Dear Dr. Wolf: I’m nearly 75 years old and thinking of having some plastic surgery. I know that you and probably many of my family members think I must be crazy, but I feel much younger than I look. Quite frankly, I’m tired of all those fillers and I’d like something more permanent. What do you think?
Crazy, you are not! Full of life – you are! I love patients like you, and not just because you want something done. Patients like you inspire me to continue to do what I do. Now let’s get to the reality of what you are asking. I do not stop patients from pursuing surgery merely because of age – that would be age discrimination, but because of a medical or mental condition. Surgery is a serious procedure and must be approached that way, even if it is plastic surgery!
When a patient comes to see me, I first like to see what the patient would like to have done. If it is a reasonable procedure and the patient’s expectations are realistic, we can go to the next step. Another aspect of my initial evaluation is to determine if the patient’s motivations come from within, not from a significant other. Generally, surgery is doomed to failure if the patient is not the one who wants the surgery.
Finally, the most important aspect of the evaluation is determining the patient’s health and risk factors. Because plastic surgery is elective, all medical aspects should be evaluated and the patient should be at his or her best medical health before surgery. A complete evaluation must be done, along with specific testing for any medical conditions. Included in this evaluation should be a discussion of all current medications to determine drugs that should be continued or stopped before surgery.
Once it has been determined that surgery is relatively safe, risks and benefits of the procedure should be discussed. If the benefits outweigh the risks of surgery, then surgery may be pursued. A discussion with your doctor of the post-operative recovery as well as pre-operative information will help you get ready for a smooth procedure and recovery.
I used to think “what is this person thinking doing surgery at his or her age?” However, now I think “I hope I have the life this person has when I get to that age.” You go for it!
Dr. Wolf’s office is located at 8940 N. Kendall Dr., Suite 903E. He may be reached at 305-595-2969 or at <www.miamiplasticsurgery.c om>.