How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Plastic Surgery in Canada?

Plastic surgeries are becoming increasingly common in Canada, with more and more people opting for procedures to enhance their appearance or correct certain physical features. However, as with any medical procedure, certain regulations and laws govern who can undergo plastic surgery in Canada.

Two Types of Plastic Surgery

Before discussing the age requirements for plastic surgery in Canada, it is important to note that there are two types of plastic surgery: cosmetic and reconstructive.

  • Cosmetic Plastic Surgery. Also called aesthetic surgery, this is purely elective and seeks to improve one's appearance. Examples include breast augmentation, liposuction and rhinoplasty.
  • Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Reconstructive surgery aims to correct physical abnormalities or defects caused by birth defects, accidents or disease. Examples include cleft palate repair, scar revision and breast reconstruction.

How Old Do You Have to Be for Plastic Surgery in Canada?

The age at which someone can undergo cosmetic plastic surgery in Canada depends on various factors. These include the type of procedure and the location where it will be performed. The legal age for elective cosmetic surgeries such as breast augmentation or rhinoplasty is 18 years old in most provinces. This means that anyone under the age of 18 cannot undergo these procedures without parental consent.

In Ontario, the minimum age for cosmetic procedures is 16 years old with parental consent. However, certain exceptions may be made if the surgery is deemed medically necessary.

Additionally, some plastic surgeries, such as ear pinning or otoplasty, may be performed on children as young as five years old to correct deformities or abnormalities that may cause social or psychological issues. These procedures are usually covered by provincial health insurance as they are considered medically necessary.

Why Is There an Age Limit for Plastic Surgery?

The legal age limit for plastic surgery is in place to protect the safety and well-being of individuals seeking these procedures. Since most cosmetic surgeries involve anesthesia, the patient's body must reach a certain level of maturity before undergoing such a procedure. This helps reduce the risk of complications during and after surgery.

Furthermore, plastic surgeries can have a significant impact on a person's physical appearance and self-esteem. Setting an age limit gives individuals time to fully understand these procedures' potential risks and consequences before making a permanent decision about their bodies.

What Is the Maximum Age for Getting Plastic Surgery?

There is no set maximum age for getting plastic surgeries. Instead, the decision to undergo such procedures is more about a person's overall health and ability to heal rather than their chronological age.

A patient's age does not disqualify them from being a good candidate for plastic surgery, but age increases the risk of many health issues. Rather than age, medical health is the limiting factor. For example, if a 60-year-old is in good health, they may be a better candidate for plastic surgery than a 40-year-old with underlying health conditions. Additionally, a person's mental and emotional well-being is also taken into consideration when determining their eligibility for plastic surgery.

However, the recovery period of older people may be generally longer than younger ones. This is often due to factors like slower metabolism, less physical resilience and a higher likelihood of pre-existing conditions.

A detailed discussion with a board-certified plastic surgeon is crucial to determining whether you're a good candidate for a specific treatment.

Most Common Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

  • Facelift (Rhytidectomy). This procedure aims to give the face a fresher and more youthful look. It involves removing excess facial skin, with or without tightening underlying tissues.
  • Neck Lift. A neck lift is a set of procedures to enhance the appearance of your neck. Procedures can include removing excess skin, removing or altering neck muscles, liposuction to remove excess fat, and Botox injections to address problems with fullness or "bands."
  • Breast Augmentation. This surgical procedure involves using breast implants or fat transfer to increase the size of your breasts. This procedure can also restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy.
  • Rhinoplasty. Commonly known as a "nose job," it improves the appearance and proportion of your nose, enhancing facial harmony.
  • Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery). This surgery improves the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. It gives a rejuvenated appearance to the surrounding area of your eyes.
  • Breast Lift. Also known as mastopexy, this surgery raises the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.
  • Botox. Botox injections are noted to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles. They're also used to treat conditions such as neck spasms (cervical dystonia), excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), an overactive bladder and lazy eye.
  • Hair Transplant. This procedure is done to add more hair to an area on your head that may be thinning or balding. It's done by taking hair from thicker parts of the scalp or other parts of the body and grafting it to the thinning or balding section of the scalp.
  • Liposuction. This common surgery removes fat you can't seem to get rid of through diet and exercise. A cosmetic surgeon usually performs the procedure on your hips, belly, thighs, buttocks, back, arms or face to improve their shape.
  • Breast Reduction. Also known as reduction mammaplasty, it is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of large, heavy breasts. This is done by removing excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size proportionate to your body. The goal is also to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts.
  • Tummy Tuck. Medically known as abdominoplasty, this surgical procedure removes excess fat and skin from the abdomen and tightens the abdominal wall muscles. It is often performed on people who have sagging tissues after pregnancy or major weight loss.

Notably, there has been an increase in men seeking plastic surgery, breaking down previous gender norms associated with these procedures.

Who Are Good Candidates for Plastic Surgeries?

A good candidate for surgery generally falls into a few categories based on health status, psychological readiness, and realistic expectations. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Good Physical Health. Candidates should be in good overall health. This means they should not have any serious medical conditions that can compromise their ability to heal or increase the risk of surgery.
  • Non-smokers. Smoking can interfere with the body's ability to heal, so non-smokers or those who are willing to quit smoking for a certain period before and after surgery are better candidates.
  • Healthy Weigh. People at a stable weight are often better candidates, as significant weight fluctuations can affect the surgery results.
  • Psychological Readiness. A good candidate understands the procedure's risks, benefits and limitations. They also have a positive outlook and realistic expectations about the outcome.
  • Bothered by a Physical Feature. If you're bothered by a physical feature that you'd like to improve or change, and this feature has been stable (not changing or growing), then you may be a good candidate.
  • Not Under Pressure. Good candidates are those who are choosing to undergo plastic surgery of their own free will and not due to pressure from others.

Remember, it's crucial to have a detailed discussion with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine whether you're a good candidate for a specific procedure.

Are Plastic Surgeries Necessarily Done in a Hospital?

Plastic surgeries are not necessarily done in a hospital. The location for these procedures can depend on different factors, including the surgery's complexity, the patient's health and the physician's preferences.

Smaller, shorter plastic surgery procedures that require only local anesthesia can be performed in an office setting. Outpatient procedures are extremely prevalent in plastic surgery, with an estimated 82% of cosmetic plastic surgery occurring in this type of setting.

However, it is important to note that not all plastic surgeons have hospital privileges, particularly those who primarily perform procedures in private offices or outpatient surgery centers. This can be an important consideration for patients when choosing a surgeon.

Be Well-Informed Before Plastic Surgery Procedures at The Minor Surgery Center

At The Minor Surgery Center, we understand the importance of being well-informed before undergoing plastic surgery. Our board-certified plastic surgeons are highly trained and experienced in various procedures to help you achieve your desired results. We believe that knowledge is power, so we educate our patients about their chosen procedure's potential risks and benefits. We encourage open communication and ensure our patients have realistic expectations about the outcome of their surgery.

If you are considering plastic surgery, we invite you to schedule a consultation at The Minor Surgery Center. Our team will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that meets your goals and ensures your safety and satisfaction. Contact us now to schedule a consultation!

March 28, 2024