While baby boomers and twenty-somethings are often the prime candidates for cosmetic and plastic surgery, recent trends in this industry indicate patients over the age of 65 are showing more interest in going under the knife.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that elective cosmetic procedures among patients age 65 and older rose 29 percent from 2005 to 2010. This includes both surgical and non-surgical procedures, even when demand for cosmetic procedures for the population overall fell about 17 percent.
A recent article published in The Wall Street Journal points out that doctors believe many Americans are now staying in the workforce longer than they expected. They think that physical enhancements will make them more competitive in the workplace and they want to do everything they can to enjoy the years their final years.
Still, these senior patients are at a high risk for a procedure gone wrong and have to take extra precautions to ward of potential complications. Healing times for older patients are usually longer than the average, and some may experience more pain and reactions to anesthesia. Less-invasive treatments are still an attractive option for many. Nonsurgical procedures like Botox, injectable fillers and skin tightening treatments can be a valuable alternative to facelift surgery and help many patients mask the signs of aging.
The Wall Street Journal highlights the fact that the patient must research their procedure and make sure they’re working with the right doctor. Diane Foia, a retired college English professor who underwent surgery and interviewed with The Wall Street Journal, says she interviewed four specialists in her area before settling for a doctor. Ms. Foia was 63 years old when she got her facelift and it cost $10,000 (a gift from her husband). Her primary reason for undergoing surgery was cosmetic and she just wanted to improve her appearance. The surgery was a “retirement gift” from her husband for both of them. Her surgery was successful and she says that she experienced “some sensitivity” around her ears and neck areas for about six months after surgery.
Anesthesia risks continue to be one of the biggest complications to consider for senior patients.
If you’re thinking about plastic surgery, talk to a plastic surgeon in your area about your options.