With people living longer than ever and baby boomers entering old age, look for plastic surgery among those 65 and older to continue its remarkable growth—84,685 procedures last year alone, reports the New York Times. “In my day, no one ever thought about breast enhancement or anything,” one 83-year-old widow tells the newspaper. “I find that you have to keep up your appearance physically, even if you just want a companion or someone to ask you to dinner."
But there are ethical and safety issues involved, as few studies have examined recovery and complication rates for plastic surgery in the elderly. “It’s one of those things that has crept up on us, and I think, as usual, we’ve embraced the technology before we’ve really embraced the ethical questions and dimensions,” says one medical ethicist. Face-lifts and eyelid operations accounted for more than half of the procedures in the age group last year.