It’s a question we hear often, especially on social media. The ageing process affects everyone differently. For some patients, growing older can mean that you’re no longer a good candidate for liposuction due to things like skin laxity or other health conditions. However, the number of candles on your birthday cake alone isn’t something that will disqualify you from getting liposuction. That’s why here at Houston Lipo Center we don’t have an upper age limit – we treat each case individually.
There is no upper age limit on liposuction
Let’s talk a little bit about what makes someone a good candidate for liposuction so we can see how ageing affects (or does not affect) your ability to get liposuction. The ideal candidate for liposuction is going to be within 20-30 pounds of their ideal weight, in good general health, and has good skin laxity. They should also have reasonable expectations about their results, should not be actively gaining weight, and shouldn’t be using liposuction as substitute for weight loss.
As we age, our body goes through a number of changes, but skin laxity is the most important consideration with older patients investigating liposuction. Liposuction removes fat and can be coupled together with treatments to improve skin laxity and retraction post-surgery, but it primarily removes fat – it’s not a treatment for loose skin.
We see many patients at age 50, 60, or even older who have good skin laxity for their age. They won’t have the same glowing healthy skin as they did when they were 20, but their skin is still healthy and has enough elasticity that they can still see good results from fat removal via liposuction. Even at 60 years old, there are still many patients that are great candidates for lipo.
A real liposuction patient, age 51-60. See more liposuction results.
Everyone’s body ages differently
The biggest issue with liposuction is skin laxity. Some doctors like to say that there’s your chronological age (your actual number of years alive) and then there’s your physiological age (how old your body appears to be). If your skin is fairly tight – it does not hang and when you pinch it, it retracts quickly – then there’s a good chance you’re a candidate for lipo!
On the other hand, if your skin is loose, you may need a different procedure such as a tummy tuck or a face lift – otherwise removing fat in the area can just make loose skin more visible (learn more about the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction).
While skin health always has a genetic component, there are many environmental factors that greatly impact the physiological age of your skin, such as:
- Dehydration (including living in drier climates)
- Vitamin deficiencies (such as Vitamin D)
- UV exposure (too much time in the sun or tanning beds)
- Stress (including traumatic events)1,2
All of these factors cause your skin to age faster than someone else and become less able to “bounce back” after liposuction, so it’s important to take care of your body if you want liposuction in the future.
Other factors that might disqualify someone from liposuction include health conditions, especially cardiovascular disease. These diseases aren’t necessarily linked to age, but they often develop later in life as a result of both unhealthy lifestyle choices and genetic factors.
This is one of the reasons some surgeons may not accept patients over a certain age – as we age, you are less statistically likely to be a candidate. But we consider every case and don’t reject any candidate because of age. If you are in good general health and have good skin laxity, you’re very likely still a good candidate for lipo!
Nowhere is skin laxity more important than with chin lipo, but we have many 50 to 60-year-old chin patients. Age is not an automatic disqualification. See more.
Lipo over 60 is possible, but adjust your expectations accordingly
Liposuction for older patients is absolutely possible, however as we’ve mentioned you should also have realistic expectations. Lipo will not give you back the body you had when you were 20 or 30 years old, and your skin retraction post-surgery likely won’t be as good or as fast as younger patients. But as long as you keep realistic expectations about the improvements to your body shape that liposuction can provide, you can absolutely get lipo at any age.
As always, liposuction is a surgical procedure and requires downtime and recovery. As you get older, that recovery can be more difficult and take longer, so make sure you plan enough time to recover.
If you’re interested in learning whether you’re a candidate, send us your information on our contact page or use the form on this page and we’ll be happy to set up some time for a consultation.
- Serri R, Romano MC, Sparavigna A. “Quitting smoking rejuvenates the skin”: results of a pilot project on smoking cessation conducted in Milan, Italy. Skinmed. 2010 Jan-Feb;8(1):23-9. PMID: 20839421. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20839421/2.
- Khavkin J, Ellis DA. Aging skin: histology, physiology, and pathology. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 2011 May;19(2):229-34. doi: 10.1016/j.fsc.2011.04.003. PMID: 21763983. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21763983/