August 6th, 2013
A recently published study had 50 raters look at pictures of 49 patients, ages 42-73 who had facelift, brow lift, or eyelid surgery. The raters were then asked to estimate the patients’ ages. The findings resulted in an estimated age 2.1 years younger than the person’s actual chronological age before surgery and 5.2 years younger after plastic surgery. It concluded that the overall difference from opting to have these cosmetic procedures was 3.1 years.
I think it’s important to recognize that plastic surgery is not about taking years off of your appearance. I tell my patients that it is about looking and feeling better about yourself. I have had many cases where the surgery improved much more than the person’s overall appearance. It brings me great pride to hear my patients talk about how a cosmetic surgery procedure has boosted their self confidence.
This study has appeared in many major news publications and I think it’s important for my patients to understand trying to put a number on how much time a cosmetic procedure takes off your appearance is irrelevant. It is more important to consider how having a certain procedure makes you feel rather than quantifying how many years younger a study says you look. Patients opt to have these cosmetic procedures to look better, not necessarily younger. My goal as a plastic surgeon is to improve my patient’s appearance and maintain congruity in the face. When plastic surgery is performed to an extreme degree, the results tend to look odd rather than better. If you have any questions or concerns about this topic, please feel free to contact my office.