Is Liposuction Riskier As You Grow Older?

I'm 39 years old. I would like to get Liposuction surgery but would it be risky because of my age and I would like to know how much is it. I also would like to know if there are any risk after lipo surgery?

Doctor Answers 17

Liposuction in a 39 year old

Surgical risks are dependent on the health of the patient. At 39 you're young and unless you have particular medical conditions you are not at any increased risk of complications from liposuction.

The primary complication related to liposuction is deep vein thrombosis or clots. This is combated by variable compression stockings in the operating room and my moving as much as possible after surgery.

Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Liposuction and age

You’re not old at 39. As long as patients are not on medication that can affect the anesthetic used in liposuction, and do not have medical diseases that can affect the metabolism of the anesthetic or have medical problems that can be worsened by the adrenaline in the anesthetic, age is a relative not absolute factor. The elderly patient’s liver won’t metabolize the anesthetic as well but at your age that shouldn’t be the case. Your surgeon will evaluate this during the consultation and if needed, refer you for a medical clearance prior to surgery if there are medical problems.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Liposuction more risky as you grow older

All surgical procedures carry some risk and these risks may increase as you grow older especially if you are not healthy. Liposuction when performed properly has very low risk of bleeding, infection and poor healing when compared to other more invasive surgical procedures. At age 39 you are still quite young and if your health is good and you go to a qualified surgeon your risk is quite low.

As we age the elasticity of the skin diminishes and liposuction in certain areas such as the inner thigh can result in sagging of the skin. This is the main limitation with traditional liposuction and why SmartLipo and Slim lipo offer great advantages over traditional liposuction for all skin types. My preference is Slim lipo because the laser wand is flexible, specifically melts fat and uses lower energy to accomplish the job. Slim lipo with its new advanced technology is less risky than traditional liposuction because there is less blood loss, less swelling and surgical trauma. By using less energy, there is less likelihood of burns to the tissue.

Joel B. Singer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Liposuction and Safety

As long as you are healthy your risks should not be any greater than some of the younger patients. What matters when you get older is that the skin begins to lose its elastic properties, so that after liposuction is performed some of the skin may not contract the way it does in younger patients. This is something that a plastic surgeon can examine and would let you know if you are a good candidate for liposuction.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Liposuction risks and age

Liposuction at 39 is no different than at 29 or 19 for that matter IF you are healthy.  The thing that does change with age is your skin elasticity and this will make your result progressively less impressive the older you get. 

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

Liposuction risk and age

Operative risk is age relatedi n that once you are over 35, the American Society of Anesthesiologist raises your ASA operative risk from class I to II.

That being said REAL operative risk depends on the individual person's health. I am sure all of us have seen people in their 60's with bodies of people in their 30's and vice versa.

Politically, in California they are trying to pass a law that EVERY person considering cosmetic surgery must have medical clearance. As well intentioned as this is, unfortunately no one as yet has defined what REASONABLE preoperative examination and testing can exclude all operative risks. In older individuals, we focus on cardiac health (treadmill, stress test etc) as this MAY be the most common complication.

The idea that you should not consider general anesthesia under any circumstances is a desperate self promotion used by individuals in disciplines other than Plastic Surgery who are not allowed by the hospitals to operate within their operating rooms because they are not trained nor certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. Since they cannot offer this option to their patients they needlessly malign it. So consider the source and economic motivation behind it. There is place for both options and you SHOULD be able to chose.

In your case, if you are a healthy 39 year old, you would be a very LOW risk candidate for liposuction. However, the results of liposuction would depend if the operation was the right one for you VS. abdominoplasty or another procedure. It that is the case - your would be an ideal candidate.

I hope this was helpful.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Liposuction risks.


1)  We frequently do liposuction on women in their 60's.  So your age is absolutely not an issue.  In women in their 50's and 60's, you have to check for skin elasticity.

2)  Any surgery has some risk, but I would say that liposuction is probably the safest cosmetic surgery procedure.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


First, you are looking young from my vantage point!

That aside, what is more important than age is your health, and the amount of fat to be suctioned.  With lipo, there is some blood loss, more fat more blood loss.

There should be no specific risks after your recovery.


Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Liposuction riskier as you get older?

 Liposuction should be any more risky to you as it would to someone in their 20's or 30's.  Sure, as you get older and develop more medical problems any procedure can have more risks.  Liposuction is a great way to even out contour asymmmetries in patients with good quality skin.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Is Liposuction riskier as you grow older?


At your age if your health is OK as determined by an internist, then you should due very well. However, as this procedure is done on healthy individuals that are older in age, there can be greater risks of post lipo irregularities. It depends on the person, location of treatment etc.

Regarding cost, it depends on where you will have your surgery performed, number of areas to be treated, etc. Spend some time actually going to doctors for consults - your questions can be addressed much better than via the web.

Michael Kulick, MD, DDS
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 11 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.