Rolling Back the Clock

Will a trip to the plastic surgeon really leave you looking years younger?

Americans lined up for 1.5 million cosmetic surgery procedures in 2011. Nose reshaping, eyelid surgeries and facelifts were particularly popular.

Researchers wanted to find out what kind of results people got for their money. They included 60 volunteers aged 45-72 who had opted to have different types of plastic surgery.

Some had a face and neck lift, others had work done on their eyes and one group had both procedures plus a forehead lift. Everyone volunteered for before and after pictures.

A panel of young people, who were all first year medical students, tried to guess the age of each plastic surgery participant. Before the surgery, judges guessed that the participants were about two years younger than their actual age. After the surgery, the participants looked nearly nine years younger than their actual age.

As a result, plastic surgery appeared to turn the clock back by 7.2 years and surgery seemed to have the biggest age reducing effect for people who opted for all the procedures.

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