Your surgical history
When you first see a new doctor because you switched jobs and healthcare providers or relocated to a new town, you’ll be filling out tons of medical and insurance forms. A biggie in the long slew of “yes” and “no” checkboxes refers to your surgical history. From minor procedures to major operations, Manhattan plastic surgeon David Shafer, MD, says being honest about your past will help alleviate complications in your future. Though many of his surgeries are elective, every surgeon needs background info to minimize your risk for scar tissue, reactions, and more. “I always find it concerning when a patient tells me they have never had surgery, and when I examine them, they have what are clearly facelift incisions,” he shares.
As you begin to approach middle-age, start menopause, or feel those aches and pains of getting older, you might be tempted to tell a little white lie about exactly what decade is on your birth certificate. While it’s likely not a big deal to fudge the truth to a bartender, grocer, or random stranger at networking event, your doctor needs to know the honest truth about everything, including how many candles were on your last birthday cake. Not only is your age a crucial element to how they prescribe a treatment, but it’s information they’re going to find out, no matter what. And lying could break that essential doctor-patient trust. “I know patients don’t like admitting their age, but it’s very important to be truthful,” Dr. Shafer says. “If a patient tells me they are 49 but then their insurance card shows a birthday indicating they are 57, I have to wonder if the patient is lying about anything else.” These are the 10 crucial health tweaks to make by your 50s.