Plastic Surgery Is on the Rise Among Older Americans
31 October 2011
Mary Lou Ray decided at age 65 that she had seen enough of the person in her mirror.
"My life led up to this. I had been divorced for 13 years, my children were grown, and with the death of my mother—not to be unkind—I was finally free of criticism about things like dyeing my hair," she says.
So last year she spent $13,000 on a facelift and other cosmetic procedures that proved rejuvenating.
"I'm absolutely thrilled," says Ms. Ray, a real-estate agent in Roanoke, Va. "I think a lot of friends in my age bracket would like to try this, but they're afraid of getting that unnatural, yanked-up look. I don't have that; I still look like me."
Ms. Ray is part of the changing national profile of the typical first-time plastic-surgery candidate—a demographic group that's well past its first few sags and wrinkles. Elective cosmetic procedures among patients age 65 and older, both surgical and nonsurgical, rose 29 percent from 2005 to 2010, to more than 680,000, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. During that same period, cosmetic procedures among the overall population fell 17 percent.
London-based Plastic Surgeon Dr Dirk Kremer comments:
“I suspect the UK data would mirror this report coming out of the USA. Personally, over the past year, my practice has seen demand for cosmetic procedures within the 60+ age group increase by 24%.
Modern surgical techniques mean that patients can have surgery, hide for 2 weeks and re-enter their social circle looking fresh but not ‘done’. Reasons given for this change in trend are varied and often quite emotive. Many are finding they still have to work thanks to reduced savings and the high cost of living and are keen to keep their competitive edge, others (for whatever reason) want to simply look their best for as long as they can.
Of course, as we age, the risks of undergoing surgery increase thanks to extended healing times and complications due to existing medical problems. Patients must be honest about any existing medical conditions, past operations, allergies and current medication. Age itself is not a contraindication for surgery but, in order to ensure a safe and trouble free surgical journey, my anesthetist and I need to have full disclosure of medical information.”
Most requested procedures in order:
Breast uplift with or without reduction
Tummy tuck also called abdominoplasty