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Older Generation Looking Younger

Older Generation Looking Younger
Older Generation Looking Younger


Duke Health News Duke Health News

Cosmetic plastic surgery used to be considered exclusively for the rich and famous, but today it is much more commonplace. One recent trend is the growing popularity of plastic surgery among the elderly.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, approximately 7.5 million Americans had plastic surgery procedures done last year. While plastic surgery has become a familiar option among members of the "baby boomer" generation, it is also becoming more common among those in the older generation.

"The age of greatest popularity for most plastic surgery procedures is between 45 and 55," says Dr. Michael Zenn, assistant professor of surgeon in the division of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Duke University Medical Center. "So this older generation is a new group, and as people who are more familiar with plastic surgery are getting older, they're becoming this group."

Zenn says a growing number of men and women over 65 are now electing to have surgical procedures to look younger and enhance their appearance.

"People feel young inside," he says, "and they look in the mirror and they're disappointed. They feel like, 'Hey, 'I'm not that old.' Plastic surgery is a way we can take 10 to 15 years off."

Cosmetic plastic surgery is a safe and effective way to reverse the effects of time and gravity, according to Zenn. "We're talking about face tissues that are beginning to sag, the eye tissues, we're talking about blepharoplasty, which is a sort of eyelift, and elevating the brow or a browlift. So as everything heads south, we try to move it back north."

Zenn suggests that older people should talk to an experienced surgeon to learn about the risks and rewards of plastic surgery.

"We have people, believe it or not, in their 80s who are coming in," Zenn says. "They're having a facelift or having their eyes done. If you look at the numbers overall, they're not the most common, but it's not something that's out of reach anymore for older patients."

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