Many patients who intend to undergo plastic surgery have medical risk factors. Being 65 years old is not of itself a reason not to have plastic surgery, nor having a single kidney, provided renal function is good. Many risk factors are actually compatible with having plastic surgery.
Patients with medical risks must have a surgery designed that is reasonable for their risks. That means a patient with medical risk factors can often have plastic surgery. However, the surgery must be tailored for the patient's risk factors. A patient on steroids, with a coagulation disorder, with heart disease, or with lupus, or who is 65 years old, or who has a single kidney, can possibly all have plastic surgery. But the surgery may have to be limited to account for their medical risks. And the patient must be OK with this. Their expectations must be compatible with the surgery they are to receive.
The decision to have surgery in patients in patients with medical issues is a collaborative one. The surgeon must determine the surgery that can be safely offered to the patient. This must be carefully explained to the patient. The patient must be OK with the scope of the surgery offered. The patient must be apprised of the special risks. The specialists must weight in on what the special risks are, and how to handle them best.
Ultimately, the plastic surgeon must balance all the factors and decide whether to proceed or not. In our practice, we must occasionally decline a patient for surgery after an extensive workup. Sometimes the patient's expectations are too high. Sometimes the risks are too great for the surgeon to tolerate. Sometimes the limitations in the surgery that the specialist imposes confine the scope of the surgery too much.
So the answer to the question is a highly individualized one.
Hopefully the patient will choose a plastic surgeon who is highly ethical and will have this decision tree in mind, and will put his financial gain last on the list of important factors,and the patient's well being first.
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