Sam Bauman: Plastic surgery not inexpensive, seniors can undergo most types



Lots of reasons seniors may consider plastic surgery, once the domain of movie stars, but now, according to TIME magazine, just about everybody is doing it.

U.S. women had 13.6 million total cosmetic procedures in 2014, with 1.6 million surgical type. Women, naturally enough, accounted or 92 percent of plastic surgery procedures, men 8 percent. For men, 25 percent went for nose jobs, the most popular for males. For women, breast augmentation was the top choice.

TIME noted that “different subgroups have different work done; tastefully small upper West Side breasts; butt lifts for hip-hop lovers; plumped lips for selfie-prone party girls; fillers for CEOs.”

Almost all forms of image improvement take time to be accepted as normal. In 19th century America, makeup was sold under the counter because it was thought to be a tool of prostates, TIME noted. In the 1930s hair dyeing was usually done in the basements of beauty parlors so that few people would see the dye process, and that continued for years. Now, 75 percent of women dye their hair (and many men as well). Tooth whitening was practically unknown until recently and now dentists throw in a tooth whitener on every visit.

Seniors on limited incomes need to be aware of the costs of plastic surgery. In an attempt to verify the costs listed below, I asked two Carson City surgeons for estimates of the most popular procedures. They both wouldn’t give me any ballpark figures. The common response was that every person is unique and every procedure has to be adapted to the person’s condition. A reasonable dodge, so I’ve dug up a long cost list from the Internet. This is an average nationally and probably is a guide to local fees, but you’ll never know in advance of talking with your physician how much it will be. Incidentally, there’s a credit card that is pegged to plastic surgery; may help, but you’ll still have to pay.

Once you’ve decided to embark on plastic surgery, it might be a good idea to talk to more than one surgeon. Prices may vary, and you might want to be comfortable with one doctor rather than another. And location of the operation counts. You may want to drive or be driven home afterwards. And if you elect for the procedure to be done in a hospital rather than the surgeon’s office, it will cost a thousand or more dollars.

So here’s a very general, average list of plastic surgery procedures, according to If you go ahead and do the operation, ask up front about fees.

Buttock augmentation — $4,329

Buttock lift — $4,385

Liposuction — $2,815

Lower body lift — $6,840

Spider vein treatment - Laser — $355

Spider vein treatment - Sclerotherapy — $326

Thigh lift — $4,872

Tummy tuck — $5,391

Upper arm lift — $3,876

Vaginal rejuvenation — $2,286

Breast augmentation - saline implants — $3,268

Breast augmentation - silicone gel implants — $3,618

Breast lift — $4,174

Breast reduction (women) — $5,146

Gynecomastia (male breast reduction) — $3,310

Brow lift — $3,092

Chin augmentation — $2,244

Ear surgery — $2,885

Eyelid surgery — $2,726

Face-lift — $6,675

Lip enhancement (other than injectable materials) — $1,486

Nose surgery — $4,352

Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox, Dysport) — $392

Calcium Hydroxylapatite (Radiance) — $635

Fat transfer — $1,875

Hyaluronic Acid (including Juvederm, Perlane/Restylane, Belotero, Prevelle, Elevess) — $552

Poly-L-Latic Acid (Sculptra) — $862

Cellulite treatment (including Cellulaze, Cabochon, Smoothshapes, etc.) — $2,350

Chemical peel — $542

Dermabrasion — $1,412

IPL / Photorejuvenation — $381

Laser hair removal — $265

Laser skin resurfacing - Ablative — $2,176

Laser skin resurfacing - Nonablative — $1,357

Laser skin resurfacing - Fractional — $1,077

Microdermabrasion — $122

Nonsurgical skin tightening — $1,724

Plastic surgery is like most things in life — it can have repercussions, few of them bad. If one decides to go under the knife (an unfortunate expression, particularly these days when a scalpel may not be involved), it’s a very personal choice.

There are three kinds of cosmetic procedures, although they overlap: sexualizing (breast augmentation); normalizing (nose job) and anti-aging (nose job).

A pause for confession: I embarked on plastic surgery as a subject because the TIME cover story. But I also was curious; I have bags under the eyes in a fairly ordinary face. I thought doing a column about it might help me decide to have them removed.

At my age, I came to the conclusion that if the bags bothered someone, they could offer to pay for the procedure, one of the least costly in plastic surgery. So far, no offers.

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


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