What age is the right time for Plastic Surgery?

Patients are often curious when they should have a plastic surgical procedure. There is no magic time frame that is right for everyone, and there is no correct answer to that question. Plastic surgery is highly individualized and depends on a variety of factors, including physical maturity, emotional maturity, readiness, and optimization of overall health.

There is a wide age range for people who undergo elective plastic surgery. From teens who are growing into their bodies to seniors who want to reverse signs of aging, plastic surgery has varying prevalence across age groups. Though many procedures can be performed at any age after puberty, data published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports the following plastic surgery trends by age group:

  • Rhinoplasty – ages 13 to 19

  • Breast Augmentation – ages 20 to 29

  • Liposuction/body sculpting procedures – ages 30 to 39

  • Eyelid (blepharoplasty)/eyebrow lift – ages 40 to 45

  • Facelift and necklift – age 55 and older

What does this say about your age group?

RHINOPLASTY (ages 13–19): The nose changes the least out of all of the facial features, and it is often a cause for concern starting in one's teens. I advise patients to wait until the craniofacial skeleton has finished growing (typically around age 15 in girls and age 17 in boys) before thinking about rhinoplasty or nose job surgery. This allows your surgical result to match your facial features without causing any disturbances in facial growth. Surgery in minors always requires the consent of a parent or guardian.

BREAST AUGMENTATION (ages 20-29): Once puberty is complete, a woman can assume her breasts are fully formed. While I have performed breast augmentations in teens as well as women in their 70s, the twenties and thirties seem to be the most popular time for first exploring this procedure.

LIPOSUCTION/ BODY SCULPTING (ages 30-39): Usually by the time both women and men are in their thirties they have begun to go through metabolic changes. When exercise and a healthy diet no longer suffice in getting rid of stubborn body fat, people begin turning to different forms of liposuction and body sculpting techniques. These surgical procedures have proven to safely and successfully remove fat.

EYELID SURGERY/ EYEBROW LIFT (ages 35 to 45): Men and women’s eyes typically begin to show signs of aging in their thirties and forties. The periorbital skin is the thinnest on the body, and genetics, sun damage, time, and stress can reveal themselves in the form of wrinkled skin, excess tissue, puffy bags under the eyes, and dark undereye circles. A subtle way to give aging eyes a renewed look is upper and lower blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery). Blepharoplasty is one of my favorite, signature procedures, and one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in America.

When skin around the eyes and on the forehead begins to sag, it can also cause eyebrows to droop. Depending on each person’s unique anatomic characteristics as well as their desired look, either a non-surgical or surgical option can be offered to give eyebrows a refined raise.

FACELIFT/ NECKLIFT (ages 50 +): From the forties, fifties, and onward, many people realize that parts of their face and neck are not exactly how they remember them. Sagging skin can cause more prominent nasolabial folds, loss of definition in the jaw line, and loose, hanging skin on the neck. When done correctly, a facelift and necklift are incredibly subtle operations that can have significant and dramatic effects in improving a person's overall appearance.

So what is the best time for plastic surgery?

In my New York City practice, I see patients at all points on the age spectrum, from childhood to older ages. The right time to have surgery is different for every person, and there is no single cookie-cutter mold for every single patient. If you are physically healthy, emotionally stable, and concerned about a particular feature of your face or body, seek the opinion of a board-certified plastic surgeon to learn more about your options and the best time for your potential procedures.

For more information about a given procedure, or the correct timing for you, please call my office at 212-452-2400 or email office@LaraDevganMD.com.

Reference: Malek, Marc. "Some Things Never Change: Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures by Age." Some Things Never Change: Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures by Age. N.p., Web. 29 June 2016