Skip to main content

Being Alive versus Living Well

By September 27, 2022No Comments
Being Alive versus Living Well

by Juris Bunkis, MD

This past weekend Dr. Ekstrom and I were blessed to spend a weekend with my 96 year old Mom, sister and brother-in-law. Seeing my Mom in action brings to mind the words to George Strait’s song, “Living and Living Well”. My Mom is more than just living, she is still independent, gardens, bakes “bacon buns”, drives, shops, helps her neighbors, and simply lives well. She drove down to Massachusetts with my sister and brother-in-law from Trenton, Ontario, just east of Toronto. She came full of life, wisdom, and love.

We had such wonderful conversations about the past and the future. She absolutely loved seeing “Tina Turner the Musical” in Boston. We visited the King Tut exhibit (a National Geographic presentation) and reminisced how a National Geographic photographer once took pictures of my late brother, Imants, fishing in Alaska, and she still cherishes that issue of the publication.

We enjoyed (under blankets) a wonderful day sail on the Adirondack III out of Boston Harbor (30 mph winds and about 50 degrees on Saturday). We had wonderful meals in Boston at Legal Seafood, the Chart House and a newer restaurant called MIDA – all excellent choices. Many hugs and kisses later, my Canadian family was back on the road to Canada. We so look forward to connecting again, this time also with the extended family in Canada at Christmas.

Spotlight on Plastic Surgery – When are you Too Old for Plastic Surgery?

by Juris Bunkis, M.D. and Deborah Ekstrom, M.D.

Dr. Bunkis’ Mom has her first facelift in her mid-50’s, last in her early 80’s. People who see her today find it difficult to believe that she is almost 96 ½ – mostly because she acts so young but also because she looks good! People often ask us about the appropriate timing for certain procedures and when is it too late to have elective plastic surgery procedures.

The answer is three fold:

  1. Are you healthy?
  2. Are you willing to accept the risks and recovery limitations inherent to a elective cosmetic surgery procedure?
  3. Do you have enough of an issue that warrants a surgical procedure and are your expectations realistic?

First is health. Young or old, if you have health issues such as uncontrolled elevated blood pressure, diabetes/elevated blood sugars not controlled by medication, significant cardiac conditions, pulmonary disease, or any other health issue that cannot be controlled medically (we require medical clearance from an internist or cardiologist for patients with medical issues), you should not have elective surgery, regardless of your age! Your safety comes first. However, if your blood pressure is under control, if your diabetes is well managed, if all your systems are a “go” with medical clearance by your doctor, physically you can be a candidate for surgery. Under such criteria, Dr. Bunkis has even done a facelift on a 94-year-old healthy senior, who went on to feel confident in his improved appearance for another five years!

The second part – are your expectations realistic and are you willing to accept the risks of surgery and limitations of recovery?

Finally, is the patient a good surgical candidate for a procedure? We see patients each week who are considering liposuction, a face lift or some laser procedure who just do not have a significant enough of a problem to justify the cost and risks of surgery for such a minor improvement – and those patients get a recommendation for a lesser procedure or are asked to come back to see us in a year or two.

In other instances, the procedure that patient has in mind may not solve the issue they are complaining about. For example, loose skin under the chin, even if there is a fat pocket present in someone over the age of 45, cannot be relieved with liposuction alone, and, is better treated with a face/neck lift. Protruding tummies sometimes require weight loss for internal fat reduction, and may not respond to liposuction as much as is hoped, or a tummy tuck may be a better solution.

Finally, a realistic, non-perfectionistic attitude is crucial to satisfaction of an improved but not perfect appearance and outcome.

Regardless, the best approach to all cosmetic surgery concerns starts with a consultation with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon who can honestly explain the possible solutions to you with their associated risks, range of outcomes and costs in a language you can understand.

85 year old healthy female, shown here before and after an a face and brow lift, upper and lower lid blepharoplasty, who went on to enjoy her improved appearance for another decade. (Actual patient of Dr. Bunkis)

If you want to see if you can have any part of your body improved, contact us for a consultation:

For CA, please call 949-888-9700 or visit
Or for MA location, call 508-755-4825 or visit
You can write to
Dr. Compoginis at
Dr. Bunkis at
or Dr. Ekstrom at