Exploring the top body procedures for aging concerns in each decade.

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Perky breasts, slim hips and a flat tummy—all hallmarks of the fit bodies most of us enjoy in our early 20s, when it seems like we’ll look that way forever. Then our 30s hit and suddenly our bodies morph into fleshier and flabbier versions of their former selves. Our breasts start inching towards our belly buttons, we inherit our mother’s saddlebags, and the skin on our erstwhile tight tummies becomes loose and saggy. Just as we’re trying to figure out where things went wrong, we’re in our 40s and our previously hot body really starts to look—well, you get the picture. But fear not, because with a little help we can keep our bodies looking fabulous. So before you toss out your spandex gym clothes and incinerate your bikinis, read on to find out which procedures will help you look your best, regardless of your age.

30s Breast procedures, liposuction and non-surgical alternatives

According to Dr. Stephanie Power, MD, MSc, FRCSC, women in this age group can be divided into two patient populations: those with longstanding concerns about certain body features and those with concerns related to body changes after pregnancy. “Those concerns commonly relate to the breasts and abdomen,” says
Dr. Power.

Pre-kids, thirty-something women often view their breasts as being too small or too large and also have weight-related issues, such as saddlebags and tummy issues that can be addressed with liposuction. After kids, concerns are more about postpartum changes, such as a bulging abdomen, sagging breasts and loose skin or stretch marks in the tummy area.

Breast augmentation, reduction or lift

With a breast augmentation, an insert is placed inside the breast. “Implant size is determined pre-operatively based on patient goals, breast dimensions and surgeon recommendations,” says Dr. Power.

A breast lift or reduction involves more incisions than an augmentation. Some women who get implants may return to a desk job the next day, although the downtime is two or three days on average. There’s a longer downtime for a breast lift or reduction due to the time required for the incisions to heal.

Potential complications from a breast augmentation include bleeding, infection, sensation changes of the nipple or breast, asymmetry, implant failure or rupture and rippling, according to Dr. Power. With lifts and reductions, there is some incision pain and temporary numbness of the nipple. Costs range from $6,000 to $8,000 for a breast lift, $7,000 to $9,000 for a breast augmentation, and $8,000 to $10,000 for a breast lift with implants. Provinces typically cover the cost of a breast reduction.

Liposuction and non-surgical alternatives

Women who are looking to reduce fat can choose traditional liposuction or may opt for a non-surgical procedure, such as CoolSculpting or Vanquish. CoolSculpting uses liquid nitrogen to freeze fat under the skin, causing fat cells to die, while Vanquish is a newer technology in which radiofrequency waves are shot under the skin to kill fat cells. Meanwhile, with liposuction, tiny incisions are made and a cannula (a type of hollow tube) is inserted to break up fat cells and suck them out. The big advantage of non-surgical alternatives to liposuction is that there’s no downtime. With traditional liposuction, most people are back at work within two to three days.

CoolSculpting is painful as the procedure is being performed (there’s no pain after the procedure), whereas there’s little to no pain during the procedure with Vanquish. With traditional liposuction, there’s some bruising, however, depending on the type of lipo, this can be minimized. In terms of cost, it’s  approximately $2,000 per treatment session for CoolSculpting and Vanquish. Liposuction is approximately $3,000 to $5,000 per body region.