People in their 40s, 50s and 60s are well into middle age, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to give up on their looks. Experts believe that many people have delayed cosmetic surgery because of the struggling economy and will delay no longer as things improve.
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgeons, the number of people seeking anti-aging procedures such as facelifts and eyelid lifts is on the rise. Demand for noninvasive procedures such as Botox and fillers rose dramatically in the past two years.
The most popular procedures being done these days are liposuction, eyelid surgery, breast implants, nose jobs, facelifts and Botox injections. Following are brief descriptions of various cosmetic surgery procedures along with expected recovery times.
Liposuction, or body sculpting, removes stubborn pockets of fat such as saddlebags and love handles. The surgeon vacuums out the fat through a small incision. Recovery time: a few days, depending on how much fat is removed.
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, removes bagginess and tightens loose skin around eyelids. Swelling usually subsides in a week; bruising clears up in a week to 10 days.
Breast implants are saline-filled bags slid between your breast tissue and chest muscles or between your chest muscles and chest wall. Recovery time is a few days to a week.
A facelift stretches sagging skin up toward your scalp, tightening and smoothing it. Bruising fades in about two weeks; swelling may last longer. Recovery time for returning to your normal routine is two weeks.
Botox injections smooth frown lines and wrinkles around the eyes. The procedure paralyzes the muscles in the forehead. There is no recovery time, but the results are not permanent, usually lasting three to four months.
Predictions for 2011
Board certified plastic surgeons that are members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) predict the following for 2011:
- As the number of people having gastric bypass increases, the number of patients seeking body contouring (abdominoplasty, lower body lift, upper arm lifts) following dramatic weight loss will also increase.
- Many women who have aging breast implants will replace them and have breast lifts.
- The popularity of cosmetic surgery will continue to grow among minorities. Among racial/ethnic groups, cosmetic surgery is most popular among Asians, followed by Hispanics and African-Americans.
- The popularity of cosmetic injectables (Botox, Dysport, Sculptra, Radiesse, Evolence, Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane, etc.) will continue to increase as products evolve and new ones are developed.
- Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez have made a shapely rear-end the latest must-have accessory. This year, more patients will seek posterior body lifts, buttock lifts and buttock augmentations.
- Liposuction will continue to be the gold standard in fat reduction, but there will be interest in experimental techniques for non-invasive fat removal (freezing, zapping, lasering) as a future alternative or adjunct to surgery.
- As the popularity of non-surgical and minimally-invasive procedures continues to increase, surgeons and manufacturers will develop new techniques and products that advance science, produce better results and shorten recovery time.
Finally, the physicians of the ASAPS advise anyone considering cosmetic procedures to do plenty of research on risks, benefits and patient outcomes, especially if the technique or product is new to the market.
Cinderella and The Perfect Ten
Blame it on Carrie Bradshaw.
Despite stern warnings from orthopedic and podiatric groups, more women are having cosmetic surgery on their feet. Their goal? Looking good in sandals and Jimmy Choos, of course.
It all began about the same time Sex and the City debuted in 1998 and is becoming more popular as new procedures are developed.
The menu of cosmetic foot procedures includes a trademarked “Cinderella procedure,” a preventive bunion correction that makes feet narrower. Some women have foot fat removed, making high heels look and fit better; others have fat removed from their abdomen and added to the balls of their feet so heels feel better.
For sandal and open-toe shoe wearers, there is a Perfect 10 procedure to invisibly trim overlong toes or lengthen short, stubby ones.
Those who don’t want an invasive cosmetic procedure can opt for a “foot facial” that includes microdermabrasion, chemical peel and toenail whitening.
It should be noted that the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society and other medical groups strongly oppose any type of cosmetic surgery on feet. The human foot has 33 bones and many tendons, making any foot surgery potentially risky. These doctors believe potential risks of surgery to improve the appearance of the feet far outweigh the potential benefits.
Foot doctors also observe that many painful foot conditions are self-inflicted. A significant number of their female patients suffer from “high heel syndrome” caused by years of wearing shoes designed for sex appeal rather than foot comfort and support.
A recent study done by a doctor at the University of Southern California found that an astounding 88 percent of women wear shoes that are one or even two sizes too small for their feet.
Cosmetic Dentistry: A Reason to Smile
People with bad teeth once had few options other than not smiling in photographs. Today, thanks to development of sophisticated, high tech and affordable procedures, dentists can tackle almost any problem.
People who are confident about their looks are usually more successful in their personal and professional lives, and nothing boosts the confidence like a great smile. A full menu of procedures is available to give you the healthy, attractive smile that nature did not. Procedures range from gentle reshaping of chipped teeth to full replacement of teeth.
Development of better dental materials means treatments are more durable and natural looking. More dentists are using technologies such as lasers to perform cosmetic procedures in their offices without referral to a specialist.
The menu of cosmetic dental procedures available to today’s patients include:*
- Inlays/Onlays – The use of porcelain or composite materials to provide filling for teeth with tooth decay or other structural damage.
- Composite bonding – A composite material which looks like enamel is applied into a cavity or onto the surface of a tooth.
- Teeth whitening – The most commonly recommended cosmetic dentistry procedure, bleach is used to whiten the teeth.
- Dental veneers – Composite or porcelain laminates are bonded to the surface of a tooth to correct chips, cracks or severe tooth discoloration.
- Dental implants – Replacement of missing teeth with prosthetic teeth.
- Smile makeover – The dentist does a comprehensive assessment of your smile and makes recommendations to improve your “smile esthetics.”
- Full mouth reconstruction – Treatments which correct functional problems with your bite, muscles, teeth or bone structure.
The internet is a wonderful resource for people considering cosmetic dental procedures. Websites of dentists who offer cosmetic dentistry give the latest information about specific procedures. Some websites offer videos and the opportunity to ask questions.