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More Seniors Opting for Plastic Surgery

Wednesday, 10 Aug 2011 11:28 AM

More elderly Americans than ever are turning to plastic surgery to enhance their golden years, reports the New York Times.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there were 84,685 aesthetic surgical procedures performed in 2010 on patients age 65 and older. Face-lifts and cosmetic eyelid operations were the most common procedures, while breast reductions, lifts, and augmentations were also very popular.

The number of cosmetic procedures performed on older Americans has been steadily rising in the past decade, and experts are expecting an even greater surge in those statistics as baby boomers begin to pass age 65.

Gilbert Meyer, a retired film producer in Boynton Beach, Fla., who admitted his age was “over 75,” is one of the many seniors electing to go under the knife. He underwent an $8,000 eye and neck lift last year.

“I was looking at myself in the mirror and didn’t like what I was starting to see and did something about it,” he told the newspaper. “Why not look as good as you can when you can?”

But the increase in these surgeries has raised concerns about safety and the propriety of performing elective surgeries on older patients.

Though face-lifts can be performed under conscious sedation, other reconstructive surgeries require general anesthesia. This can be especially risky for older patients, who often also take much longer to heal. And since few studies have been done on older patients and cosmetic enhancements, the risks are still largely unknown.

But, a study by Cleveland Clinic researchers published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery suggests that hazards for older patients undergoing plastic surgery are not much different than those for younger populations.

“We’re not saying it’s chronologic age that’s so important, but it really is physiologic,” said Dr. James E. Zins of the Cleveland Clinic.

Whether or not the benefits outweigh the risks, it is clear that older Americans are turning to surgery to help make their golden years their finest. As Florida plastic surgeon Dr. Daniel Man explained, “These people are healthy and want to be an active part of society.”

To read the complete New York Times story, Go Here Now.



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