Younger Longer

Published On: Feb 11 2014 04:49:43 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 12 2014 07:32:16 AM CST

Enhanced to extreme, plastic surgery brings to mind a lot of images but off the internet and into reality is Jolene Watkins.

A self-proclaimed tom boy, Jolene doesn't want to look like one of the guys; in her mid-fifties she's considering plastic surgery.

She says she doesn't care what she look like to other people but wants to feel younger and fresher.

Like many people her age, Jolene says gravity and time are working against her. She says people ask her if she's mad a lot but she's not; her brow is so heavy.

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Click picture for before and after
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Click picture for before and after

To make her appearance match her emotions, she wants a facelift. She says people think surgery is all vanity but to her vanity is a little different than wanting to feel better about her appearance.

Dr. Amy Sprole is one of Wichita's few board certified female plastic surgeons. She's been practicing since 2006 and in that time she's seen a shift.

"I do a lot of plastic surgery to keep people looking more their physiological age rather than their biological age," says Dr. Amy Sprole.

Dr. Sprole says because baby boomers are living a high quality life for a lot longer more people like Jolene are coming in for a consult.

In 2011, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery found people over the age of 51 accounted for more than one-third of all cosmetic patients, many of those were over age 65.

"Women in their 60's having facelifts are not just looking nice for the nursing home; they are rejuvenating themselves to look as young as they feel," says Dr. Sprole.

Her goal, with anyone, is to enhance someone's own beauty. Like Joleen, it's more about making someone's 'golden years' look brighter. ASAPS found three quarters of men and women over 65 would consider cosmetic surgery.

Jolene had eyelid surgery ten years ago to improve her vision. Dr. Sprole recommends an endoscopic forehead lift to refresh Jolene's eyes, a mini face lift and fat grafting, taken from her stomach, to smooth the lines around her mouth.

And she will do the forehead lift with small incisions placed in the scalp in five different locations. She'll have some scars but they're in places that will be hard to see.

Dr. Sprole says the biggest change other people will notice is Jolene's self-esteem. Still you're better off doing a lot of little things over the years. Most are less invasive, like the Affirm Laser treatment rather than one big overhaul when you turn 60 or 70 years old. And financially it's a lot easier to handle.

Under heavy sedation, Jolene's cosmetic procedure will last four hours.

Some people save for a vacation or designer goods; Dr. Sprole says more people are starting saving for this. It's not just for the rich and famous anymore.
The most common surgical procedures among the 65-and-older set include facelifts, eyelid surgery and liposuction. But surgeries common among younger patients, like breast lifts, are gaining popularity with older Americans as well.

Jolene's swelling and bruising will last for about ten days, then the stitches come out and the swelling slowly goes away. 

Like with any real surgery, it takes real recovery. Jolene plans to go back to work ten days post-op and she will notice swelling for several more weeks.

Six weeks later; same consultation chair, very different Jolene. Even her smile appears bigger.

Dr. Sprole says Jolene is healing well. She says some areas are still numb and swelling will continue to go down but she's ready for her after pictures.

"I'm thrilled that people look at me and go you look so rested but they don't say oh! You had plastic surgery," says Jolene Watkins.

Feeling ten years younger, Jolene and her husband are planning a trip to celebrate her new outlook.