Cosmetic surgery boom for over-61s

LOOKING GOOD is no longer the domain of the young, a BUPA survey has revealed. Figures from BUPA Hospitals show that increasing numbers of older Brits are turning to cosmetic surgery.

The survey, based on information from BUPA’s 25 UK hospitals, showed that eight per cent of people undergoing procedures are over 61. What’s more, older men are embracing cosmetic surgery as much as women.

Last year, BUPA saw a 40 per cent increase in the number of people over 61 undergoing cosmetic surgery. In 2004, there was a growth of 37 per cent.

Top procedures for this age group are eye-lid reductions (38 per cent), facelifts (28 per cent) and breast reduction in women (eight per cent). This is closely followed by tummy tucks (six per cent), liposuction (five per cent) and also an increase in breast surgery for men.

Dr. Andrew Vallance-Owen, BUPA’s group medical director, said: “It’s not just about covering up grey hair anymore. With an ageing population and more emphasis on trying to look our best for longer, cosmetic surgery for those in their later years is likely to become more commonplace.

“While we welcome the silver surgery generation, we always advise our patients of the increased risk involved in surgery in later life, and ensure that people are equipped to make an informed decision.

“It is also vital that before undergoing any procedures, patients are given time to consider whether the operation is appropriate for them.”

Overall, the number of cosmetic surgery operations undertaken by hospitals for all age groups grew by over 22 per cent last year. The most popular procedure overall was breast enlargement. This now accounts for almost a third of all cosmetic procedures performed in BUPA’s hospitals.

Andrew said: “Last year, BUPA research revealed that cosmetic surgery is now a normal part of everyday life for British men and women. More than 80 per cent of women believe it is perfectly acceptable, while more men than ever are considering cosmetic surgery. A key reason for the increase is likely to be because cosmetic surgery doesn’t carry the same stigma it used to and people are happier talking about it with their friends and family.”