It's the last resort in the fight against ageing, but now that scientists have revealed plastic surgery can take more than seven years off your appearance, would you go under the knife in the quest to look younger?
New research by a team of plastic surgeons from the University of Toronto suggests that patients who had facial plastic surgery looked an average of 7.2 years younger than their real age. In the study medical students were asked to estimate the age of 60 patients aged from 45 to 72 using photos of them before and after surgery. Patients who had undergone several procedures were perceived to look even younger.
The findings of the study, Perceived Age Change After Aesthetic Facial Surgical Procedures, published in the journal Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, were "novel and also important given their statistical significance," said Dr Nitin Chauhan, lead author of the study, and provided "plastic surgeons with another tool to facilitate informed discussion and educate regarding expectations and outcomes".
Dr Jeremy Hunt FRACS, a plastic surgeon in Sydney and spokesperson for the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, welcomed the study. "It confirms what has been our perception as plastic surgeons and is a valid representation of what surgical facial rejuvenation can achieve. I think it is reasonable for women considering surgical rejuvenation to expect something in the vicinity of a seven year benefit or gain," says Dr Hunt who added that "generally speaking, in my practice, women don't want to change the way they look, they simply want to look younger."
Cosmetic surgeon, Dr Joseph Ajaka, from the Cosmos Clinic in Sydney was not surprised to hear that facial surgery can make people look seven years younger. "In many cases it may take even more years off. Contributing to that perception of looking years younger could be the attitude someone projects when they are happier with the way they look."