March 19, 2012
Americans are living longer than ever. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy for Americans is now 78.5 years. And with this increased rate comes new questions concerning lifestyle, fitness and beauty.
“The most noteworthy aspect about all this is not just that people are living longer but living better,” Dr. Gary Kennedy, director of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center, told the New York Times. “At the same time, people are living a longer active lifespan. Seniors are healthier, more active and economically better off than they ever have been.”
The fact that people are living longer may mean more seniors are opting for plastic surgery procedures in order to maintain a youthful appearance. Doctors say that there isn’t a magic number on how old is too old for various cosmetic procedures. Some people choose to improve their appearance in their 70s and 80s, according to KESQ-TV News. However, patients who wish to undergo surgical procedures in which general anesthesia is necessary must get medical clearance first.
“If they’re healthy, and they go through the scrutiny of the preoperative evaluation and the exam, and they’re in good condition, and they’re cleared by their medical doctor, then they’re a good candidate for surgery,” a California-based plastic surgeon told the news source.
“It takes the aging process away. And that’s what makes you happy,” 77-year-old Rita Gerson, who has undergone several plastic surgery procedures, including a facelift, told the news provider. “Don’t let other people try to say, ‘Oh you don’t need it.’ That’s up to you.”
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), nearly 685,000 individuals over the age of 65 underwent surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures in 2010, accounting for more than 7 percent of the total. Common procedures for seniors include facelifts, cosmetic eyelid surgery, liposuction, Botox injections,hyaluronic acid injections and laser skin resurfacing.
Individuals of any age who are considering a cosmetic procedure are urged to consult with a licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon, according to ASAPS.