Plastic Surgery – A Nip Here, a Tuck There

A woman prepares for plastic surgery

Cosmetic Surgery After 60.

Andy Rooney once said that it’s “…paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.”

No matter your attitude when it comes to aging, going through the process can make it difficult to maintain a positive outlook. Everyone ages differently, and our lifestyles play a major role in the physical and emotional issues we will face as we get older. It’s perfectly normal to feel a sense of loss as our skin gains more wrinkles and our prescription eyeglasses get stronger each year.

Some seniors and boomers are refusing to accept the outer changes that can accompany aging, and are turning their attention to plastic surgery as an option to delay the process.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of people age 65 and older who are getting facelifts and cosmetic eyelid surgeries has doubled in the last 20 years. The most recent figures, from 2015, revealed that individuals over 65 had 39,772 eyelid surgeries and 37,632 facelifts that year. Plastic surgeons reported that the majority of their older patients are between the ages of 65 and 75, with 75 percent of them having plastic surgery for the first time.

In addition to surgical options, the use of non-surgical alternatives such as Botox injections and Juvederm Ultra also have shown a 93 percent increase among those age 65 and older.

Aesthetic plastic surgeons are attributing the increase in procedures – both surgical and non-surgical – to a heightened awareness among seniors and boomers of the emphasis placed on physical appearance in today’s society.

If you are among the seniors and boomers considering plastic surgery, there are a few things you should know before taking the plunge.

The Risk Factor

While age itself is not a top risk factor when it comes to plastic surgery, there are other complications that can occur after a cosmetic surgical procedure.

Among the complications that can occur following plastic surgery are:

  • Hematoma – pockets of blood that look like a large, painful bruise can occur after surgery and is the most common complication after having a facelift. Treatment involves training the blood from the area.
  • Nerve Damage – nerve damage can happen with any surgical procedure, including cosmetic ones.
  • Infection – along with hematoma, infection is one of the most common complications that can occur after cosmetic surgery.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism – this condition involves the formation of blood clots deep in the veins, most commonly in the leg. The clots can break off and travel to the lungs, which can be fatal.

Be sure to discuss any medical issues with your plastic surgeon prior to any surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedure. Certain medical conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, can increase your chances of experiencing certain complications following cosmetic surgery.

Do Your Research

Unlike medical doctors, plastic surgeons are not required to obtain board certification before practicing. However, certification is available through the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Surgeons who have obtained certification through the ABCS were required to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in cosmetic surgery prior to receiving certification. ABCS certified plastic surgeons have completed a two-year fellowship, where they focused solely on cosmetic surgery. They also are required to have earned a degree from an accredited medical school and completed a medical residency.

Just as you would do research on any other medical provider, it is important to do the same with a cosmetic surgeon. Read patient reviews, ask for references from trusted friends and family members and check for board certification. You can use this online tool to help locate a board certified plastic surgeon. Make sure you choose a surgeon who is experienced with older patients.

It’s also important to make sure that plastic surgery is realistic for you, and to understand that it’s not a magic bullet to make you younger. Sometimes, unfortunately, plastic surgery can have the exact opposite outcome of what is anticipated.  Be aware of the risks of surgery, and be willing to accept that it may not turn out the way you planned.

Not quite ready to go under the knife? There are some non-surgical procedures that can help achieve amazing results. Among the most popular are:

  • CoolSculpting – this procedure uses cold temperatures to destroy fat cells by crystalizing them. There is no down time associated with this technique, and it can be used on the belly, inner and outer thighs, arms, chest neck and back. Average cost is $1,200 to $6,000 depending on the number of treatments selected.
  • Ultherapy – this procedure is designed to tighten the face and neck using ultrasound energy to boost collagen production. Cost is between $3,000 and $4,500.
  • Infini – another procedure that is used to tighten the skin and minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles, it can cost between $1,500 and $2,000. The treatment is administered by a high-intensity, focused radiofrequency energy that is delivered through gold-coated, insulated microneedles.

Looking Youthful the Natural Way

Cosmetic procedures are not the only way to maintain a youthful appearance. There are other things we can do to help us to age gracefully, including practicing good posture and staying hydrated. Water helps to flush toxins from our body and encourages cell regrowth.

Regular exercise can go a long way in helping to keep us firm and fit well into our senior years. Research has shown that even 20 minutes of exercise daily can make a difference.

Have some tips you’d like to share about staying youthful? Have experience with surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and would like to share your outcome? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Mary Spann

Mary Spann

Mary Spann is the founder and president of Upside of Downsizing®. In addition to her 26 years in construction, interior design, and home staging, Mary also holds college degrees in Social Work and Psychology, making her uniquely qualified to assist with the downsizing process, and helping 50 plus year olds achieve a happy and healthy life balance. Mary learned the key components of construction and interior design at an early age. Her father was a prominent custom home builder in Minnesota and Texas, and her mother was a successful interior designer and a real estate broker.
Mary Spann