More Elderly People Are Frequenting the Operating Table—On Purpose

Is the older set spending some of its retirement money on cosmetic surgery? According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the answer is yes.

From 2005 to 2010, there was a 30 percent increase in people over 65 getting cosmetic surgery, even as the amount of cosmetic surgeries in the US stumbled down 17 percent in the same time span.

Perhaps it’s the stress of even the younger generations emptying the fountain of youth via an operating table, or perhaps this group just wants a few touch ups to enjoy in their remaining years.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Remus Repta of John C. Lincoln Hospital in Phoenix explained, “The older population is going to be more facelift, necklift, and browlift. Sometimes they want less invasive surgeries like skin resurfacing for all of the sun damage that they’ve acquired. But generally, it’s shoulders and up.”

As socially acceptable as cosmetic surgery is and regardless of it being as commonplace (or more) as getting your wisdom teeth out, elderly people run a risk when voluntarily going under the knife. Repta promises that standards and conditions have been raised to create safer procedures than was possible in the past.

“More commonly, we’re doing more surgery not with general anesthesia, but with local anesthesia and some sedation,” said Repta. Your heart and lungs are performing in the same conditions as when you’re awake.”

The first and arguably most important step, though, is thoroughly examining each patient before surgery.