health and physical condition, she was an appropriate candidate for tummy tuck surgery. As a side note, I find working with more mature women in cases like this to be quite satisfying. For many women, this is often the first time in years that they’ve made their needs a priority, and I’m excited about helping them achieve the appearance they desire.
*Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.
After cosmetic surgery, each patient’s recovery is unique. People of all ages who are in excellent physical health prior to surgery tend to bounce back more quickly from the procedure and have less risk of post-op complications. There are, however, a few general distinctions affecting recovery of younger and older patients. For example, younger patients tend to recover more quickly than older patients. That doesn’t mean older men and women shouldn’t get tummy tucks, but it’s helpful to know what to expect. Also, patients with young children at home need to understand that they won’t be able to lift toddlers during the recovery period. Restrictions on lifting are something to consider if your job or lifestyle requires heavy lifting, but remember, that is only temporary.
Tummy tuck surgery results will vary depending on a person’s age. For example, a younger patient can expect to see very smooth abdominal skin after abdominoplasty. However, an older patient’s skin is typically less elastic than that of a younger person and won’t automatically “snap back” to fit the body’s new contours. Of course, each patient’s results may vary, and I encourage you to view our gallery of before-and-after photos to see the results of previous patients who are of similar age and body types. I also recommend reading about how women with different concerns and situations can benefit from tummy tuck surgery on the “Surgeon’s Perspective” page I mentioned above.