Sam Bauman: Seniors are target for expensive plastic surgery



The June 23 edition of TIME magazine’s cover story was headlined “Nip. Tuck. Or Else. Now Everyone Gets Work Done.” The story was long and detailed, but one category not covered was seniors and plastic surgery. So I decided to look into the senior side of such surgery. Lots of information on seniors buying into plastic surgery, more than I can jam into one column.

Seniors increasingly want to look younger for many good reasons, according to the Society of Certified Senior Advisors (CSA):

Seeking jobs — Older adults are working longer, and in a time when ageism is prevalent, many older job seekers feel they need to look younger to compete.

Societal changes — While our parents and grandparents considered having a face-lift vanity, society is more open today about improving your appearance.

Longer life expectancy — As life increases, more seniors are staying active and want to look as young as they feel.

Improvements in techniques — Anesthesia is safer and surgical techniques have advanced.

But most people who have had cosmetic surgery stress the emotional benefits. Here are some of the types, according to CSA:

Common noninvasive procedures include:

Botulinum toxins — Commonly known as Botox, Dysport and Xeomin, these toxins provide a temporary fix for forehead wrinkles. They relax clenched facial muscles and lines around the lips.

Dermal fillers — As we age, we tend to lose fat in the face, and fillers add volume by filling in wrinkles and lines and plumping up areas that have lost fat.

Microdermabrasion — Microdermabrasion blasts the skin with tiny crystals that exfoliate the outer layer and reduce fine lines, brown spots and mild acne scars.

Radio frequency — Using heat to stimulate the body’s production of collagen, this tightens the skin, treating a double chin and the area underneath the jaw.

Laser resurfacing — Non ablative lasers can remove brown spots on hands and face without damaging the outer layer of skin. Lasers also firm a loose neck by stimulating collagen production and improving skin tone.

Common cosmetic surgeries for seniors include (from the Mayo Clinic): As you get older, your facial skin sags and loosens. This can make the lower part of your face appear rectangular in shape.

Face lift — As you age your facial skin sags and loosens. This can make the lower part of your face appear rectangular in shape. A face lift can provide a more youthful, heart-like shape. The surgery lifts facial soft tissues, removes excess skin and drapes skin back over the repositioned contours.

Eyelid tightening — As aging eyelids stretch, the muscles supporting them weaken.

Liposuction — While not a weight-loss alternative, liposuction uses a technique to remove fat from the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms or neck. Liposuction also contours these areas.

Breast surgery — Surgery can lift breasts and increase or decrease size. According to the Society of Certified Senior Advisors: During augmentation, a surgeon places implants under the breast tissue or chest muscles.

The most common surgical procedure for people age 35-50 was liposuction; age 51-64 it was liposuction; age 65 and over it was face lift; age 19-34 it was breast augmentation; age 18 and under it was otoplasty.

More next week, including costs.

Sam Bauman writes about senior affairs, among other things, for the Nevada Appeal.


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