The saying about old age being no place for sissies–most often attributed to Bette Davis–is so right. Along with more serious issues some women develop as the years pass, comes sagging of muscles, skin and fat as body tissues inevitably lose the battle with gravity.
Life Many women are content to take good care of themselves and let nature take its course. Others intervene using non-invasive weapons like a prescription-strength skin care regimen and perhaps a little Botox. If neither of these approaches is aggressive enough for you, you may be a candidate for fighting back with a lift.
Here are the most popular plastic surgery “lifting” procedures women choose to combat the effects of gravity:
Eyelid lift: If you believe droopy eyelids make you look old and tired, you’re in good company. Blepharoplasty, as doctors refer to it, is the third most popular cosmetic surgery procedure. The operation removes excess skin from the upper eyelid to open up the eyes and restore an alert, youthful look. If you choose to have surgery on the lower lids as well, you can get rid of that puffy look too. Recovery is most often pretty easy, with patients experiencing scratchy, sore eyes for a day or two and bruising that fades over several days. Surgeon’s fees for blepharoplasty are around $2,700 (not including anesthesia, surgical facility costs and so on.)
Brow lift: Some women who consult a plastic surgeon about facial aging are surprised when their doctor recommends a brow lift. It’s just not easy to tell that, in many cases, the effects of gravity on the face start up at the hairline. A skilled plastic surgeon will be able to show you exactly what is making you look older than you feel, and it just could be a droopy brow. If you decide to undergo a brow lift, or forehead lift, there are a variety of techniques your surgeon may use to pull your skin up and anchor it in a more attractive position without giving you visible scars or a look of permanent surprise. You may have a headache for a couple of days after surgery, but other than that recovery is relatively smooth. Surgeon’s fees for a forehead lift average about $3,300.
Facelift: Though it’s not for lack of trying, researchers still have not come up with a way to rejuvenate the face that’s as effective and long lasting as a facelift. Of course, you will pay your plastic surgeon around $6,900 for a traditional facelift, and it will be one to two weeks before you feel ready to be seen in public. You can opt for less invasive treatment, such as dermal fillers, but you’ll be returning to your doctor’s office a couple of times a year for repeat injections. Surface treatment, like chemical peels, Thermage and fractional lasers, can also make your skin look younger. But none of these techniques actually reverses the effects of gravity, especially on your cheeks, jowls and neck.
Saved My Life Breast lift: Gravity is cruel when it comes to the bust line—even more so for women with large breasts. Sagging breasts contribute to an old, frumpy look in two ways: they hug your chest wall and lie low instead of projecting outward in their formerly perky manner, and they probably cause you to wear baggier clothing. Should you decide to have your breasts lifted, in a procedure called mastopexy, your plastic surgeon will make a lollipop or anchor incision around your nipples and down, excising a “V” of skin from below and boosting your breasts back higher. You’ll need to rest for a couple of days, then gradually add light activities back into your routine. Most women can return to work in a week. Mastopexy costs around $4,400 in surgeon’s fees.
There are other plastic surgery procedures that help patients do battle with gravity: arm lifts and thigh lifts are two. But those are less commonly performed and most often chosen by people who have lost massive amounts of weight. If you feel your age is starting to show and you don’t like it, you do have the option to visit an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon for help in the war on gravity.