Savannah Nip and Tuck--Part I - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/15/04

Savannah Nip and Tuck--Part I

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but the question is, do you like what you see? As the baby boom generation ages, many of them don't mind growing older as long as they don't look it.

We all want to be young and beautiful and look how we feel. And as more people turn to cosmetic surgeons to give them the look they once had or always dreamed of, the procedures themselves are not only becoming more popular, but more socially acceptable.

We are a culture that celebrates youth and beauty on TV, in movies and magazines. And while that quest for a better face and body motivates us to eat right and exercise, even the most disciplined among us can think of something we'd like to change.

"Probably just a facelift," said Cathy Stokes of Savannah. "Not exactly a facelift, just some treatments to tighten things up."

"My stomach, a little bit flatter," said Cindy Fancher, also of Savannah. "And my legs."

It is a growing trend. Last year alone, doctors and surgeons performed more than 8 million surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, cosmetic procedures have jumped nearly 300 percent in the last seven years.

Most of the patients? Baby boomers, who are now turning 50 at a rate of more than 10,000 a day. "They're active," said Dr. E. Ronald Finger. "They're youth-oriented and they don't want to get old and if they do, they don't want to look it."

Dr. Finger has been helping people in the Coastal Empire and Low Country recapture their youth for more than 30 years. He started his practice with reconstructive surgery. Now almost all of the procedures he performs are strictly cosmetic, mostly facelifts and breast augmentations.

"It used to be a secret," he said. "Everybody would sneak in through the back door and they didn't want anyone to know about it. Now, it's totally changed."

A lot of that has to do with the results. From neck procedures to brow lifts, laser work for acne scarring, body lifts and liposuction, and facelifts.

"You would be amazed at the attitude differences," said Dr. Finger. "People come in here and they're just gleeful sometimes for what's been done for them."

But not everyone is a good candidate. Dr. Finger says patients need to understand the risks of the surgery and the limitations. "If someone thinks it's going to save their marriage or something like that, let me put it this way, I say, if they want it, they need to want it for themselves. If they want to do it to please someone else, that's not a good reason."

Coming up tonight on THE News at 11, we'll show you what's involved in cosmetic surgery and how it's changed life for one Hilton Head woman who made the decision to have it.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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