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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 March, 2005, 11:50 GMT
Grandparents turn to cosmetic ops
Elderly woman applying lipstick (generic image)
More elderly people are considering cosmetic surgery
It is grandparents rather than teenagers who are fuelling the growing demand for cosmetic surgery, doctors have said.

A survey by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) found the percentage of under 18s undergoing surgery remains low.

But they said they had seen an increase in the numbers of older people seeking treatment.

Surgeons reported people in their 70s and 80s coming in for treatment.

Older patients usually ask to 'turn back the clock'
Martin Kelly, consultant plastic surgeon

The BAAPS recorded 16,367 cosmetic procedures in 2004 - up from a total of 10,738 in 2003.

The vast majority (92%) were carried out on women - but cosmetic surgery is also growing in popularity among men.

'Teen talk'

Douglas McGeorge, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President-Elect, said: "Patients are presenting over a greater age range but we're seeing more from older age ranges than younger.

"My oldest face lift is 81 and oldest set of eyes 82. Although some teenagers do enquire about cosmetic surgery, I can't say that the numbers are large or noticeably increasing."

Adriaan Grobbelaar, a consultant plastic surgeon in London and BAAPS member, said he had only received two enquiries about cosmetic surgery from teenagers in the past six months.

One wanted a breast enlargement, the other rhinoplasty - a 'nose job'. But neither went through with surgery.

Mr McGeorge said: "Lots of kids may talk about it. But talking about cosmetic surgery is a long way from actually going and having it done yourself."

He said older people now had more money at their disposal and were increasingly likely to consider cosmetic surgery.

"We live in a well-off society where people now retire to start a new life.

"Social stigmas about cosmetic surgery are less common and as they feel young people want to look younger."

Martin Kelly, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS member, said: "Older patients usually ask to 'turn back the clock' - younger patients want to change their shape.

"But a number of senior patients have recently become more daring, and I believe largely because of the influence of happy younger patients they know, seeking to change their shape as well, having their nose done or breasts augmented."


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