shutterstock_118867258Cosmetic surgery is just as safe for senior citizens as it is for their younger counterparts, a new study shows.

The findings were presented at Plastic Surgery The Meeting, the annual scientific meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in Chicago.

“Our study demonstrated that patients over 65 years old can safely undergo cosmetic procedures with a complications rate similar to younger patients when surgery is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon,” says study author Max Yezhelyev, MD, PhD,  a plastic surgeon at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn, in a news release.

Postoperative complications among the elderly occurred at a rate of 1.94%—statistically insignificant from the complication rate among younger patients, which was 1.84%. For this study, the mean age of the senior patient was 69.1 years while the mean age of the younger patient was 39.2 years. The similar complication rate occurred despite the greater-than-average presence of health-related indicators seen in elderly patients.

The study also indicated that the postsurgical complication rates of octogenarian patients was 2.2%, which is also statistically insignificant compared to the 1.94% complication rate of all patients 65 and older, as well as the 1.84% complication rate among younger patients.

Forever Young?

Elderly patients had more facial procedures performed than their younger counterparts—62.9% to 12%, respectively, the study showed. The only cosmetic procedure that indicated a higher complication rate among older patients was abdominoplasty—5.4% to 3.9%, respectively. The most common postoperative complications in older patients were hematoma, infection, and problems with wound healing.

To arrive at the findings, researchers tapped into the CosmetAssure database.