A new study reveals that older patients don’t face greater risks when it comes to cosmetic procedures, including liposuction

Liposuction is among the most popular cosmetic procedures for patients of all ages and across all locations, including Dr. Brad Bengtson and Dr. Ryan Mitchell’s Grand Rapids facility. But despite the fact that one of the primary goals for many cosmetic surgical procedures is to directly combat the effects of aging, many older patients who might most benefit could be put off by fears that surgical procedures will carry greater health risks to them than to the rest of the population.

Anyone considering cosmetic surgery should consult with a board certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Bengtson of Grand Rapids, who will thoroughly review a patient’s medical history and take all appropriate measures to minimize and educate clients about possible risks. Certain procedures, like Dr. Brad Bengtson and Dr. Ryan Mitchell’s Laser Liposuction SlimLipo™, which varies from traditional liposuction techniques by minimizing bleeding and pain and therefore reducing the healing time from a standard liposuction procedure, are so minimally invasive that patients of any age can return to their typical routine as early as the following day.

But according to a recent study performed by a team of plastic surgeons at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, there is no significant difference in the percentage of complications that occur for patients over the age of 65. In a press release announcing the results of the study, the project’s author and a plastic surgery resident at the university noted that the numbers of elderly patients electing to undergo cosmetic surgery is increasing every year.

Vanderbilt University partnered with CosmetAssure, an insurance company endorsed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons that specifically insures elective cosmetic surgical procedures including liposuction, abdominoplasty, and male breast surgery, all of which Dr. Bengtson and Dr. Mitchell perform at an accredited outpatient surgery center in Grand Rapids.

CosmetAssure’s database of patients included more than 6,700 elderly patients with an average age of 69, as compared to an average of 39 for the rest of the patients involved in the study. Despite the fact that the older patients had higher overall rates of diabetes, a higher average body mass index, and other factors that could increase the odds of complications, the rate of postoperative complications was only 1.94 percent among the elderly as compared to 1.84 percent among other patients. Doctors specifically looked at results for patients over the age of 80 and discovered that the differential in complication rates was merely .3 percent.

According to an article about the study posted on ScienceDaily, the study incorporated data from more than 129,000 patients over a five-year period.

The author of the study released the findings in Chicago last October at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ annual meeting. Among the interesting and unexpected findings was the fact that males accounted for a higher percentage of older patients, at a rate of 11.3 percent compared to 6.2 percent of younger plastic surgery patients.

While the study also found that older patients traditionally favor facial procedures, a number of Dr. Brad Bengtson’s patients complain about the effects of age on other parts of their body—specifically excess fat that no longer responds to dieting and exercise as effectively as it once did. Laser Liposuction SlimLipo™ in the Grand Rapids area can bring a firmer, tighter appearance to patients’ problem areas, including the chin, neck, arms, thighs, abdomen, and love handles. The procedure is popular among both men and women, with limited downtime owing to the fact that the laser is applied through a few small incisions and the procedure itself can take as little as an hour.

Dr. Brad Bengtson and Dr. Ryan Mitchell both pride themselves on offering their patients natural results that won’t draw attention to the fact that they’ve had something done. Dr. Bengtson is a member of 11 professional organizations, including the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the American Medical Association. He has been voted one of the Best Doctors in America in Plastic Surgery for 19 consecutive years. Dr. Ryan Mitchell recently finished a world-renowned fellowship in body contouring at the Pittsburgh Medical Center. To schedule a consultation or to learn more about their many procedures available, including liposuction, in the West Michigan area, visit bengtsoncenter.com, call 616-588-8880, or email info@bengtsoncenter.com.

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