For many years now, the basis for determining whether or not someone is suitable for surgery has been age. However, a recent study published in the medical journal Annals of Surgery in June 2013 found that a patient’s fitness level is a bigger factor for surgery than their age. Although age has historically been the major risk factor in complications and surgical survival, cardiovascular wellness and increased fitness levels of patients of all ages have proven to be the higher standard.
Being physically fit decreases numerous risk factors involved in surgical procedures. Risks on the operating table are decreased if one’s physical fitness is at a desirable level, and patients who struggle with obesity and heart problems are more susceptible to the risks and complications that can occur during surgery. In addition, the length of the hospital stay is usually shorter for patients who are well.
Wellness is so significant for surgery that there are actual fitness programs available for patients who will undergo elective surgeries. The goal of the programs is to reduce recovery time by improving physical fitness levels and increasing muscle strength prior to surgery. With simple changes to one’s lifestyle and diet, not only will the surgeon’s job be easier, but also the risks of infection will be reduced along with a shortened time for full recovery.
When it comes to surgery, remember that “physiological” age is much more important than “chronological” age. It is never too late to become more physically fit and live a healthier lifestyle.
If you are seeking the professional advice of a board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Samuel J. Beran offers many different types of cosmetic surgery procedures to provide you with healthy, natural looking results. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Beran, by calling us at (212) 792-7938 or fill out our contact form and, together, you can discuss which options are best for you.