A glamorous grandma who underwent four cosmetic surgeries says she can’t wait to start a career in modelling – at the age of 64.
Barbara Lewis from Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, had a blepharoplasty, tummy tuck, and arm lift with leading plastic surgeon Dr Gary Ross.
Barbara, who has been a hairdresser for 50 years, says she’s now 'really excited' to see what the future holds after being approached by talent scouts who celebrate the more mature woman.
The grandmother-of-three had her first cosmetic operation -– a lower facelift – 10 years ago after being told her neck 'looked a mess' on wedding pictures by her son.
'Out of the mouth of babes, and all that,' Barbara laughed. 'You can always count on children to be honest. Truth be told, I have always been quite confident and looked after myself and my skin. I have been a hairdresser for donkeys years and you learn to play a role when you’re standing behind the chair.
'It’s the beauty industry and you have people looking at you all day, so you’ve got to take care of how you look.
'So when things started to go I just thought "To hell with it, I’m getting something done about it". It made me feel better.'
Barbara’s next procedure was an arm lift to lose her ‘bingo wings’, which she says had bothered her for a number of years.
The mum-of-one then turned her attention to her stomach, which had been left misshapen following a number of abdominal surgeries over the years.
They included an emergency operation to remove six inches of her bowel which had become twisted during an attack of irritable bowel syndrome seven years ago.
She said: 'I’ve had a caesarean section, my appendix out, hernias on and off for the last seven years, and six inches of my bowel taken out. It was lumpy and bumpy and I didn’t like it. Dr Gary Ross was honest in telling me that all the dieting and exercising in the world wasn’t going to get rid of it.'
Barbara opted for a Fleur De Lis abdominoplasty – a specialism of Dr Ross – and the same procedure recently carried out on TV star Lisa Riley.
The operation is designed for patients with a lot of excess skin and for those who have midline abdominal scarring they wish to get rid of.
It involves making an incision just above the pubic area and drawing a vertical line down the middle of the abdomen, with skin being excised on either side of the triangle.
The abdominal wall is then tightened and excess fat and skin is removed. The operation can be carried out in as little as two to three hours.
Barbara said: 'I couldn’t believe how quickly I was up and about and Dr Ross said he was amazed with how well I had healed. My tummy is really flat now, it’s great.'
Barbara then had a procedure known as a blepharoplasty, which rejuvenated her eyelids, which had drooped over time.
She said: 'They had gone all wrinkled, like crepe paper, but the surgery was fantastic.
'I was conscious throughout and I thought it might be painful but the only pain I had was when they injected anaesthetic around the eyebrows. Afterwards I was thrilled with the results.
“It just made me look fresher. Most people didn’t even know I had it done, they just kept telling me how well I looked.'
Barbara says she wouldn’t discount having more work done, but says she would stop short of ‘overdoing’ it.
She said: 'I’m proud of the work I’ve had done. I would recommend it to others, and I have done. From my point of view, it has helped me enormously. I think, as a woman, as you get older you lose confidence and your self esteem goes down if you’re looking into the mirror and you don’t like what’s looking back at you.
'If you don’t look good, you don’t feel good. If I had the money I would get a facelift. It’s nothing drastic. But I didn’t want to look like one of these celebrities that have an enormous amount of work done and barely look like themselves anymore. Some of them look like gargoyles. It’s all about growing old gracefully, but with a little bit of help.
'That’s why I keep going back to Dr Ross. He would never do anything if he didn’t think it was right for the person. I can’t praise him enough.'
Mr Ross, an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester, said: 'The Fleur De Lis abdominoplasty in particular is becoming very popular with women who have either lost a lot of weight and a standard tummy tuck will not address the upper abdomen, or where they wish to address scars from previous surgeries.
'With each operation, we always put the patient and their interests first. I’m thrilled Barbara is so pleased with the results of her procedures.'
Mr Ross last week became the first plastic surgeon to be officially certified under a prestigious new scheme designed to boost patient safety.
He has been certified by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) professional standards system, which sets out tough industry benchmarks to help provide quality assurances for any patients looking to undergo a cosmetic procedure.
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