Seniors are turning to plastic surgery in record numbers. It may be a current trend for the “more mature” to let their hair color go to a natural silver, but those same seniors are clamoring to have plastic surgeons erase other marks of aging like sagging breasts, wrinkles and droopy eyelids.
No matter how hard they look, these men and women know that there are no creams, potions or drugstore remedies that can completely erase the effects of aging. There is no such thing as an over-the-counter miracle cure. The former head of Revlon, Charles Revson was quoted as saying “I am selling hope in a jar.” Today older Americans are often finding that hope is in the hands of board-certified plastic surgeons.
A record number of senior citizens are electing to undergo plastic surgery. In 2014, women and men from the ages of 51 – 64 accounted for 25% of the surgical and 32.9 percent of the non-surgical cosmetic procedures. The total of those procedures for the year was more than 10 million. Add to that the number of people 65 and over who made up 8% of the total of yearly surgeries and 11% of the non-surgical procedures and you have got some very significant numbers of people over the age of 50 opting for cosmetic procedures. And the numbers are increasing every year, so the trend is clearly growing.
It’s not that hard to answer the question “Why are cosmetic procedures becoming more popular for people 50 and older?” Medical technologies are ever-advancing. This means that people are living longer and living more healthy lifestyles. They feel good and they want to look just as good as they feel.
If they are still in the work environment these patients often feel the pressures of the work environment and want to “continue to fit in”. Many have returned to the dating world and want to look their best to meet new people.
When asked about this trend, Dr. Robert Wilke, a plastic surgeon board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery said, “Every year we see more patients that are over 50, and the over-65 patient base is growing as well. My partners and I perform procedures that make people look and feel more youthful, but in a very natural way. Most people want a natural looking result. They still want to look like themselves, just a more refreshed and rejuvenated version of themselves.” The surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery are experts in performing these procedures, as evidenced by all three of them being named as Top Doctors.
Seniors are asking for all types of surgeries and cosmetic procedures, but the most commonly requested surgeries are: facelifts, eyelid lifts, breast lift, tummy tucks and liposuction. These are followed in popularity by breast augmentation, breast reduction, lower body lifts and forehead lifts.
Do the risks increase as the age does?
“Many people are under the impression that advanced age automatically increases the surgical risk for patients,” says Dr. Wilke, “but that is not necessarily the case. Age does not have to be a limitation, but any co-morbidities and extenuating medical conditions that the patients are experiencing can play a part as to whether they are a good candidate for plastic surgery. Every patient needs a full medical evaluation preoperatively, and we, along with their primary physician, need to assess their surgical risk to determine if elective surgery is appropriate for them.”
Dr. Wilke goes on to say, “Because of advances in medical technology and techniques, plastic surgery is not only safer than ever, the results are better than ever as well. With our refinements in surgical techniques, as well as better and safer anesthesia, it all adds up to make it easier for these more mature patients to enjoy the benefits of plastic surgery.”
And with social mores and opinions on plastic surgery becoming more accepting, the social stigma of having “something done” has been all but erased. Surgeries are no longer considered a mark of vanity and they are no longer limited to Hollywood divas and jet-setting executives. The vast majority of people electing to have procedures are middle class wage earners who have saved up to get plastic surgery because it is important to them.
Looking more youthful with non-surgical alternatives.
For the maturing population who want to avoid or postpone a surgical option, the non-surgical alternatives are also very popular. Seniors are flocking to the offices of plastic surgeons and to skin clinics for all kinds of treatments including Botox® to erase wrinkles and facial fillers to plump up hands and face. They are also trying skin rejuvenation in record numbers. These include chemical peels, dermabrasion, skin-tightening lasers and laser skin resurfacing.
“At Edina Plastic Surgery we have a great skin clinic,” says Dr. Wilke. “So our patients have the option of any type of surgical or non-surgical procedure in their pursuit of looking more youthful. As people go through life transitions they want to look good; and no matter what avenue they choose we are there to help them reach their goals.”