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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 March 2007, 01:44 GMT
Pensioners turn to plastic surgery
By Jane Elliott
Health reporter, BBC News

Joanne Dainton
Joanne had long been unhappy with the shape of her breasts
They are two of the most marked trends in modern Britain - an ageing population and a booming industry in cosmetic surgery.

So perhaps it should not be so much of a surprise that pensioners are turning to plastic surgery.

Joanne Dainton spent decades feeling unhappy with her breasts, before finally opting for plastic surgery as she approached 70.


As pensioners have more disposable income, youthful appearance is now proving more important - and many have the cash to spend after benefiting from a boom in property prices and good salary pension schemes.

As well as a breast uplift, Joanne, who appeared in the Persuaders and the Avengers, also had a tummy tuck to hide extensive scarring to her stomach following surgery.

I feel I've been let out of my personal prison
Joanne Dainton

"I was told repeatedly from a young age by my mother that I was a 'dumpling' and she referred to my breasts as cow's udders.

"I used to tape them up, even when I was modelling.

"I tried to hide my breasts as much as I possible. It affected my confidence deeply and I never let my husband see me naked," said Joanne, aged 71.


"I'm thrilled with the results - I now have no problem with letting my husband see my body and I feel I've been let out of my personal prison.

"To anyone who is unhappy about any part of their body and is considering plastic surgery, I would tell them to go for it.

"I was 69-years-old when I had my cosmetic surgery and I haven't looked back.

"I would warn people to be very careful and selective when choosing a surgeon - research them and their specialities and if possible go by recommendation."

She said that, since the breast surgery she has been able to wear strapless tops and dresses and that she has gone down two dress sizes since the tummy tuck.

"Before I had the surgery I went on a splurge and bought lots of nice new clothes, two sizes too small. Months later I was wearing them.

"I am very happy with my surgery and am going to have a light face-lift when I have saved up enough coppers.

"There is no reason why anybody should feel 90 and give up."

But she said it was possible to have too much surgery.

"Some celebrities have so many face-lifts they lose all movement in their faces."


Dalia Nield, consultant plastic surgeon and member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), who carried out Joanne's surgery, said she was not surprised by the findings.

"More and more I am approached by people like Joanne who want to achieve and maintain a youthful appearance - and these figures show just how much cosmetic surgery is becoming a viable option for people of all age groups wanting to improve their appearance.

My oldest face lift is 81 and oldest set of eyes 82
Douglas McGeorge, consultant plastic surgeon

"It is no longer just a celebrity or superstar option - but a real prospect for people who wish to change something that has affected their confidence, or to help them look as young as they feel.

"As long as the person is fit and healthy - which is established at a consultation and full examination - there is no reason why people in their 60s, 70s and even 80s can't consider cosmetic surgery.

"We have a growing population of pensioners - and for those who want to maintain a good appearance, ageing gracefully, the surgical options are there."

Douglas McGeorge, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS president-elect agreed: "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.

"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."

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