More and more seniors are opting to reclaim a bit of their youth by undergoing plastic surgery procedures. From facelifts to liposuction, eyelid surgery and even breast implants, independent seniors are brushing aside concerns about age and taking advantage of the opportunities available to them.

While many believe age is just a number, others worry this surge in plastic surgery for seniors could be dangerous. They wonder, how old is too old for cosmetic procedures? And how do these procedures impact senior health?

Why Is Plastic Surgery On the Rise Among Seniors?

A 2010 consumer survey conducted by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery found that nearly 80 percent of seniors over the age of 65 would consider undergoing a cosmetic procedure. What’s more, statistics reveal the number of plastic surgery procedures actually performed on seniors has been on the rise in recent years. So what’s fueling this trend among older Americans and why is it likely to continue?

  • Economics. The National Council on Aging reports baby boomers are working longer. The group predicts by the year 2019, 40 percent of Americans age 55 and over will be working. In a recent survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 73 percent of women said they believed physical appearance and youthful looks played a part in hiring.
  • Attitude Changes. “In the old days, maybe 10 to 15 years ago, there was a real stigma about plastic surgery,” says Gregory Borah, MD, Professor and Chief Division of Plastic Surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey. That attitude has changed, making plastic surgery a more appealing option for those of all ages.
  • Longer Life Expectancy. Since the 1970s, life expectancy rates have been on the rise for both males and females, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today’s seniors are healthier and more active, and they want their physical self to more closely match their mental age. Many are turning to plastic surgery as a way to look as young as they feel.
  • Advancements in Technology and Techniques. Anesthesia is safer nowadays and surgical techniques have advanced. Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic reviewed the medical records of patients who had undergone facelifts during a three-year period and discovered complications occurred no more frequently in older patients than in younger ones.
  • Other Benefits. Older patients who undergo plastic surge