Edison, NJ– The decision to undergo a cosmetic procedure is a personal decision that varies from patient to patient. While we can’t predict what might spur a person to make the final decision at a certain time in his or her life, there are some trends that suggest some procedures are more popular than others for different age groups. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons offered some thoughts after they gathered their final 2012 statistics.
Procedure by Age
How young is too young for a nose job? Rhinoplasty was the most common procedure performed on teenagers, ages 13 to 19. Puberty brings changes to the body, and the nose is no different. Significant changes can occur, but by the age of 16 , the nose you have will typically be the nose you will grow old with. As you age, other body parts grow and take on new shapes, but the structure of your nose will change the least over time, meaning the defining features will remain the same throughout your life. Teens and young adults often turn to rhinoplasty as they are entering new phases, such as high school graduation. The late teens are the best time to perform this procedure.
For twenty-somethings, the procedure they turn to most often is breast augmentation. Once a woman has ended puberty, her breasts are typically fully formed. Over time, certain factors, such as shifts in weight and pregnancy, can alter the size and shape of our breasts. But for young women who are at a point in their lives where image is increasingly important, larger breasts through a breast augmentation can increase their confidence as they are entering adulthood and beginning their new lives.
The decade we spend in our 30s brings a significant change in our bodies. Our metabolism slows, which means that even though our diet and exercise routines may remain the same, our bodies might not reflect that. Fat deposits can begin to appear, especially around the mid-section in what we refer to as “love handles.” For patients who work out diligently and eat well, but still can’t rid themselves of this stubborn fat, liposuction and other techniques such as CoolSculpt, are the most popular procedures.
Facial rejuvenation procedures, such as Botox, also see a rise during this decade of our lives. During our 20s, we aren’t concerned with aging and are instead focused on perfecting our bodies to achieve the ideal look. But once we hit our 30s, our age can begin to show in the small lines in our brows, and around our eyes and mouths. Botox, chemical peels, laser resurfacing and other non-invasive procedures start to become more popular during this time.
During our 40s, we can really begin to see the effects of aging. Wrinkles begin to set in, making our faces look older than they actually are. Eyelid and brow lifts are increasingly popular for this age group to remove the tired, sad appearance we might be displaying. Patients aged 40-54 are the most likely to undergo these procedures to remove the wrinkled, furrowed brow look and regain their youthful faces.
For those 55 and older, the facelift is the tried and true procedure they turn to in order to regain their youth. As we age, our cheeks begin to sag, jowls begin to appear, the neck becomes loose and droopy, and the entire face and neck area begins to show our age. A facelift can easily solve these issues, lifting the brow, giving back contour in our cheeks and tightening our necks.
However, a study published in the January edition of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, suggests that patients under the age of 50 might actually be the best candidates for facial surgery such as facelifts because they will have the most lasting results. Younger patients do not experience as much facial regression as older patients, meaning the work they have done will last longer than in those over the age of 60.
“Overall, the number of procedures performed each year has seen a steady increase since 1997,” says Dr. Andrew Miller, a top plastic surgeon in NJ. “We see the most work being done on patients between the ages of 35 and 50 – they actually make up about 43 percent of all plastic surgery patients.”
Overall, the top surgeries performed each year tend to be liposuction, breast augmentation and tummy tucks. And there may be a reason why women in their 30s and 40s are turning to these procedures more often.
“The mommy makeover is becoming increasingly popular,” says Dr. Miller. “We’re seeing more and more celebrities back to their pre-baby bodies in no time, and regular women want to do the same. And with such great advances in technology in our field, it’s becoming easier for the average mom to look even better than she did before she had babies.”
Consider the new procedure that might quickly overtake liposuction as the number one fat removal procedure – CoolSculpting. This procedure lets a woman visit her plastic surgeon’s office on her lunch break and have her fat cells targeted for elimination without undergoing surgery. Through extreme cold, the fat is frozen, and over the course of a few months, fat cells are natural expelled by the body. This gives women the appearance of the fat just melting away, meaning no one will even have to know she had a procedure performed.
Women in this age group also turn to breast augmentation as a way to regain the shape they had in their youth. After pregnancy and breast feeding, some women may notice a considerable droop in their breasts, but a breast lift can easily give them back their beautiful shape.
Women vs. Men
Women still make up the vast majority of plastic surgery patients, accounting for nearly 90 percent of all procedures performed, or approximately 9.1 million surgeries. This number is up 252 percent since 1997. The other ten percent of procedures are performed on men, or approximately 1 million surgeries. And we’re seeing more men embracing plastic surgery as these numbers comprise a gain of 106 percent since 1997.
In addition to liposuction, tummy tucks and breast augmentations, breast lifts and blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, round out the top five procedures most commonly performed on women. For men, the top five surgeries they most often turn to are liposuction, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, ear surgery and gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is the removal of excess breast tissue in males, which occurs from an increase in estrogen typically seen during puberty and middle age. The most common nonsurgical procedure for women is Botox, while for men it is hair restoration.
Knowing what’s right for you
The age in which to undergo a cosmetic procedure, and the procedure that is right for you, is best decided after careful consideration and consultation with a highly trained plastic surgeon. Together, you can discuss the goals you hope to achieve and create a treatment plan that will best achieve those goals. A well-respected surgeon will inform you of what you can reasonably expect your results to be, and have you on the road to a new you in no time.
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