KarenBos

Age considerations and plastic surgery

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As I mentioned  in my intro post I have lost about 150lbs from my highest weight and have maybe have about 50-60 more to go. I am think about doing something about all the extra skin when I get my weight down more ...so that would be over 200lbs from my highest weight. If it matters I have not had bariatric surgery.

I have been heavy most of my life... i was over 200lbs by the 8th grade so I guess I have never known what it is to look 'normal'.

Right now I need almost everything even though my weight is not all the way down yet... While I don't have back rolls I do already have a pannus that hangs down about 5 inches, loose skin hanging from my now too small back side, my thighs are very wrinkled, skin is starting to hang a bit at the knees and even my calfs have loose skin...

In my 30's I was up to 360 lbs, but in my early 40's I managed to quickly get down to about 200lbs for awhile... while still heavy I had almost no breasts so I had implants done then... Could not stay there because I though I still looked terrible  (as I did it on my own I did not realize that much of the ugliness was from lose skin!) and people were telling me I lost too much weight and looked sickly... Ballooned back up  370lbs... Which I started slowly losing again over about the last 10 yeas and last year got more serious about it...

I don't know how much of the damage I've done to myself can be undone at this point... i really don't know what it feels like to look normal, never mind attractive... but it's something I would like to know... if it's not too late.

To that end I have read most of the posts in this forum... some of it scares me... it looks like a few almost lost their lives after their plastics, many suffered a whole lot and more than few who needed much as I do had long hard recoveries and had to be out of work for extended periods (something that would be problematic for me). And of course the cost has me worried as well.

One thing that has me worried are  complications at my age... Most who had these surgeries here looked to be significantly younger than I when they had their plastics...  I figure I would be ready in about a year or a bit longer so that would put me at between 63.5- 64.5 years old when I did it (will be 63 this summer)... and complications are more likely with age (and I suspect results are affected by it too).

I wonder if maybe I waited to long to deal with my weight for taking this step...  maybe looks don't matter so much anymore for a senior citizen as well... but I would like to know what it is like to look 'normal'...

Has anybody here had extensive plastics in their 60's? If so how did it go for you?

BTW how do people set their goal weights? I assume those that have had bariatric surgery set it with teh help of a physician expert in this area... My GP just uses BMI..

I have some issues that make me think BMI is not the right way (scoliosis and kyphosis- which happened young, as well as height loss with age - 4"- and big frame  by wrist measurement). Also does an estimate of weight of loose skin figure into your goal weight if you are going to have it removed? I would think loosing too much weight before major plastic surgery would not be healthy! 

Thanks for any sharing!

- karen

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Interested in the answers you get, also stories about how much "bouncing back" we can hope for above a certain age (I'm in my late fifties).

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On 5/13/2018 at 11:09 AM, Carina said:

Interested in the answers you get, also stories about how much "bouncing back" we can hope for above a certain age (I'm in my late fifties).

 Thanks for the reply...

 

So far it does not look like their will be a lot of answers... Maybe none who are here now had plastics when over 60...

In the mean time I have been looking at the medical literature... There is a paper where the doctor said he would not do a lower body lift on anyone over 55 because of a higher complication rate... another says complications get worst over 60...

When I get to 180lbs, I will go for some consults and see what they say...Unfortunately I may just have to live with looking like a deflated ballon for the rest of my life.

- karen

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31 minutes ago, KarenBos said:

 Thanks for the reply...

 

So far it does not look like their will be a lot of answers... Maybe none who are here now had plastics when over 60...

In the mean time I have been looking at the medical literature... There is a paper where the doctor said he would not do a lower body lift on anyone over 55 because of a higher complication rate... another says complications get worst over 60...

When I get to 180lbs, I will go for some consults and see what they say...Unfortunately I may just have to live with looking like a deflated ballon for the rest of my life.

- karen

Hopefully if your health is good at the time, you will be able to find a Dr that will do it.

I know that it is nowhere near the same but, my eldest sister had breast reduction at 60. Everything went well for her.

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I can’t help with most of the questions in the OP, but one thing I did want to mention is that, when I looked into plastics, I found that many doctors want you to maintain at goal weight for 6-12 months before they’ll even consider doing surgery. I know when I called to schedule consultations, they wanted to know how long I’d been at goal and then I still had to wait six months for my consultation date and to begin the process. I only mention this because it wasn’t clear if the timeline mentioned in the OP took maintaining the weight into account. And in regards to losing too much weight before plastics, I found that doctors want you to be at your smallest when they do surgery because they don’t want to have you end up with more excess skin. I was 6 pounds lighter than I am now (so 5’7” and 126 lbs) when I scheduled my consults and I was deemed the “perfect weight” for surgery by the schedulers. So, from my experience, (as long as you’re not crazy underweight) the more weight you can lose before surgery, the better. Also, from what I’ve read on here, those who were able to get insurance to cover some of their plastics had to have a medical history documenting the rashes, irritation, etc caused by their excess skin. Not sure if any of that is applicable, but just wanted to mention it as something else to consider. Also, as a sidenote (and I know I’m younger and am somewhat unique in that my excess skin is relatively minimal compared to many others, but) I found my skin has continued to shrink and tighten in the 2+ years since I had surgery (and 1+ year at maintenance), so maybe you’ll have a similar experience? I hope you’re able to find some more info from those with more similar experiences to you. Good luck on your continued weight loss and I hope everything works out for you. :)

Edited by athenarose

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5 minutes ago, athenarose said:

I can’t help with most of the questions in the OP, but one thing I did want to mention is that, when I looked into plastics, I found that many doctors want you to maintain at goal weight for 6-12 months before they’ll even consider doing surgery. I know when I called to schedule consultations, they wanted to know how long I’d been at goal and then I still had to wait six months for my consultation date and to begin the process. I only mention this because it wasn’t clear if the timeline mentioned in the OP took maintaining the weight into account. Also, from what I’ve read on here, those who were able to get insurance to cover some of their plastics had to have a medical history documenting the rashes, irritation, etc caused by their excess skin. Not sure if any of that is applicable, but just wanted to mention it as something else to consider. Also, as a sidenote (and I know I’m younger and am somewhat unique in that my excess skin is relatively minimal compared to many others, but) I found my skin has continued to shrink and tighten in the 2+ years since I had surgery (and 1+ year at maintenance), so maybe you’ll have a similar experience? I hope you’re able to find some more info from those with more similar experiences to you. Good luck on your continued weight loss and I hope everything works out for you. :)

Thank you for that info, Rachael. I am 55 years old and know that I would never be able to afford plastics. I have also been married for 38.5 years (not that it should make a difference) but, I have my fingers crossed that at least some of my skin will tighten. I am already seeing evidence that I will have plenty of loose skin.

Edited by Readytobeme

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3 minutes ago, Readytobeme said:

Thank you for that info, Rachael. I am 55 years old and know that I would never be able to afford plastics. I have also been married for 38.5 years (not that it should make a difference) but, I have my fingers crossed that at least some of my skin will tighten. I am already seeing evidence that I will have plenty of loose skin.

You’re welcome. I think I was editing my post to add some extra info while you were typing, but I hope your skin does tighten up. I know, even during my first year post-op (during active weight loss), I saw significant tightening and it’s continued to tighten up, so hopefully you have a similar experience. I didn’t do anything special, but I’ve heard positive things about dry brushing and other techniques if you so feel inclined. 

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19 hours ago, athenarose said:

I found that many doctors want you to maintain at goal weight for 6-12 months before they’ll even consider doing surgery. I know when I called to schedule consultations, they wanted to know how long I’d been at goal and then I still had to wait six months for my consultation date and to begin the process. I only mention this because it wasn’t clear if the timeline mentioned in the OP took maintaining the weight into account. And in regards to losing too much weight before plastics, I found that doctors want you to be at your smallest when they do surgery because they don’t want to have you end up with more excess skin. I was 6 pounds lighter than I am now (so 5’7” and 126 lbs) when I scheduled my consults and I was deemed the “perfect weight” for surgery by the schedulers. So, from my experience, (as long as you’re not crazy underweight) the more weight you can lose before surgery, the better. Also, from what I’ve read on here, those who were able to get insurance to cover some of their plastics had to have a medical history documenting the rashes, irritation, etc caused by their excess skin. 

Hi Rachel,

Thanks for the reply,

From what I've seen here and elsewhere the time MDs want at steady weight can be anywhere from 3 months to 1 year and depends on the specific doctor's practice... I'm hoping to keep losing at 2lbs per week... If I can do that, that would be over a 60 lb loss by the end of the year, which would put me at 157... So 3 months after that would put me at April 2019, 6 months next July and a year Jan 2020. But the big question of course is what my goal weight should be... As I said I have a big frame with a stocky build, and have lost a lot of height with age (a bit over 4") and have a curved spine and I suspect I have big leg muscles from carrying the weight,  so I am unsure what would be a good final weight...

Using  the ideal weight calculator that considers frame and sex at http://www.superskinnyme.com/ideal_weight_calculator.html 

For a large frame woman at 5'7" the idea weight range =149-168lbs

If I plug my height in from my 30's (5'11") I get 161-184lbs

That is why I picked 165lbs as my goal for now... it seemed a safe goal  to aim for.

But because of my situation I think what I need is a measurement of body fat percentage rather than BMI or these on-line caclulators to be sure. BMI alone makes a lot of assumptions which might not hold for me...

From what I read the best ways to do that for my situation (with the lose skin and big stock frame) would be by water displacement or DEXA scan... but those are not things I can do myself!  I may need consults just to figure that out!

I do get occasional irritation and rashes but they have never been really bad (and I never went to my GP with them). If I make sure I keep the areas dry under the folds, they don't happen... So I don't think I will get any insurance coverage and am not counting on it... I do have retirement money... which I could make up by working longer...

I don't think I will get any more natural skin tightening... I have been  250lbs or less for over 5 years (highest was 370lbs) and did not see any... For the last year I have been taking collagen peptide and vitamin C supplements, which in combination, is supposed to help with collagen production in the skin... if it is doing anything at all it's pretty minor!

Thanks,

- Karen

 

 

Edited by KarenBos

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I just realized that I wasn’t completely clear in my post. The extra six months I had to wait after calling the doctor’s offices was simply the earliest appointments they had available (not because they wanted me to be at goal longer). It seems the good plastics surgeons are quite booked and it can take a while just to get in for the initial consult. 

In regards to figuring out a goal weight, the scoliosis definitely complicates it, doesn’t it? It sounds like you have a good goal that makes a lot of sense. I’m willing to bet that you’ll have a better idea of an ultimate goal weight as you get closer to 165. As long as you’re in a healthy range and you’ve maintained for a bit, particularly given how much weight you’ll have lost at that point, I’m guessing it won’t be too big of an issue. So many things can vary from practice to practice. Good luck with everything!

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I was in my mid-40's when I had plastics - a TT and breast lift with implants. I didn't have any complications and didn't come close to losing my life. I passed out a couple of times within 48 hours of my surgery but my dr said that wasn't super uncommon. I had a internal staple that didn't dissolve as the rest of them did and it worked its way out of my incision. A little gross yes, but not painful and I healed just fine. My drains drove me crazy and by the time I wasn't draining anymore I still had three days before I could see the dr again to remove them. I wasn't that patient so, with his approval and guidance, I removed them myself. :) Oh, and I was back to work within a couple of weeks. My recovery wasn't easy but it was a lot easier than what I thought it would be. And, it was easier than my recovery when my appendix ruptured when I was 32.

 I'm with @athenarose, you want to be at your goal weight or even a bit below. I was a few pounds below my goal weight because I wanted my skin to be tight. I didn't want to lose more weight and have loose or loose-ish skin. 

I recommend you get in the best shape you can before plastics. My PS said being in good shape helps you recover faster. Also, if you've found the site realself.com. Stay away. There are loads of PS horror stories. Many of them are from people who didn't want to pay much and either found cheap drs in the US or went to places like the DR. My PS were $15K for everything. I live near San Francisco so things are more expensive here but it wasn't worth the risk to me to go somewhere like the DR to have the same procedures to save $7K. 

If you stick with a board certified PS, you should be fine. And, you can pay a small fee to check and see if they've had complaints or lawsuits. I posted quite a bit about my plastics here so you should be able to find those if you want to read more. 

 

Good Luck and you are NEVER too old to look and feel attractive!

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I did a bit of research on age and plastic surgery and everything I read states that provided you're in good health, active and you've had lab tests, an EKG and have been cleared for surgery by a cardiologist or internal medicine doctor, then there should be no problem.

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24 minutes ago, cinwa said:

I did a bit of research on age and plastic surgery and everything I read states that provided you're in good health, active and you've had lab tests, an EKG and have been cleared for surgery by a cardiologist or internal medicine doctor, then there should be no problem.

That's the way that I would think it would go as well. You could be in your 30s and less healthy than a person in their 60s so age itself should not be the determining factor.

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I had extensive plastics in my 50's and I did have a blood clot in my leg post op but that can happen anytime.  I was at maintenance for a year before I had my first plastics appointment...by choice.  Plastics was my reward for keeping it off, since that was the part I'd never been able to do before.

I cannot tell you what a difference it has made in how I feel about myself.  I feel like for the first time in my life my outside matches how amazing I feel inside.  You can disguise a lot with clothes, but wow do your options open up when you don't have to be thinking about what you have to cover up.   Plus I don't get stopped for pat down at the airport for having something stuffed in my pants (very humiliating...no, it's just my belly skin).

As to how to set your goal, I think we all approach that differently and it can be fluid.  If you think 165 seems reasonable (and it does), set it at that and if you get there and aren't quite done, reset it.  I think for many of us the process wasn't very scientific; your body will let you know when it's at its happy place :)

 

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5 hours ago, cinwa said:

I did a bit of research on age and plastic surgery and everything I read states that provided you're in good health, active and you've had lab tests, an EKG and have been cleared for surgery by a cardiologist or internal medicine doctor, then there should be no problem.

Looking more at the literature (not surgeon's websites) I see all sort of different opinions about age and complications... from what you said to what I posted earlier (couple said the likelyhood of clots increases with age)... I think you are right about being in good health though... In general my blood work says I am.

Thanks,

- Karen

Edited by KarenBos

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5 hours ago, Stephtay said:

I recommend you get in the best shape you can before plastics. My PS said being in good shape helps you recover faster. Also, if you've found the site realself.com. Stay away. There are loads of PS horror stories. Many of them are from people who didn't want to pay much and either found cheap drs in the US or went to places like the DR. My PS were $15K for everything. I live near San Francisco so things are more expensive here but it wasn't worth the risk to me to go somewhere like the DR to have the same procedures to save $7K. 

 

Hi steph,

 

While I am in relatively good health, I do need to get into better shape... but I need to do it slowly... Right now I am doing 6-7 miles on a stationary bike a day... and for me that is hard... I'll do more when that gets easier. I've seen RealSelf but after looking at that and here, I decided here was better! 

I know I can't afford to go cheap and be safe... I suspect the Boston area will not be that different from the Bay area price wise... at the age I will be, it might be best to spend 2 or 3 days in the hospital afterwards just to be safe... I don;t recall what procedures you had  from the earlier threads but I will check... that can  make a huge difference in price too... Which is one reasons to do consultation early... so the money can be worked out!

 

Thanks,

- karen

Edited by KarenBos

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1 hour ago, msmarymac said:

Plus I don't get stopped for pat down at the airport for having something stuffed in my pants (very humiliating...no, it's just my belly skin).

Hi Mary,

Had to fly for work a couple of months ago... That happened to me coming and going... and at the time I had no clue why!

 

Thanks,

- Karen

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