Las Vegas, NV | Has Age Brought You More Than Wisdom? | Plastic Surgery Vegas
Paula Francis: Tonight in Your Health at Five from wrinkles to saddlebags. If age has brought you more than wisdom, you're not alone. Baby boomers are turning to plastic surgery in record numbers as you'll see in this Eye witness News Extra.
Gazelle Anson: Tell me what you're thinking.
Connie S.: This, I would like all of this neck to go away.
Paula Francis: As Connie Sartain approaches 50, her feelings about cosmetic surgery have changed.
Connie S.: I'm a retired hippie and we grew up thinking, just do whatever you got to do, let it all hang out, be relaxed. It doesn't matter. It's what you are, not who you are and all that fun stuff, and I definitely have changed. I'm going to go kicking and screaming.
Paula Francis: With a facelift, she wants to reverse the effects of time.
Gazelle Anson: I think what you can realistically expect is that.
Connie S.: I'll do that.
Paula Francis: Cosmetic surgery has increased 47% among 51 to 64 year olds since 1996 just as baby boomers started crossing the half century mark. Las Vegas plastic surgeon, Gazelle Anson sees the trend firsthand.
Gazelle Anson: I think the numbers have increased among baby boomers, partly because they're healthier than their parents' generation, and I think they want their appearance to reflect that.
Paula Francis: Procedure's range from tummy tucks to nose jobs. Patients usually pay for it themselves since medical insurance rarely covers cosmetic surgery. Nationally, the most popular technique is liposuction. It removes the localized fat pockets on the body. Costs range from $3,000 to $7,000, eye lid surgery takes away bags and wrinkles on the upper and lower eyelids for about $3,000, and a traditional facelift tightens loose skin and sagging jowls for $6000 to $9,000. Connie hopes to turn back the clock only so far.
Connie S.: I don't want to look 25, but I would like to look good for my age, and at the end of the day I go home and I look in the mirror, and I look tired, and I don't want to look tired anymore because I'm not. I just look like it.
Paula Francis: Talking with your doctor about the pros and cons of any procedure is a must.
Gazelle Anson: With a faceless you can expect to look pretty bad for about two weeks. And you tend to get a little bit of bruising in the neck as well. You'll be swollen.
Connie S.: How long will I hurt?
Gazelle Anson: There's minimal pain actually. You'll be uncomfortable for three, four days.
Paula Francis: But patients do feel tightness.
Gazelle Anson: This is going to be very tight in the neck and it'll feel unnaturally tight, but that will soften up very quickly.
Paula Francis: Scars are a reality too.
Gazelle Anson: You will have a scar. It is always there. It will fade with time, but it is a permanent feature, and if somebody hunts for them, they're going to find them.
Paula Francis: But on the day before surgery, Connie is ready. She's taking two weeks off from work to recuperate and thinks the results will be well worth it.
Connie S.: I want it to look like I've had a very nice vacation.
Paula Francis: Women aren't the only ones who undergo plastic surgery these days. Men make up about 9% of patients. The most popular procedures for men are liposuction, eyelid surgery, nose reshaping, breast reduction and facelift. The top five procedures for women are liposuction, breast augmentation, eye lid, surgery, facelift, and chemical peels.
Paula Francis: Coming up on eyewitness news at six, we'll see how Connie's facelift came out-
Speaker 4: Oh, yeah. I want to see the after.
Paula Francis: And how she felt about it. Yeah.
Speaker 4: Very good. All right.
Speaker 5: You've seen this local woman make the decision to have cosmetic surgery. Will she be happy with the results? Don't miss Paula's next report on Eyewitness News at six.
Paula Francis: Even if you exercise and eat right, when it comes to aging, gravity always wins, but now baby boomers are fighting back with the helping hands of plastic surgeons as we see in this Eyewitness News Extra.
Paula Francis: It's 7:00 AM, and Connie Sartain is taking the plastic surgery plunge.
Connie S.: I want to look better for my age. I truly, I don't want to walk out of here looking 25. I don't want to walk out of here looking 30.
Paula Francis: The 47 year old is getting a facelift and laser resurfacing on her lower eyelids. Two popular procedures Las Vegas, plastic surgeon, Gazelle Anson performs.
Gazelle Anson: I think cosmetic surgery is not for everybody, but for a lot of people, when you feel youthful, you want to look the same way.
Paula Francis: In Connie's case, she's tired of looking tired.
Connie S.: I would like this part of me to be, not look tired and my eyes, actually, I think my eyes are okay until I smile and then I wrinkled from, there you go. See, they're all there. They show.
Paula Francis: But plastic surgery is no day at the spa. Connie undergoes general anesthesia for the entire three hour procedure. The first incision is made under Connie's chin to tighten her platisma neck muscle.
Gazelle Anson: Over time, you develop these bands. And then you tend to get a [inaudible 00:04:48] between those bands.
Paula Francis: Then cuts are made behind Connie's ears and in front of them as well as along her hairline.
Gazelle Anson: Through that incision we literally tighten the underlying structures and then re-drap the skin and remove the excess.
Paula Francis: Five days later Connie's first stitches are ready to come out.
Gazelle Anson: And you just got a little bit of yellow discoloration in the cheeks, and you really really look terrific. A little bruising there but not bad at all.
Paula Francis: Overall, Connie says she feels good, but is glad she took two weeks off from work to recover.
Connie S.: This isn't something you do on the weekend and go back to work on Monday. Believe me.
Paula Francis: Almost a month after surgery, Connie is back for a checkup.
Gazelle Anson: Well, you're healing beautifully.
Paula Francis: She still has some pinkness under her eyes from the laser resurfacing.
Gazelle Anson: ... will last another six to eight weeks.
Connie S.: I was going to ask you about that.
Gazelle Anson: It'll fade slowly.
Paula Francis: Pictures taken before the surgery document the dramatic difference between then and now.
Connie S.: I'm a very energetic person. I'm always going, I'm moving fast and I'm not the tired person that's in those pictures.
Paula Francis: A facelift can turn the clock back five or 10 years for most patients depending upon their age, genetics and skincare, but it's important to realize what procedures can and cannot do.
Gazelle Anson: Plastic surgery doesn't change one's life. It just makes me feel a little bit better about yourself.
Paula Francis: To Connie, the results are exactly what she hoped for.
Connie S.: I don't think I would ever do another one. I just feel that I will look better for my age no matter what it is at this point.
Paula Francis: Plastic surgeons perform more than 2 million cosmetic procedures a year from liposuction to collagen injections. It's important to do your homework before undergoing any procedure because they all have risks. One good resource for information about techniques and how to pick a doctor is the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. The group's website is plasticsurgery.org, and it's 800 telephone number is 1-800-635-0635.