Why Is Generation X Having More Cosmetic Procedures Than Any Other Age Group?


As each decade goes by at warp speed, plastic surgery has become a more widely acceptable option for aesthetic improvement, even for the youngest generation. Gone are the days of waiting until your golden years to visit the plastic surgeon. For Generation Xers, whose previous trip to the cosmetic surgeon may have been for a post-adolescence nose job or breast implants, the types of procedures they’re seeking now are helping them to turn back the clock and keep up with the selfie-obsessed generation. According to statistical data released by The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) in 2014, adults between the ages of 35 and 50 account for the most cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures—more than 40 percent of all procedures performed. That adds up to more than 4.2 million procedures, beating out Baby Boomers and Millennials for all the nips, tucks and injections happening in the U.S. These are the most common plastic surgery procedures requested by Generation Xers today.

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Tummy Tuck

Sometimes all the diet and exercise in the world can’t get rid of loose skin from weight fluctuation or the effects of pregnancy. More than half (nearly 53 percent) of all abdominoplasty surgeries, or tummy tucks, are performed on adults aged 35–50. A tummy tuck can improve sagging skin, stretch marks and even muscle separation for a more taught and toned tummy.

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Breast Lift

There’s no denying what the effects of gravity can do to natural breasts, and with skin changes, weight gain or loss and pregnancy, it’s no surprise that more than 50 percent of patients in this age group seek breast lift surgery to restore their breasts to a higher, more youthful position. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), breast lift surgery has increased by 70 percent since 2000, outpacing breast augmentation by two to one. 

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Liposuction has seen a 94 percent increase in popularity since 1997. With more than 46 percent of Gen Xers choosing this body contouring procedure to sculpt a more ideal shape, liposuction has beat out breast augmentation for the number-one most-requested surgical procedure. In addition to suction-assisted liposuction, there are now even more options for fat removal, including ultrasound-assisted, power-assisted and laser lipo to target fat from stubborn areas. 

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Breast Reduction

Gen Xers make up more than 43 percent of women seeking breast reductions for breasts that are too large and breasts that create medical problems like back issues, neck pain and skin rashes under the breasts. A breast reduction can help alleviate discomfort and increase self-esteem.   

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Breast Augmentation

Breast enhancement procedures used to be the most commonly performed plastic surgeries, but have now fallen below liposuction to second place. More than 37 percent of all breast augmentations are performed on women aged 35–50, which might seem low in comparison to the other cosmetic procedures on this list, but it makes sense when you consider that the number-one age group having breast augmentations are women ages 19–34. According to these numbers, it’s safe to assume that Gen Xers would have already had their breasts done by now and are more focused on nipping and tucking other parts of their bodies.

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Eyelid Surgery

With so many people seeking plastic surgery for preventive maintenance rather than corrective measures, it’s clear why 30 percent of people ages 35–50 choose eyelid rejuvenation to remove excess fat and wrinkling skin and address puffiness. Although this procedure is most popular with patients ages 51–64, eyelid surgery is a good option to delay the aging process, especially because the fragile skin around the eyes can be one of the first areas to show aging.

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