Is there an age after which a plastic surgeon should not operate?
Doctor Answers 12
Older age shouldn't be a determining factor in choosing an eyelid surgeon - there are ways to tell how good they still are
I can give you some assurance on this matter. To give you a little about my background — I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and a Fellowship-trained oculoplastic and oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, practicing in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years. I specialize in and perform delicate eyelid surgery every day in my practice.
You’re certainly asking a relevant question, however, I don’t think age is a limiting factor when it comes to make this type of decision. There are many doctors in various fields — cosmetic surgery, general surgery, otolaryngology, dentistry, etc. — who are well into their 70s and are still very good at what they do. Though admittedly, there are going to be the occasional doctors who still operate even though their skills are not where they should be or where they once were.
Ultimately, I think that doctors who are ethical and who are real masters of their craft will know when it’s time to make the decision to stop operating. Sometimes, it’s not even about age - some doctors just feel they don’t want to do certain procedures because of the physical stress and time that it takes to do them. At the end of the day, I think that if the doctor is still practicing, is comfortable with their skills, and if you are comfortable with them and what they can do, then it shouldn’t be a concern. If you should see any signs that the doctor is not going to be able to do the operation the way you like, then of course, you have the option of going to another doctor.
I think it would also be of benefit to talk to the office staff. Often, you’ll be able to tell if they feel the doctor is very confident and comfortable with what he does. In my practice, I’ve operated on many of my office staff for various reasons, and not just once but several times over the years. This goes the same even for new employees. Sometimes, I also do procedures on their family members as well. I think that if the staff is very comfortable to the point that they’ll recommend their own family members, it’s a real vote of confidence. It’s also very meaningful for me that my staff have that level of confidence in me and want me to be their doctor for themselves and their family members.
Try to talk to the doctor’s staff, and if you observe their reaction to be unquestionable, then I don’t think you have to worry too much about it. Keep in mind there is a significant group of people who still are very healthy, very strong, very sharp and very inspired to keep working in their chosen profession, so I don’t think you have to be concerned based on the age alone.
I hope that was helpful and I wish you the best of luck!
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