50 Isn’t Fatal: How Plastic Surgery Adds Decades of Youth and Beauty

In the past, the only way to look younger was to reach the point where you needed surgery to reverse the signs of aging. But new products and advances in technology over the last decade have reversed our philosophy and approach to facial rejuvenation. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until you need a face lift to start thinking about your face. Today the goal is to prevent and maintain so that you look like your young, beautiful self for as long as possible. 

Skin care, injectables, and energy-based treatments have enabled us to delay face lift surgery until 60 or even 65 for some people. How do you know when you’re ready for a face lift? The answer varies depending on the individual, but the key is to partner with an experienced professional who can present a broad range of options for all ages and stages.

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Transcript

Doreen Wu (00:00):
Welcome to another episode of Park Avenue Plastic Surgery Class, the podcast where we explore controversies and breaking issues in plastic surgery. I’m your co-host Doreen Wu. I’m excited to be here with Dr. Lawrence Bass Park Avenue plastic surgeon, educator, and technology innovator. The title of today’s episode is 50 Isn’t Fatal: How Plastic Surgery Adds Decades of Youth and Beauty 50, or the big 5-0 has always been a watershed period in aging and beauty, a point beyond which people looked like older adults what’s changed

Dr. Lawrence Bass (00:37):
Well before in the old days. So to speak, everything was surgery and everything was surgery to restore. Um, at least when it came to aging changes, and what we have now is a whole range of surgical and especially non-surgical treatments that are designed to prevent and maintain the face, not just to restore our aging changes. So that just completely changes the playing field when you have to wait for everything to fall apart, and then try to pull it back up. That’s a very different process than taking someone who still looks young and maintaining their appearance. And when you stop and think about it, that’s really the ideal. We don’t want you to look old and then suddenly have work done on Friday and go back Monday morning, looking 20 years younger, we want you to just keep looking young, like your own beautiful self for as long as possible.

Doreen Wu (01:46):
You said that before it was all surgery, what was the typical course in the past?

Dr. Lawrence Bass (01:52):
So when I first went into practice, which is between 25 and 30 years ago, typical facelift age for many folks was 50 years old. And that 50, you know, in the old days, the saying was “50’s over the hill,” because you’re more than halfway through your reasonable lifespan at 50 years. Uh, so you’ve passed the hill and you’re on the slide downward. And that was often an age where people took stock and said, okay, I’m going to get the facelift and clear everything up. Because of all of the prevention and maintenance treatments, all of the nonsurgical options, we can now push off that period. And a more typical facelift age in 2022 is 60 years old, or even somewhere in the sixties, you know, up to say 65 years old. And that’s a much more typical age and we’ve talked about these statistics a few times on the podcast, but just as a bird’s eye view of what’s going on, that’s the big change.

Doreen Wu (03:04):
What’s the approach now with these new options.

Dr. Lawrence Bass (03:08):
Now it’s really about a program, uh, employing a few of the most needed options at the right time for each individual based on what’s happening with their face and, and their aging changes. So we don’t want to do everything. We don’t want this to be a full-time job, but it is a process. And again, I’ve said this on the podcast before beauty is a process. It’s not an event. And so by doing a few judicious things along the way, we can actually get a big delay in the need to pull a trigger on a big item, like a facelift.

Doreen Wu (03:46):
Yeah, that’s a, that’s a great way of putting it, having this multifaceted program with various treatment modalities and different procedures. Speaking of modalities, can you tell us about some of these new approaches?

Dr. Lawrence Bass (03:59):
So what you need to use or incorporate in your beauty plan is a little different at different ages. Uh, it’s more or less oriented towards prevention and then some maintenance of small things that you’ve restored so that you don’t have to circle back and restore again until it’s absolutely necessary. So the starting place for all of this is going to be skin products, and this is what almost everybody should be using on their skin, starting in their twenties, certainly in their thirties, just to protect the skin and to help keep the skin healthy and youthful. So that’s going to make a big difference early in the game, as you go forward. And a little bigger intervention is necessary. You’re starting to work more now with your plastic surgeon in the office and their team receiving skincare. That’s more medical, including chemical peels and various energy-based treatments. And then working up to injectable fillers and neuromodulators like Botox, Dysport, Jeaveau, Xeomin.

Doreen Wu (05:19):
So what is the big message now, because I’m always hearing about the next best thing or some important aesthetic problem in TV commercials and magazine articles?

Dr. Lawrence Bass (05:30):
Well, of course, you know, these things are really advertisements where they’re discussing a particular technology or modality and trying to showcase what, what it’s good for or what it’s doing. That’s, that’s a step forward and in advance and those things are great. Uh, but the important thing to realize is that the messaging for those kind of things is all coming from big companies, they’re promoting their products. And they’re trying to target that messaging at, at the optimum demographic, the right age group, the right circumstances, those individuals who are consuming their product, or they perceive are going to consume their product, or who would get the most benefit from it. And you can see it in the TV commercials and magazine ads with the models that they use to represent, uh, the target audience. And if you look like that target audience, then that’s great, but it’s not for everybody.

Doreen Wu (06:39):
Yes. I’ve definitely seen that. So how does that affect things?

Dr. Lawrence Bass (06:44):
Well, everyone looks at that message, not just the people who look like the models in the ad, but people who are younger than that, people who are decades older than that sweet spot demographic are looking at the message all age groups and all kinds of skin types. And there may be a role for these treatments for everybody, but it may not be a mainstream treatment for where you are in the aging process. In other words, you may not be that sweet spot demographic. So it doesn’t mean the technology is not useful, or you shouldn’t consider getting it, but you listen to the message and you think they’re talking to you, this is the main thing you should be worrying about or doing. And that may not be correct either because you’re not that mainstream demographic for the product. You’re 40 years older than that. If you’re 75 and they’re targeting a 35 year old, which is a typical demographic for a lot of aesthetic technologies that you see advertised, then you know, that message is really not intended for you.

Dr. Lawrence Bass (07:52):
The other thing is that what you’re looking at may not be a feature that’s critically important to you. You know, they may be talking about your elevens or, uh, or your bunny lines or some other feature on your face, and you may say, “oh, that doesn’t really bother me.” So if it doesn’t really bother you, the technology that fixes it is not very important for you as an individual. So it’s taking the general knowledge about aesthetic technologies and trying to distill it into your individual needs based on your concerns, aesthetically, and based on where you are in the aging process,

Doreen Wu (08:34):
Which leads me to wonder with this constant influx of messaging and advertisement, how do I decide, how do I get started?

Dr. Lawrence Bass (08:43):
Well, you know, reading about things on the internet and reading in magazines and talking to your friends is, is a good way to gather information and gather questions, but that’s only the start. And of course the real planning ideally is done in conjunction with your aesthetic provider. You get an experienced plastic surgeon who has a broad range of modalities. They have surgical modalities and they have non-surgical modalities. So whatever is a good fit for you, either based on where you are in the aging process, or based on your personal preferences, uh, they’re able to offer you the appropriate option. And then you intersect your knowledge and your aesthetic goals with that provider’s experience so that they can advise you, that’s a big part of what you’re paying for when you seek the care of a physician, is that professional, great knowledge that they’ve spent decades acquiring.

Dr. Lawrence Bass (09:51):
So take advantage of that and let them share that with you to help you plan where you should go. And then from there, ideally if you find someone who’s a good fit, you try to stick with that provider and you and the plastic surgeon watch together your response to treatments and adjust your, your beauty plan as you age, or based on what works and what doesn’t, what agrees with your skin and what doesn’t. And you only change things. Once you get a good plan, when something stops working, you’ve aged some, and you need to go to another level of treatment,

Doreen Wu (10:30):
Right. And what kind of program should I start with? Where does it go from there?

Dr. Lawrence Bass (10:35):
Well, you know, there are all kinds of different things. And, and of course it depends on how old you are, what your skin is like, uh, and how you fared in the aging process. So early on, you’re looking for good medicated skin products that are going to help support, not just protect the skin, which, which any good quality product will, but the medicated skin products will actually modulate the biology of the skin in a favorable way, getting it to behave more youthful or overcoming some problem, pigment, redness, something else that’s going on in the skin. So that’s always a starting place, but you pick a small selection of treatments that you space out appropriately across a year, so that it’s not a, an overwhelming project so that the skin is always getting a little care and maintenance. And it’s very much like what we do with our teeth. You know, we all know we’ve gotta brush our teeth, or we’re not going to keep our teeth for very long, but we also need to periodically see the hygienist and let them pick up whatever built up and let the dentist give a check up on the teeth and gums, and maybe fix a few things if, if something is starting to, to get in trouble. So the same kind of process, which needs to be customized for where you are, your stage of aging is, is critical to the approach here.

Doreen Wu (12:06):
Well, I, for one, am happy to know that I have many options at my fingertips, and won’t have to look worn out at 50. Thank you to our listeners for joining us today, to hear this discussion about the array of treatments being used to treat aging concerns. I hope you found this episode as informative and interesting as I did. If you think of other exciting developments in plastic surgery that you would like us to discuss in upcoming episodes, please reach out by email or Instagram. We’ll see you next time. This is Doreen Wu. Thanking you for joining Dr. Bass and me for this discussion of how plastic surgery has given us many ways to ensure that turning 50 is most definitely not fatal. Be sure to tune in next time. And don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast, to stay up-to-date with all of the exciting content that is coming your way.

Speaker 3 (12:53):
Thank you for joining us in this episode of the Park Avenue Plastic Surgery Class podcast with Dr. Lawrence Bass Park Avenue plastic surgeon, educator, and technology innovator. The commentary in this podcast represents opinion. This podcast does not present medical advice, but rather general information about plastic surgery that does not necessarily relate to the specific conditions of any individual patient. No doctor-patient relationship is established by listening to or participating in this podcast, consult your physician to advise you about your individual healthcare. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with your friends and be sure to subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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