Growing old; you knew it was bound to happen. As baby boomers get on in years they want to cheat father time, just like everyone else. And they’re doing it in record numbers.
In the last five years alone, the number of women and men 65 years and older getting plastic surgery has doubled, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery.
Living Longer, Feeling Better, Why Not Looking Younger?
Austin-based board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ashley Gordon wondered when her first sixty-something patient came in for breast implants whether she was doing the right thing.
“We have women in their sixties, sometimes in their early seventies, that have breast augmentation or want to have a tummy tuck,” she describes, “and I remember the first patient who wanted that and I remember thinking ‘wow, should I be doing that?’ Are they really too old, but I think that people are living longer now and they’re no longer accepting I’m 50. I’m 60. I’m over the hill. And they don’t give up anymore,” says Dr. Gordon.
Her practice partner, Dr. Dustin Reid, agrees, especially when it comes to senior men.
They’re really interested in staying youthful and want to stay attractive in the workplace and I think it’s great!” Dr. Reid says. “A lot of men who haven’t retired and facing competition from younger and younger men – not only do they want to look good by getting something done, but in many ways, older men feel like they have a better chance of job security or promotion the younger they look.”
For Old Folk, Sixty is the New (fill-in-the-blank)
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of people 65 and older getting facelifts and cosmetic eyelid surgeries has more than doubled over the last two decades, with much of that increase occurring over the last five years. In 2015, nearly 40,000 eyelid surgeries and 37,632 facelifts were performed on people 65 and older. Although there is no age breakdown within the category, doctors report three quarters of these patients are new to plastic surgery.
Part of it is people are living longer, and the baby boomer generation started turning 65 five years ago, so there are more people over 65 than in the past. But even taking that into consideration, the rate of eyelid surgeries in that age group has risen 62 percent and the rate of facelifts has doubled.
There’s Always That High School Reunion Looming…
“I remember early in my practice, my oldest breast augmentation patient was a 68-year-old woman going back to her 50th high school class reunion,” says Houston-based board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Camille Cash.”She had no children. Her husband had passed away and she was going back to see her high school sweetheart. She always wanted to have breast augmentation and her husband didn’t want her to have it. Now she was going back and that was her motivation and she was excited about doing something she’d been wanting to do for so long.”
With increased technology, surgical experience, and people living longer, healthier lives, the times is ripe for the aging to consider doing what they may have thought they were too late for. Even at 60 or 65, there could be decades of time left; why not continue the care you’ve taken on the interior with the exterior?
“I tell patients all the time I don’t do life saving surgeries anymore,” says Cash. “This is really about life changing surgery.”