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Is 71 Years Too Old for Tummy Tuck?

71 year old. 2 wks ago had neck lift. did fine. cleared by doctors after 20 plus years with rapid heart beat condition, using metropol 25MG each day with no more pt's. Also taking anti seizure, and tia meds after a recent blurred vision issue. no more incidents. I was cleared by heart and neurologist that my 2 hour neck lift procedure would not be a problem. What advice do you have for me.

Doctor Answers (13)

Is 71 yo too old for tummy tuck?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! Age alone is not a contraindication to a surgical procedure. There are a few medical comorbidities that contribute to a higher risk during any surgical procedure including infections, wound complications, delayed wound healing, bleeding, anesthetic risks, etc. Factors such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart problems, lung problems, etc are more common in the elderly. However, if you are healthy, or these conditions are well-controlled, you would certainly still be a candidate for a surgical procedure. If your complaints or desires are great enough to consider the surgical option, I would seek a consultation with a plastic surgeon to discuss your complaints and go over the options as well as risks and benefits of the procedure.

You should obtain medical clearance from your primary care physician that you are at an acceptable risk for undergoing a surgical procedure. For elective or aesthetic procedures, your surgeon may want to get you to a reasonable health status prior to consideration for a procedure. Discuss all of your medical comorbidities and medication with your surgeon prior and discuss these risks. Also, discuss this with your anesthesiologist as proper monitoring and medications will be watched closely. This procedure should still be very safe for you and hope for an uncomplicated course with an excellent result! Hope that this helps! Best wishes!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Too old for tummy tuck?

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Thank you for your post. Age is not a contraindication to surgery. Poor health is. If you are a healthy adult, and interested in a tummy tuck surgery, meet with a board certified plastic surgeon. He or she will assess you as a patient for any risks you might have. The biggest risks are heart disease, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, and previous history of deep venous thrombosis.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

I would be very cautious

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Age alone would not be a contraindication to surgery of this type but certainly other medical conditions ie rapid heart rate and TIA history would tend to make you a poor candidate for this type of surgery.  Abdominoplasty surgery is quite "big" surgery and I would want someone in your age bracket to be free of any other significant medical conditions before considering the procedure.  I have certainly treated select patients in their 70's but they did not have any other complicating medical conditions.

Leslie D. Kerluke, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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Tummy tuck in seniors

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A tummy tuck presents a more significant stress on your cardiovascular system when compared to a neck lift. However, there are numerous variations on this procedure that make it difficult to advise you without knowing more. These procedures can run from 1 hour up to 4 depending on what is done.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
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Age is not as important as state of health

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Hi there-

Your age is not as much of a concern as the medical problems you have experienced.

As my colleagues have noted (and I agree), your risks (generally speaking) will be higher with a tummy tuck than with a neck lift.

I would want to have a conversation with your cardiologist, your medical doctor, and your neurologist,  in which we reviewed your history in detail, as well as the details of the operation planned, to be sure you were at low risk of a serious complication before considering this procedure.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Best age for tummy tuck

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If you are healthy, and a good candidate for surgery, there can be no "age-limit" on surgery. Your plastic surgeon can assess your benefit vs. risk and let you know whether or not to proceed.

Hayley Brown, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
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Tummy Tuck for a 71 year old

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Is 71 Years Too Old for Tummy Tuck?
71 year old. 2 wks ago had neck lift. did fine. cleared by doctors after 20 plus years with rapid heart beat condition, using metropol 25MG each day with no more pt's. Also taking anti seizure, and tia meds after a recent blurred vision issue. no more incidents. I was cleared by heart and neurologist that my 2 hour neck lift procedure would not be a problem. What advice do you have for me.

For me to operate on a patient, it is not a matter of age, it is more so how healthy they are or what medical problems that patient has.  From what you describe, if you came to see me for a tummy tuck given all that you have said, eventhough you have clearance from other medical doctors, I would not consider you a surgical candidate and I would not offer a tummy tuck procedure for you.  Sorry, I understand the medical clearance which I always obtain in these cases but ultimately it is the surgeons decision as he or she is really the only one who knows what a tummy tuck entails and the recovery involved and the insult that the body takes. 

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Too Old for Tummy Tuck

+1

NO! If you have a full medical clearance than I see no reason not for you to have a tummy tuck. Seek in perrson evaluations from boarded surgeons. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Medical status, not age, important for tummy tuck

+1

Hi,

The neck lift operation and a tummy tuck operation are different in terms of recovery, stress on the body and type/incidence of complications.  A tummy tuck is more stressful for the patient.  It is not a question of age.  With health issues as you described, I would not perform a tummy tuck for you.  Hope this helps.

Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Is 71 Years Too Old for Tummy Tuck?

+1

Regarding: "Is 71 Years Too Old for Tummy Tuck?
71 year old. 2 wks ago had neck lift. did fine. cleared by doctors after 20 plus years with rapid heart beat condition, using metropol 25MG each day with no more pt's. Also taking anti seizure, and tia meds after a recent blurred vision issue. no more incidents. I was cleared by heart and neurologist that my 2 hour neck lift procedure would not be a problem. What advice do you have for me
."

Cosmetic Surgery is REAL surgery with real risks. Although we usually feel that physiologic age is more important in suggesting risk that chronological risk, you are not exactly risk free. Having a fast heart rhythm, a potential source for transient ischemic attacks (IE mini, temporary strokes) and seizures is not the picture of health. I would be very curious based on what the cardiologist cleared you (? impression VS Treadmill exam).

If your cardiologist cleared you based on a Stress Test and fully understands the higher risks of a Tummy Tuck (VS a Neck Lift), only then I would seriously CONSIDER performing an Abdominoplasty on you. There is no doubt that you are in a much higher risk category because of your age and medical history.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.