‘Elder plastic surgery’ becoming more common


Q: I have lost weight and now have more neck skin than ever. I am 76 years young and still have a lot of living to do. I am very healthy, dance regularly and just feel like I should look better. Am I too old for a neck lift?

A: Your age of 76 is certainly not a limiting factor in having face-lift or neck-lift surgery. As long as you are healthy and your doctor clears you for surgery, there is no reason not to enjoy the outcome of having your neck wattle removed. It would be fair to say that the result obtained will last you for much of your remaining years. The concept of “elder plastic surgery” is becoming more common as people are living longer and in better health than ever before. There is no age limit in feeling and looking good. Some surgical judgment, however, has to be exercised as to how extensive these procedures should be. It is obviously better to have some improvement done safely than a perfect result that has medical complications.


Q: While having sex with my husband he leaned on my breast and it caused some immediate pain. For the past few days now, I have had lingering pain, although it has gotten better. That breast also feels a little harder now. Could I have a breast implant rupture? I had silicone implants placed three years ago.

A: Your question is actually a common one, and let me provide an overall explanation. The shell or bag of a breast implant is made of a very flexible but strong silicone elastomer material. It is designed knowing full well that it will regularly be exposed to a compressive crushing force … known as a mammogram. Any woman who has ever had a mammogram can testify to the fact that their breast is really squashed between two paddles during the procedure. Millions of breast implants are exposed to mammograms every year in the U.S. and around the world, and there is no evidence that they induce rupture unless the implant shell has already been weakened. So it is highly unlikely that rupture of breast implants can occur as a result of sexual activity. It takes a high energy force to rupture a breast implant such as might occur from an automobile accident or other traumatic injury. What you are likely feeling is a mild bruise around the implant capsule, which should go away in a few weeks. If in doubt, an MRI or a high-definition ultrasound will be needed to answer the breast implant rupture question conclusively.

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