The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) is the professional association that regulates the cosmetic surgery industry in the UK. It is a not-for-profit organisation, with responsibility for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit and has more than 300-member surgeons. As such, it has access to data that illustrates the latest trends in the nation’s cosmetic surgery wish list. The figures are in for 2017, and it’s an interesting read, with data showing that the overall number of people in the UK opting for cosmetic surgery in 2917 dropped compared with 2016 – by 7.9%.
What’s hot and what’s not
Breast augmentation still tops the list as the most popular procedure in the UK, and this bucks the overall trend, with a 6% growth in uptake compared with the previous year. Breast reductions also remain popular, also seeing a 6% rise in uptake. Conversely, eyelid surgery, brow lifts, liposuction and face/neck lifts all saw significant declines year-on-year.
Interestingly, the reason for the decline in men and women opting for surgery in the UK last year is thought to be because of the rise in effective, non-surgical procedures.
Shifting priorities for men
BAAPS’ latest cosmetic surgery data shows a clear trend towards men, in particular, deciding against surgical procedures, with the widely accepted ‘dad bod’ label reassuring more and more men that it is perfectly acceptable to have a less than perfect physique.
Former BAAPS President Rajiv Grover, who works as a consultant plastic surgeon and contributes to BAAPS’ annual report, comments: “For men, the media’s adoption and celebration of the more natural looking ‘dad bod’ is possibly a driver in this interesting trend, shifting the focus to the face rather than the body, in contrast to recent years – a shift that has lessened the pressure to sport a sculpted figure and instead, accept a bit of roundness or softness. Society, unfortunately, has a history of being more forgiving towards men’s physiques than women’s.”
It is widely suggested that the media is also a little more understanding of men showing off a softer ‘dad bod’ compared with the women’s equivalent, which no doubt gives men greater confidence that they will not necessarily be placed under the same scrutiny as women. Regardless of this, the love that we have of sharing our lives on social media, it is inevitable that nips, tucks, tweaks (and flattering camera angles) will remain of interest to men and women in the UK for the foreseeable future.
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Most of us have heard the phrase ‘everything should be done in moderation’ and it’s generally a good mantra to live by. It’s fine to dabble in things that have the potential to change our lives or the way we live them, but this is essentially saying, don’t push it too far. This sensible approach is true for many things in life, including cosmetic surgery – a little bit here and there is absolutely fine, but some people can become inclined to push it too far, and this is where we need to be mindful of warning signs.
There is now a much more comprehensive understanding that “repeated surgeries can put enormous pressure on the bodies of patients; so a problem that begins in the mirror can end in real physical trauma”. It’s all about getting the balance right, between wanting to look and feel better, and putting your body under unnecessary pressures.
Responsibility of the medical experts
It is our firm belief that in assessing the needs and wants of a patient, it is the responsibility of the medical experts to ensure that patients are making choices for the right reasons and within sensible parameters.
A reputable cosmetic surgeon will act in the best interests of the patients, and if they are concerned that the patient is asking for too much, has unrealistic expectations or is motivated by something that is causing concern, they will not progress with the surgery/treatments until they are fully satisfied that it is the right thing to do.
Reassuringly, treatments that are available nowadays have improved significantly over the years. Both surgical and non-surgical techniques have developed and improved over time, and we now have a heightened understanding about the effect these surgeries and treatments have on the body. Part of this lies with the heightened skills and training of the practitioners, which is why it is so important to see a reputable surgeon when you are planning on undergoing cosmetic surgery.
There are two important questions to ask when considering going under the knife, and the answers will be indicative of the integrity of the surgeon:
Can I have this done?
Should I have this done?
The answer to the first question is easy, the answer to the second question shouldn’t be. There are many factors that influence whether or not you are suitable to undergo cosmetic surgery. Be reassured that a high calibre practitioner will wish to explore your suitability in depth before agreeing to carry out any type of surgery. A greater degree of questioning should offer the reassurance that your chosen surgeon is following diligent procedures, and not being led by the patient.
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Following the Beast from the East and all the snow earlier in the year, we have since been treated to the “hottest April days since 1949”, with sunshine across the UK and temperatures reaching the late 20s. Parks, gardens and beaches were suddenly transformed into a mecca for those hoping to enjoy the sunshine.
A scorching May Bank Holiday meant that out came the shorts, the sleeveless tops and plenty of pale areas that have not seen much sunshine since the end of last summer. This quest to get some sun on our pale arms, legs, backs and so on is a great opportunity to give your skin a good MOT. It’s an ideal chance to have a thorough check of your moles and skin patterns, and if anything doesn’t look the same as how you remember it from last year, make an appointment to get it checked out.
If you decide that you wish to act now to prevent issues with moles in the future, there are various options you can explore.
What happens if I decide to have a mole removed?
If you decide to be proactive and have mole removal, then there are several ways in which this can be done. Moles can be cut out with a surgical scalpel, shaved off or removed by lasers. All of which are relatively quick to perform and can be undertaken as outpatient operations – which means you are in and out on the same day.
Get into good habits now
Before the ‘hottest May EVER’ or ‘June temperatures hotter than the Sahara’ are announced, it’s important to start the year with good sun habits.
Remember how important it is to use sun cream, even if you’re not planning on sunbathing for very long. A high SPF will help to stop UV rays damaging the skin so will also help keep your skin free from wrinkles and sunspots.
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