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The Age Factor Optimum age for plastic surgery

Plastic surgery is no longer confined to middle-aged patients; the very young and the elderly are also considering cosmetic corrections. Is there an optimum age for each beautifying tech-nique?

“Timing is indeed a key factor in plastic surgery,” says Dr. János Gacs, plastic surgeon at Dr. Rose Private Hospital. “I met twenty-odd year old patients asking for lipo-suction, which is far too early in my opinion. On the other hand, an elderly lady was worried whether she was ready for a facelift already, while her skin was sagging so much that I had to talk her out of plastic surgery. "

"Age is a factor in what can and cannot be done, but each person is different, and that’s what really matters,” concludes doctor Gacs.

Having said that, we can establish an optimum age for certain methods by and large.

Forehead wrinkles
Method: Botox
Optimum age: 35+
Permanent wrinkles rarely show up conspicuously before the age of 40. Gestures bring out those lines, but Botox is recommended for crevices that are clearly visible only when the face is otherwise relaxed.

Eyes
Method: eyelid surgery
Optimum age: 40
Sagging eyelids and bags under the eyes is a topical issue for forty-somethings. Bags are caused by excess fatty tissue under the eyes. Some are genetically prone to the condition, but there is no need to worry, as plastic surgery can correct it suc-cessfully from 19 years on if need be.

Nose
Method: nose surgery
Optimum age: 20+
Surgery is an option as soon as facial bones stop growing – at the age of 18 in wom-en and 19 in men. From here on, the sooner the operation, the faster the regeneration. It is not recommended above 50, because the skin considerably loses its elasticity.

Face
Method: Facelift
Optimum age: 45
The mid-forties is the optimum age for a facelift, because the skin is still elastic enough, only minor corrections are necessary, so the result will be convincing and unnoticeable – as if the patient had had a long, relaxing, rejuvenating vacation. Naturally, facelift is possible earlier on and at a later age as well, but expect the best result at 45 or so.

Lips
Method: lip fill
Optimum age: 37+
Women ask for this procedure for two reasons: they either want more sensual lips, a bit like Angelina Jolie, or they want to counter the effect of aging, and restore their naturally shrinking lips a little bit. Either way, one should aim for natural looking lips, otherwise the patient ends up looking like Donald Duck.

Breasts
Method: implant
Optimum age: 25+
Method: breast lift
Optimum age: 40+
Modern implants can stay in place for 25-30 years if no complication arises. Above a certain age, however, implants are not enough, breast could do with a bit of lifting. We suggest that you wait for the procedure until you don’t plan to have any more babies.

Tummy
Method: abdominal plastic surgery Optimum age: 35+
Once again, having children is a milestone for this surgery, one has to wait until the end of pregnancies. This is no trifle, the patient has to be in good physical condition to undergo treatment. All in all, a fit 35-60 year-old is the usual patient for a tummy tightening.

Hips and thighs
Method: liposuction
Optimum age: 30-35
Below 30? Eat well and exercise, and you are sorted. The only exception at that age are women genetically prone to ‘breeches’: large amount of excess fat on the outer side of the thighs. The rule of thumb for liposuction is the same as any other method in plastic surgery: the younger the patient, the more easily the skin adapts to the new contour.

Good to know
Non-invasive beautifying procedures and plastic surgery are pushing the age boundaries. A comprehensive survey of AC Nielsen in 42 countries proves that today’s forty-year-olds are comparable to people in their midthirties of the previous generation. Middle age was considered fifty back then, now it is above sixty.