Grammys, Oscars and Emmys send me running to the mirror, those near-perfect faces and bodies making me reassess whether I need “redoing” from head to toe to keep up with (fill in the celebrity name). I’m not suggesting everyone run out and “have work done” by any means, but numbers show some of us are. It “seems” to be especially prevalent here in Orange County.
Recession or not, The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reported in February that cosmetic plastic surgery procedures increased 5 percent last year over 2009—Americans sprang for 13.1 million minimally-invasive or surgical procedures. Last year’s report showed them down 1 percent over 2008.
All in the Details
Nationally, said ASPS, cosmetic surgical procedures increased 2 percent, with nearly 1.6 million procedures in 2010. The top five:
- Breast augmentation (296,000)
- Nose reshaping (252,000)
- Eyelid surgery (209,000)
- Liposuction (203,000)
- Tummy tuck (116,000)
- Facelifts (113,000)
Cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures increased 5 percent, with nearly 11.6 million procedures in 2010. The count:
- Botulinum toxin type A (5.4 million)
- Soft tissue fillers (1.8 million)
- Chemical peel (1.1 million)
- Laser hair removal (938,000)
- Microdermabrasion (825,000)
Is That Really Me?
“Being a boomer myself, I’ve drunk from the fountain of youth,” says Derrick Antell, M.D., a spokesperson for ASPS. Prior to turning 60, he was tired of people telling him he looked tired, so he underwent eyelid surgery—a blepharoplasty—and no, he didn’t do his own. “It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done, other than marry my wife,” he says.
He talks openly about his procedure, a quality he shares with Joan Rivers, other celebrities, and regular folks who desire change even though they’re not on the big screen. “In the digital age when you go to a wedding and see your photo later, you may not be so pleased,” says Antell, who suggests the antidote.
Many patients choose plastic surgery as a lifetime investment “that pays forever returns,” he says. The short scar facelift or rhytidectomy is a frequent choice of boomers: a curved “S” incision near the sideburns, often combined with a small incision under the chin. It’s not a minor procedure, but facelifts were up in 2010, having not experienced growth since 2007.
Facing Facelift Fears
“You see improvements very quickly, plus it can improve your competitiveness in the job market. There’s only so much you can get with injectables,” he says.
Plastic surgeons often see a reticent category of patient called the ABS (anything but surgery) holdout. It’s normal to have fear, says the surgeon, but with “better methods, much more gentle done under sedation,” a fairly “big” procedure may not seem so intimidating, especially if you focus on results.
Whatever procedure you choose, make certain you also choose a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Choose your surgeon carefully, says ASPS.
*Tip: Teaching hospitals at major medical facilities often offer discounted fees between 25 and 30 percent. Among those that do, UCLA and University of Maryland.