Age 71. Is That Too Old for a Tummy Tuck?

i weigh 238 lbs,i am 4 foot,11 inches tall,my doctor says i need a tummy tuck,what are my chances of living thru the surgery.

Doctor Answers 6

Age 71yo - is that too old for a 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 28 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Who is a good candidate for a Tummy Tuck

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Good candidates for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) are persons who are healthy, regardless of their chronological age and are near an ideal body weight for their frame.  The surgery is performed to improve the contour of the torso, not to lose weight.

Unfortunately, your weight on a 4'11" frame makes you a poor candidate for abdominoplasty.  Your result would be less than ideal and your risk of anesthesia and wound complications is greatly increased.

Before considering body contouring, I would suggest you have discussions with your primary physician and /or a nutritionist to help you lose weight.  Your joints, heart and lungs will thank you.

Emily Pollard, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck surgery at 71 years old

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Although age is not a limiting factor for tummy tuck surgery, good health is. I would ask that you be evaluated by your primary care doctor prior to surgery and plan on staying at a monitoring facility for 1-2 days post-operatively.

Tummy tuck at 71

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Certainly a tummy tuck can be performed on a healthy 71 year old, but at about 240 lbs and 4'11", I think you would need to lose alot of weight before being a good candidate for surgery.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Not a good tummy tuck candidate

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I realize that I can't be certain without photos, but in my opinion, you are not a good candidate for a tummy tuck and I would refuse to do one on you.  The reason is that your weight is far to high for a 4'11" person to get even a decent result and at 71, you age places you at a higher anesthetic risk.  The only thing that might be considered is a panniculectomy which cuts off the hanging apron of fat in the lower abdomen but doesn't do a tummy tuck.

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.