I’ll Have What She’s Having: Boomers and Cosmetic Surgery

Posted on February 28, 2011


Whether you are planning your next round of Botox or are satisfied with your face looking more and more like a road map of Pennsylvania, the statistics are undeniable: Boomers are having cosmetic surgery in record numbers.  According to www. cosmeticsurgery.org, “Baby Boomers Keep Cosmetic Procedures on the Rise.”  The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that 13.1 million cosmetic surgery procedures, including both minimally-invasive or surgical categories, were performed in the United States in 2010, up 5 percent from 2009.  Reuters reports that patients in their 50s tended to go for the more invasive procedures such as facelifts, while those in their mid-40s opted for Botox and fillers.  Most of those in the second group said they would have facelifts as soon as they were finished paying for their kids’ college tuitions.

Facelifts, liposuction, eyelid surgery, Botox and line fillers top the list of popular procedures. Eyelid lifts, technically referred to as “blepharoplasty,” went up 42% from 2009 to 2010. Calling an eyelid lift a blepharoplasty is preferred by doctors, as it is much more physiologically accurate and will add an average of $1500 to the cost of the procedure.  Blepharoplasty is not to be confused with “bleb,” which is a blister or pustule.  A bleb, in fact, was recently featured on Grey’s Anatomy, when it took over the entire bottom three floors of Grace Memorial Hospital, then spilled out into the street and consumed most of Seattle.

Facelifts still reign as the ultimate, full tilt boogie procedure for Boomers.  There are various kinds of facelifts: the full lift, the midline facelift, the S lift, the mini-lift, the Lifestyle Lift, and whatever that thing was that happened between John Travolta and Nicholas Cage when they traded their entire faces in the film Face/Off.  Non-surgical “facelifts” include the Featherlift, the Threadlift, and the Forklift: There is little down time to non-surgical procedures, allowing most people to start denying much sooner that they had any work done.

Job competition is prompting many men age 45 and over to turn to non-surgical cosmetic treatments.  And in the category of  minimally invasive procedures, men are having more procedures done than women.

The good news is that some procedures are covered by insurance.  For example, if your eyesight is impaired by drooping lids, an eyelid lift might be a freebie.  But, unless you are tripping on them, the same cannot be said for forms of droop that occur anywhere below the neck area. With most procedures, you’ll have to first pass the buck, if you want the surgeon to pass the scalpel.