Would a Plastic Surgeon Ever Deny a Prospective Patient Because of Age?

I am currently 23 years old. I have spent the past two years losing weight and have lost about 70 pounds. I am currently at my ideal weight. However I have very loose skin and stretch marks around the stomach and I wish to get a tummy tuck. I have done my research and know the risks associated with this surgery, but would a Plastic surgeon ever just deny someone due to age? I don't plan on having children for a very long time and would like to enjoy the results now instead of waiting years.

Doctor Answers 12

Age Consideration With Plastic Surgery

When you consult with a Plastic Surgeon, certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, you should expect a thorough interview and physical examination followed by a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed treatment options. There are many factors to be taken into consideration when considering surgery as an option. Age may be one of those options but it is not an arbitrary or solitary one. For example, it may be inappropriate to consider a cosmetic breast augmentation on a developing adolescent girl, but an 18 year old who has a congenitally underdeveloped breast may be a good candidate for the placement of a breast implant to achieve symmetry with her normally developed breast.

In your case, you should be congratulated for your successful weight reduction. You should discuss your desires with a plastic surgeon. There is no reason that you should not be able to consider a tummy tuck to eliminate the loose skin and stretch marks that have developed as a result of your successful weight reduction. You need to be made aware that if you do become pregnant in the future it is likely that your abdominal skin will again become stretched and looser and the cosmetic result you had will be negatively compromised.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Your health more important than a for Tummy tuck

Thank you for your question. The most important thing when considering a Tummy Tuck is that you be in excellent health, a nonsmoker, with no medical conditions which can interfere with circulation or blood flow. Your age is a much less important factor as long as you are in excellent health.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, experienced, and has an excellent reputation in your community.

Age and tummy tuck surgery

There are some operations that one will wait until the patient is 18.  Otherwise, medical status is usually more important than age itself.  Over a certain age, or with certain medical conditions, the surgeon may want the patient to be seen by a internal medicine or family practice doctor for clearance.  In your case, best to see a board certified plastic surgeon.  They should be able to guide you through the process.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tummy Tuck and age


  Age is not really too important unless in the young teenage years as far as consideration for body contouring.  Even then, it can be considered on a case by case basis.

 Do your tummy tuck and be happy.  There is so much that can be exciting with this procedure and you sound like you are in the ideal category for it.

  Choose your plastic surgeon wisely.  This is the most critical step you will take in determining contours that you will have for many many years.

               Steven M. Lynch, M.D.

Steven M. Lynch, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tummy tuck age?

Thank you for the question.

No, age (whether young or elderly)  is not an  absolute contraindication to undergoing tummy tuck surgery.

There is no magic age or life circumstance to wait before having the tummy tuck procedure.  You will know physically (when you are at your baseline weight) and emotionally when you are ready to proceed with this major operation.  This planning would involve making sure you have enough help for your newborn and yourself during the recovery period (approx. 3-4 weeks).  

I do however have another  word of advice for you. Patients who are about to undergo tummy tuck surgery spend a lot of time thinking about the physical preparation for the procedure (for example weight loss issues) but do not spend a lot of time thinking about the emotional aspects.
It is not uncommon for patients who undergo the procedure to experience severe “mood swings”. These emotions may range from depression ( “why did I do this to myself”) to elation  (which may lead to over activity). I think it is helpful to be aware that these emotional swings do occur postoperatively. 
Suggestions I have for patients undergoing this procedure: 1. Make sure you have a strong support system in place who have time/patience to take care of you. 2. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. 3. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies. 4. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work too early and let others take care of you (for a change). 5. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the emotional swings that you may experience. 6. Keep in mind the end result!

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Not in your case

But yes, i would deny if a 15 year old want a tummy tuck, or an 80 year old with medical problems.

Adil Ceydeli, MD
Panama City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Patient Refusal because of Age

It sounds as if you are an ideal patient for a tummy tuck as long as you are aware that a subsequent pregnancy will undo a lot of the benefit. I don't think anyone would refuse to operate on a 23 year-old as long as you know the benefits and risks of the procedure and again are aware of the consequences of a later pregnancy.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Age for a tummy tuck

If you are not planning to have children for quite some time and if you are a good candidate now for a tummy tuck and if you understand the potential consequences of having children aftre the surgery, there is no reason you couldn't have it done if you are really motivated to proceed now. 

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Age and plastic surgery

There are no strict age requirements when considering plastic surgery. If you are considering a tummy tuck for example, and have yet to have children, you are eligible for the surgery, as long as you realize when and if you do become pregnant, your contour may become compromised. This may or may not lead you to a revision surgery down the road when you are done having children. Each patient and each situation is unique so your particular case should be carefully evaluated by a board certified plastic surgeon prior to surgery. Your overall health is actually more important than your numerical age when considering plastic surgery.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 377 reviews

Age and tummy tuck

With rare exception, age in and of itself is not a contraindication to surgery. As long as the request is a reasonable one and the patient understands the risks and benefits of the proposed cosmetic procedure, age does not generally factor into the equation. Surgeons look at things like medical and psychological history, physical exam and social issues like smoking and occupation in deciding who to operate on. Your story is a common one and I have done many tummy tucks on women in similar situations. Without examining you, it's difficult to say if you are a surgical candidate or not, however. Therefore, I suggest you locate a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area and go in for a consultation. Good luck!

Dr. Singer

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 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.