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Is It Safe to Be Operated by an 88 Year Old Plastic Surgeon?

I know it's a difficult question with many parameters... The surgeon is one of the most experienced in my country, with the richest background... about 20,000 rhinoplasty surgeries in his repertoire. I know that experience is one of the most valuable aspect for a plastic surgeon to have. Would you choose a younger less experienced surgeon? Could such an age be a problem? Thanks you, Alon

Doctor Answers (15)

Experienced rhinoplasty surgeon

+2

Great question, and you have to come up with the answer yourself.  I find it interesting that a surgeon would still be in practice at that age, but if he has the skill, dexterity and mental clarity to continue to operate, then I don't see anything wrong with going for it.  He is certainly experienced!

Chattanooga Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Safety of rhinoplasty with an 88 year old surgeon.

+2

Meet with his patients that he has done in the last year or two and if you like what you see, then it should be ok. The question isn't how many, but how good!

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

88 year old surgeon

+2

Never had this question posed before.  But, If the surgeon has steady hands and does nice work, I suppose the proof  is in the pudding! 

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Is It Safe to Be Operated by an 88 Year Old Plastic Surgeon?

+2

Regarding: "Is It Safe to Be Operated by an 88 Year Old Plastic Surgeon?
I know it's a difficult question with many parameters... The surgeon is one of the most experienced in my country, with the richest background... about 20,000 rhinoplasty surgeries in his repertoire. I know that experience is one of the most valuable aspect for a plastic surgeon to have. Would you choose a younger less experienced surgeon? Could such an age be a problem? Thanks you
"

There is NO substitute for experience and common sense. Just as the Battle of Waterloo was won many years earlier on the playing fields of Eaton, success in Plastic Surgery was decided many years earlier by watching, doing and caring for thousands of patients. Apart from several procedures (Liposuction, lower body lifts, maybe tummy tucks), Cosmetic surgery is NOT physically demanding. It IS, however, mentally challenging since unlike other fields of surgery, every operation should NOT be done the same way and needs to be customized to each individual patient's needs.

Young surgeons are repeatedly told in their training "You can teach a monkey how to operate..." implying that learning when not to operate and learning how to avoid and get out of trouble are much harder to learn and require years of experience.  The planning and care are 80% of the success while the actual mechanics of performing are 20% of the success.

There are not a lot of 88 year old Plastic surgeons still operating. I would ask to speak with some of his most recent patients and if you are satisfied that he is still at the top of his game, I would proceed. I would not have the surgery if any alarm bells come up.

Good Luck.

Dr. Peter Aldea

PS - Tagid lee, me hadoctor haze? Ma shmo?

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Is it Safe to be Operated on by an 88 Year Old Surgeon?

+2

Shalom Alonaxis,

Is it safe to be operated on by an 88 year old plastic surgeon....I guess so... if he lives through the operation.  Kidding aside, I don't think that I would want an 88 year pilot flying my jet, let alone operating upon me or my family.  I would think that you may want to see if you can find a younger rhinoplasty surgeon, say someone under 86.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

See recent results

+1

If the doctor appears mentally alert and in good physical condition he might be fine. Also, check with some recent patients. As science improves health and longevity we may see more doctors in that age category doing excellent work. But, I would do my research.

Germantown Facial Plastic Surgeon

Is a Surgeon's Age a Factor?

+1

Alon,

That is a great and very appropriate question but also a difficult one to answer. It is a known fact that with “advancing age“ a person’s mental and physical abilities start to decline. It is also a fact that “advancing age” starts at different times for different individuals.

Individuals should be aware of it when their mental and physical decline starts. As for physicians, whose primary concern should be the well being of their patients, it is hoped they will recognize this (especially true for surgeons) and know when it is time to consider retirement. Experience is a great teacher but at some point even it becomes overshadowed by one’s decreased mental and physical abilities and the surgeon should put down the knife.

All that being said, you should find out as much as possible about your surgeon and his reputation, especially for rhinoplasty procedures. A surgeon with a great reputation may excel in breast surgery but may not necessarily be good at rhinoplasty. Probably most important is to meet the surgeon for a personal consultation to see if you feel comfortable with his/her demeanor, physical condition, etc. Ask some pointed questions. All good respectable plastic surgeons doing rhinoplasty should have some recent patients on whom they have operated who would be glad to talk with you. Don’t be afraid to ask for names of some of those patients. If he is insulted or makes you feel uncomfortable, I personally would recommend you look for another surgeon. The final decision may be tough but it is one you alone will have to make.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Respectfully,

Jack P. Gunter, M.D.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Surgery by an 88 Year Old Plastic Surgeon

+1

When you consult with the surgeon see if he is mentally alert and physically stable. Determine if he is on the staff of local  hospitals and a member of the faculty of the nearest medical school. Look at the results of his rhinoplasty patients over the last couple years.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Plastic Surgeon Age - Is there too Old?

+1

As other plastic surgeons stated, chronological age is just a number & his experience is invaluable. Meet with the surgeon and allow him to perform a comprehensive evaluation. Ask him rhinoplasty questions as you would any other facial surgeon. Only then can you make a better decision if he is the right rhinoplasty surgeon for you. Best of luck.

Web reference: http://www.potomacplasticsurgery.com/facial-plastic-surgery/rhinoplasty.cfm

Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Age is just a number

+1

Meet the surgeon & his recent patients before deciding.Chronological age is just a number & it is the physiological age which matters.

India Plastic Surgeon

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.

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