83-Year-Old Gets Breast Implants to Keep Up With Kids


Plastic Surgery Can't Work Miracles

Plastic surgery can't turn back the clock completely, according to Rowe. "But it makes you look more refreshed. It also helps if someone takes care of themselves."

Sometimes he turns patients away for unrealistic expectations and other times for medical conditions that might put them at risk. Rather than doing facial and body surgery all in one long procedure, he can "stagger" them over time. "I might wait two or three months to do the nose and eyes."

He understands society's current fascination with plastic surgery, which now includes even the oldest Americans.

"Yes, there is an obsession with being young," said Rowe. "You don't need a plastic surgeon to tell you that. Just switch the TV and watch the 'Housewives of Orange County.' Look at the advertisements and sex on TV."

Still, breast enhancement surgery for seniors is not that common, according to Dr. Julius W. Few, a plastic surgeon and director of the Few Institute For Aesthetic Surgery in Chicago.

"Many women who have the financial means or may have saved their entire lives for a procedure," he said. One of his patients, a 71-year-old, had breast enhancement surgery she had always dreamed about after her husband died.

"She was getting ready to do it, her husband took ill," said Few. "She cared for him for the last decade of his life and didn't feel comfortable during his recovery to treat herself. It's an uplifting story and that's a typical scenario."

Most often, they choose "modest enhancement," according to Few. "They are very small implants to the point that no one at their bridge club or bingo club would notice," he said. "They tend to be a very satisfied group with very little risk."

The most important consideration is a patient's psychological and general health, according to plastic surgeons.

Underlying medical conditions that could pose a risk are poorly controlled blood pressure or heart disease, diabetes, obesity or other underlying disease, primarily because of the anesthesia concerns.

Men too are seeking plastic surgery as the media -- and society -- attaches less stigma.

Gilbert Meyer, a Florida widower who is "over 75," spent more than $8,000 on plastic surgery to lift the sagging skin around his neck.

"I looked at myself in the mirror and the jowls were starting to fall a bit," said the former filmmaker and consultant from Boca Raton.

Although his girlfriend is 12 years his junior, Meyer said it was less about sex than self-esteem. "I'm in great shape," he said.

"Money is tight because I am on a fixed budget, but it was worth it," said Meyer, who has a healthy 185 pounds on his 6-foot, 1-inch frame. "Yeah, I'd rather have done that than take a cruise."

Now in his eighth decade, Meyer said he has a full social life, playing golf, dancing and dining with his "significant other."

"At the time she was supportive and it didn't make a major different in my looks," he said. "I personally would notice, but nobody else."

As for Kolstad, she said her late husband, a building contractor, would have been supportive of her choice.

"Any kind of plastic surgery is expensive, but now I am free and don't have as many obligations," she said. "I don't know how long I'll live, but it's something I did in my lifetime that was my choice and I am pleased."

This week Kolstad is on vacation with her "second family," the Sperrys, in Hawaii, and they hope her recent breast surgery will give her the confidence boost she needs to perhaps find love again.

"Marie always looks good and has got on her make-up and has her hair done," said 57-year-old businessman Rand Sperry. "It's hard to believe she is 83. I think she'd jump out of a plane if she thought it was fun."

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