Plastic surgery is a growing, shrinking, shaping and lifting industry. But most of all, it is growing.
In fact, Utah County has more than 15 practicing plastic surgeons.
Two of the three Utah County plastic surgeons we interviewed said breast surgeries are their top procedure, while nationally liposuction is the most popular proceedure performed by plastic surgeons. “Perhaps we have fewer liposuctions here because generally, we have better health habits,” says Dr. Kimball Crofts.
Utah has more breast enlargements per capita than nearly any other state.
Other common proceedures by local plastic surgeons include abdominoplasty, breast reduction and liposuction. Meet two women who’ve undergone plastic surgery.
Barbra Jean, now 63, doesn’t look a day over 45.
She has always worked hard to take care of her body. Exercise. Healthy diet. Proper rest. In her line of work as an advertising executive, image is key.
But as she entered her senior years, she started noticing puffy eyes and loose skin. She knew she couldn’t do anything about these changes — but a plastic surgeon could. So she did her research, selected a doctor, and had a face-lift.
Software developer Andrea (last name omitted) is 45.
Although her golden years are yet to come, she recently went through a divorce and wanted a fresh start. Since she was 16 she had wanted rhinoplasty (nose reconstruction), and she finally gave herself the present she always wanted. She’s also had liposuction and other work done on parts of her face.
These two women are joining thousands of Utahns who are turning to plastic surgeons for help in looking healthy, youthful and vibrant. We asked Barbra and Andrea about their experiences.
Utah Valley Magazine: What made you consider plastic surgery?
Barbra: All of my life I have worked on maintaining my weight and keeping in good condition. But as I got older, my eyes were getting puffy and my skin wasn’t as nice and taut as I liked it to be.
I simply want to look as well as I can into my golden years. Image makes a difference. No one is supposed to age discriminate, but you can see it in people’s faces. You need to look as youthful as possible in the business world because you are competing with fresh, young-looking people — especially in Utah. Utah has a lot of good looking people.
Andrea: Ever since I was 16, I wanted to get my nose done. Every time I used to look in a mirror, I’d look at my nose. I would hold my head a certain way. And I always noticed people’s profiles.
I always wanted surgery on my nose, but I just never did it. I got married and had kids. But my kids are raised and I’m in a situation where I’m finishing a divorce. I finally have my own life, and I wanted a present for me for once.
UV: What did you do to prepare for plastic surgery?
Barbra: Plastic surgery is quite an undertaking, and I had to give a lot of consideration to it. I knew I had to find a plastic surgeon who was well-qualified in his work. I picked a doctor who understood exactly what I wanted and was committed to getting that outcome.
UV: So you went through with the plastic surgery. How was the recovery?
Barbra: My bruising was minimal. Maybe I was just lucky that I don’t bruise easily, but I also think it’s attributable to the doctor’s skill.
Andrea: I did better than most people do. I never had pain. Even when I had my lips done, I never needed pain pills. After my liposuction I was doing yoga within one week. Attitude has everything to do with it.
UV: What did your friends and family think?
Barbra: My daughter just thought it was fabulous. My friends were surprised that it looked as good as it does.
UV: What would you say to Utah County women considering plastic surgery?
Barbra: You need to find the right surgeon. Then sit down and think about what you want as the outcome of the surgery. Do you want to take off five years? Ten years? Be reasonable in your demands. Then seek a surgeon whose name keeps coming up as recommended. Then do it! After the surgery is healed, your whole attitude about yourself will improve. During the healing period, keep a positive attitude. You’re going to be swollen, but the end result is worth it.
Andrea: It is life-changing. Most people have at least one thing they don’t like about themselves. I would caution that sometimes people think they’re going to be a movie star afterwards, but you have to be realistic.
UV: What do you say to people who disagree with the philosophy of plastic surgery?
Barbra: I understand that beauty comes from within. That is true. But additionally, the world today is built on image. Physical image is key in this society. And what’s wrong with looking a few years younger?
Andrea: I know some people really, really frown on plastic surgery, and I know there is a lot of controversy about it. But I’ll never deny that I had it done because it has helped me so much. I think it’s hypocritical for someone to say something is wrong with it. If they put makeup on in the morning, then they are doing something to improve their looks.
UV: Now that the recovery is long over, how do you feel?
Barbra: My skin has a glow that it had lost over the years. I can’t tell you how pleased I am. You can have your clothes looking wonderful, but if you look in the mirror and your face is droopy, you’re not happy. But I’m happy now.
Andrea: I only wish I would have done it years ago. I’m extremely happy with the surgery. I get a lot of compliments for the change. It has changed the way I feel. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.
UV: Would you consider plastic surgery again?
Barbra: Yes. If the time comes that I need it, I would definitely do it again.
Andrea: If the day comes that I need a facelift, I’m not going to hesitate.