Plastic surgeons report growing number of people over 65 going under the knife.

While the focus lately has been the number of young people opting for cosmetic surgery, statistics show there’s been a significant increase at the other end of the scale too.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of people aged 65 and older choosing to have facelifts and cosmetic eyelid surgeries has doubled over the last 20 years.

A closer look reveals a significant percentage of this increase has occurred in the last five years.

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Last year, 37,632 facelifts and 39,772 eyelid surgeries were performed on people 65 and older, with three quarters of those patients totally new to surgery.

While there aren’t the same statistics available here in Australia, Dr Jack Zoumaras of Sydney’s Artiste Plastic Surgery says he has seen an increase in older patients.

“The average age of a patient requesting a facelift is in their 60s. As people live longer, older patients are having more plastic surgery,” he says.

“The most popular requests are a facelift and neck lift surgery.” (Post continues after gallery.)

Other popular choices in the age bracket include breast implant changes in those who had them inserted when younger, eyelid surgery and non-surgical Botox and fillers.


He believes there are a number of explanations for this increase.

“Traditionally after turning 60 years old patients have wanted a face and neck lift but with the advent of non-surgical facial techniques this has delayed some patients getting surgery so they are presenting for surgery at an older age,” he says.

“Also older patients – and in particular the baby boomer generation in Australia – have disposable income after downsizing and selling assets. They feel it is time to do something personally for themselves and seek the expertise of a plastic surgeon.”


Image: iStock

The Washington Post argues that a growing acceptance of cosmetic surgery as well as a reduction in surgery's costs and invasiveness has contributed to the shift.

Of course, there's the growing problem of age discrimination as more and more people remain in the workforce (and dating game) longer.

However undergoing such procedures at an older age does have some risks.

"Things like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and other medical conditions impact your recovery from surgery," says  Dr Zoumaras.

"This highlights the importance of seeking a qualified specialist Plastic Surgeon who is governed and accredited by the medical board to assess the patient holistically."

The movement has been dubbed by some as 'Grandma Plastic Surgery', a term Dr Bryan Mendelson of The Centre for Facial Plastic Surgery, Melbourne rejects.
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"I don't like this term as it is demeaning and comes from younger people who do not have any perspective what it is like for this group of women," he says.

Dr Zoumras predicts the number of over 65s opting to go under the knife will continue to rise.

"As preventative medicine and lifestyle factors are impacting on life expectancy more and more people will present for plastic surgery at an older age," he says.

Image: iStock.