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Summary: Are plastic surgery patients getting younger, or is it just your imagination? There’s certainly a fair amount of anecdotal evidence that this is indeed the case, that plastic surgery patients are younger than they used to be. This seems to be impacting the types of procedures that are gaining popularity–and at the same time, is influenced by those same procedures.

Are Plastic Surgery Patients Getting Younger These Days?

The age of plastic surgery patients tends to vary considerably based on the procedure. But some plastic surgeons have been noticing a trend, noticing that maybe plastic surgery patients themselves a bit more youthful than they used to be. But are plastic surgery patients getting younger in reality or is it just a perception of some kind?

And are younger patients engaging in the same basic kind of plastic surgery as their older counterparts? That’s a good question, too, because you would figure that younger patients are going to have different needs and desires than older patients.

Whether this trend is borne out by the data will be difficult to see, as this data isn’t necessarily easy to come by. But there is certainly some circumstantial evidence. And it’s worth looking into the trend, even if it’s not a very powerful movement. Are plastic surgery patients getting younger? It’s definitely a possibility. And it’s a reality for many surgeons in their offices today. What’s driving that change? Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities.

How Much Younger is Younger?

Of course, the question quickly becomes, “how much younger is… younger?” That is, when we talk about plastic surgery patients getting younger, how young are they, really? Some surgeons report that, a decade ago, the average age of a patient was somewhere between 40-49, whereas these days most patients check in between the ages of 30-39.

There’s a fair amount of confidence that individuals between the ages of 30-39 are indeed more interested in plastic surgery these days. There are several reasons for this. Some of it is cultural–we live in a world that idolizes youth (with wild variation across the globe, of course). And so it’s not surprising that people want to have more control over the way they look.

But there’s something to be said about how social media is changing the way we see ourselves. If you think about, your photo is more widely shared than ever before. You see it more often, others see it more often. And so it’s not shocking that the preponderance of selfies and sharing of images on social media would have a direct impact on the popularity of plastic surgery. Of course, it’s more complicated than that–but you can start to see the broad outlines.

What Do Younger Patients Want?

The other part of what’s going on here, I think, is that plastic surgery these days offers surgeons a lot more control. And that finesse means modern plastic surgery procedures can create very subtle, natural-looking results.

It shouldn’t be shocking, then, that many of the most popular procedures among patients age 30-39 are not procedures designed to rejuvenate. Instead, the most popular procedures these days are designed to address a self-described “flaw” or other issue. In other words, whereas older patients might want a facelift, younger patients are more likely to want a rhinoplasty.

That might help explain why younger patients are also more interested in procedures such as breast augmentation, tummy tuck, or liposuction. It’s interesting, because with social media being, well, everywhere, you’d expect facial procedures to skyrocket. But that hasn’t necessarily happened.

The Role Of Non Surgical Techniques

We also have to consider the role of non surgical techniques in this equation. Procedures such as Botox or dermal filler injections have become enormously popular. And there are plenty of patients who would call themselves Millennials.

These non surgical procedures are popular in large part because they produce subtle results (perfect for younger patients) and because they typically don’t take any time out of your day. You’re able to go in, get your injections, and return home all in the span of a typical lunch hour.

So, younger patients see that kind of timeline and figure they may as well use Botox for rejuvenation and surgery to make those substantial changes to the body they’ve been wanting for some time. You can easily see, then, how you might start to see a number of patients who are more interested in body contouring than facial rejuvenation.

Many Factors At Work

Ultimately, there are a whole host of factors at work that are helping to make plastic surgery more appealing to younger individuals. Whether this turns out to be a good thing in the long run or is more cause for concern remains to be seen. There are some legitimate concerns with younger groups wanting plastic surgery (no one who is thirty, for example, is really a good candidate for a facelift).

Are plastic surgery patients getting younger? That seems to be the reality. And it’s a reality we should discuss and be prepared for.


About the Author: Dan Voltz is a marketer who has been writing about plastic surgery for over four years. He’s constantly in communication with surgeons to ensure he’s getting the latest information. This article was written in conjunction with the offices of Dr. Michael Ogilvie, in Chicago.

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