eyelid lift

The eyelid lift is in top 5 cosmetic surgery procedures last year

The latest figures released from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons revealed the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the US last year. Cosmetic surgery procedures to reshape the breasts and body, such as the breast augmentation, liposuction and tummy tuck were all very popular, but the eyelid lift, known medically as a blepharoplasty, is the only facial rejuvenation procedure to make the top five.

The delicate skin around the eyes is one of the first areas of the face to show the signs of ageing and sagging upper eyelids or marked bags beneath the eyes can make a person look older, tired or even angry. The rise in popularity of the eyelid lift is in part due to the knowledge that eyelid surgery can address these ageing concerns and often affect a dramatic rejuvenation.

How ageing affects the eye area

As we age, our skin starts to lose its elasticity and our muscles slacken. On the upper eyelids, this means that loose skin collects in folds and creases and as well as aesthetic concerns, some patients find that their eyesight can even be affected. As the muscles that surround the eye weaken, the natural fat pockets beneath the eyes can bulge and protrude, forming eye bags.

What does eyelid lift surgery entail?

The blepharoplasty procedure can be performed on either the upper or lower eyelids or both together in one procedure. It is typically performed under a general anaesthetic and on the upper lids, Mr Alan Park will make incisions that follow the natural creases of the upper lids. On the lower lids, the incision can be made either just below the lashes in the lower lids or through the inside of the lower lid.

Excess fat, sagging skin and lax muscles can all be tightened or removed through these incisions and then why are closed with sutures. The skin around the eyes is thinner than elsewhere on the face and typically heals very well.

Mr Alan Park will discuss the procedure in full during your blepharoplasty consultation and also advise you on whether other facial rejuvenation procedures such as a brow lift might be more appropriate to address your ageing concerns. Call 01926 436341 to arrange your cosmetic surgery consultation.

tummy tuck results

Satisfaction with tummy tuck results not the only factor affecting positive reviews

A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty can truly be a transforming cosmetic surgery procedure – patients typically turn to surgery when they have tried and failed to improve the appearance of the abdomen through diet and exercise alone. Whether due to weight fluctuations, pregnancy or the ageing process, patients will typically complain of loss of muscle tone, sagging skin and stubborn pockets of fat.

During an abdominoplasty, your plastic surgeon will tighten and reposition the muscles that stretch the length of the abdominal wall, remove excess skin and fat and move the belly button into a more aesthetically pleasing position if required. Results can be dramatic which is why it’s not surprising that a new study into tummy tuck reviews has found that satisfaction with the aesthetic outcome is the main factor in leaving a positive or negative online review.

Published in the March issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the study analysed ratings on the review sites Google, Yelp and RealSelf.

Tummy tuck results are a critical factor

Led by plastic surgeon Dr Joh Kim of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, researchers looked at nearly 800 online reviews of an abdominoplasty procedure. Themes were identified that contributed to patient satisfaction, including aesthetic outcome which was the ‘dominant driver’ of positive reviews. In fact, no patient that reported that they were happy with the results left a negative review.

However, tummy tuck results were not the only factor that was identified.

Patient care is also essential

Other important factors that emerged from the reviews were the interactions patients had with clinic staff and the post-operative aftercare their plastic surgeon provided. Interestingly, surgical complications were of less importance and patients that experienced cosmetic problems or complications yet received satisfactory follow-up care still left positive reviews in general.

The good news was that across the three sites, 86% of reviews were overwhelmingly positive, while only 14% were negative. If you’d like to find out what tummy tuck results you could expect, call 01926 436341‬ to arrange a consultation with Mr Alan Park at his Warwickshire cosmetic surgery clinic.

breast reduction recovery

Breast reduction recovery – the first few weeks

Breast reduction surgery is growing in popularity in the UK and is often considered by those who are dissatisfied with the size, shape or positioning of their breasts, or who are suffering secondary issues as a result of the mass of their breasts, such as back, shoulder or neck ache. Many who chose this procedure also find that their self-confidence is being affected by the size and shape of their chest in relation to the rest of their body.

A breast reduction can take up to six hours to perform the operation and is quite a significant procedure involving the removal of excess tissue, fat and skin from the breasts, repositioning the nipple and reshaping the remaining breast tissue. If this operation is something you are considering, here’s what you need to know about what to expect from the operation and the immediate recovery period.

Breast reduction recovery: you will feel sore straight afterwards

Owing to the nature of the operation and the amount of work required to remove part of the natural breasts, reshape and reposition them, you will feel sore once you wake up from the anaesthetic. There will be some degree of fluid retention so you will be hooked up to tubes which drain the excess fluids, which is important to keep the swelling to a minimum. Your breasts will be bruised and swollen underneath the bandages but you will be given pain relief to help manage this initially and you should expect to remain in hospital for a few days.

Breast reduction recovery: it takes longer to recover from a reduction than an enlargement

The healing process will take longer for this type of operation; it is usually several months before your breasts are fully healed. You will need to rest properly for the first week or so and then gently get back to normal activities, making sure that you don’t overdo it. Within three weeks or so you should be feeling much better and able to do most of the things you could do pre-operatively. Take it easy with regards to sports and always check with your surgeon first if you have any concerns.

Sports which are high impact (racket sports for example) should be eased back into gently but only once your breasts have had sufficient healing time, which for many will be a minimum of four to six weeks.

Breast reduction recovery: adapting your lingerie

As with those who have had their breasts enlarged, special supportive underwear is recommended (this is worn in the day and the night) to help give your breasts sufficient support. This type of underwear will also be much more comfortable while you are healing as it is specially designed for support and comfort.

If you have more questions about the breast reduction recovery process, call 01926 436341‬ to arrange a consultation with Mr Alan Park at his Warwickshire cosmetic surgery clinic.

cosmetic surgery and social media

Cosmetic surgery and social media: “The average millennial will take 25,700 selfies in their lives”

That almost sounds unbelievable doesn’t it; the average millennial will take 25,700 selfies in their lifetime. This equates to one per day across their whole life. This is obviously clustered into a pocket of their lives when this really matters to them and during which the technology to take these and also platforms to share these selfies are right at their fingertips, but that is a lot of attention of people’s facial features.

It is statistics such as this that are fuelling the debate about selfies and people’s approach to taking and sharing photos of themselves. One study set out to look at this, with a focus on just how much editing young people do to the picture they take of themselves. Many people will confess to taking many attempts to get the perfect pout, the perfect eye contact, the perfect angle to the jawline… and this is just the start. Others will then apply easy filters from any number of apps that help enlarge their eyes, sharpen their contours, smooth out skin and accentuate favoured features.

Although finding a flattering angle is nothing new in the world of photography, there are concerns that some people are taking this craze a bit too far, and the quest for looking insta-perfect, could be damaging their self-confidence.

Fashion photographer Rankin is behind a project to explore the impact of imagery on our mental health, and says “it’s time to acknowledge the damaging effects that social media has on people’s self-image”. His project took photographs of 15 teenagers and gave them access to the raw files to assess how pleased they were with his work. Interestingly, he reports that “each one tinkered with their photographs, with the most common alterations being smoother skin, enhanced eyes and thinner noses. Not one left their image untouched.”

Cosmetic surgery and social media

The desire to filter and tweak imagery correlates with the interest in these areas is the cosmetic surgery industry too. There has been continued interest in procedures that smooth and firm the skin (which can be done surgically, or non-surgically, depending on what patients are looking to achieve) and also the procedures such as eyebrow lifts, fixing crows’ feet and removing bags from under the eyes.

The ability to tweak these things with a filter is one thing, but for many people being able to fix them with a little bit of help from a cosmetic surgeon is very appealing. It offers a longer-term fix for areas that people feel less confident with. Helping reverse the ageing process with some clever nips and tucks has been popular for many years and that trend is continuing.

A reputable plastic surgeon will always assess a patient’s mental health as part of the consultation process when they are considering any procedure and this due diligence helps ensure that the procedure is being done for the right reasons and that patients have realistic expectations about the expected outcomes.

breast augmentation recovery

What to expect after breast augmentation surgery

With any form of cosmetic surgery, it is easy to focus on what you wish to achieve and how you would like to look once you have undergone your chosen procedure(s).  All surgeries require a little bit of patience before the final results are evident, as depending on what you have had done, you will need to heal fully in the days, weeks or months following your operation.

Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure worldwide and the results are typically significantly different from how patients looked before. Here’s a guide to what to expect from the breast augmentation recovery period.

Breast augmentation recovery: immediately after

You will feel under par when you first wake from the anaesthetic – you can expect to feel groggy and a bit light-headed to begin with while the effects wear off. This is perfectly normal. Some people feel a bit nauseous too and if this continues you can be given anti-nausea tablets to help ease this. You’ll feel tired and sore and the skin on your chest will feel tight because of the swelling.

Breast augmentation recovery: it will take a little time for the results to ‘settle’

You’ll be excited to look down and see what your breasts look like, so be aware that to begin with they will be swollen and bruised from the surgery. Depending on how fast your body heals, the extent of the surgery and the type of implants you have chosen, this will usually begin to disappear in two to four weeks.

Breast augmentation recovery: special underwear will be required

It is important that you wear a special ‘surgical support bra’ that is designed to work around your operation and to help your breasts heal most effectively. Very much like nursing bras for breastfeeding mums, these surgical support bras will need to be worn in the night time as well as the day and are usually recommended for at least four weeks after the operation. They help give your recovering breasts the support and comfort that they need to begin with.

Breast augmentation recovery: the healing process

Patients typically have one night in hospital following surgery such as this, but some may choose to go home on the same day. The advice is to take it easy for the first few weeks. If you wish to begin exercising again, start with something gentle like walking, but wait a couple of weeks before you do this and take it easy. You should build up gradually and you should soon find you’re healing well. You should be able to exercise normally after around six to eight weeks.

If you have more questions about the breast augmentation recovery process, call 01926 436341 to arrange a consultation with Mr Alan Park at his Warwickshire cosmetic surgery clinic.

breast reduction

Women getting unnecessary mammograms before breast reduction

Every year in the UK around four thousand women choose to undergo a breast reduction procedure. This can be due to a number of factors, but commonly women were opting for this procedure because they were unhappy with the size of their breasts, or their breasts were causing back, shoulder or neck ache or resulting in skin problems underneath the breasts themselves. In the UK, the popularity of this type of operation is increasing year on year.

It has been discovered that women are so concerned about the risk of developing breast cancer that many are opting to be tested with a mammogram for breast tissue abnormalities. A mammogram is a test that is carried out by a female nurse to scan the breasts for abnormalities. It is essentially a type of x-ray and can be carried out in a clinic or sometimes in mobile screening units.

A sensible safeguard?

A report published recently suggests that the proportion of women who are choosing to have this done far outweighs the number of women who are actually at risk, and there is a suggestion that this is unnecessary.

Although the report cites data gathered in the US, the report outlines that a “new study published in JAMA Surgery found that nearly one-third of women younger than 40 underwent mammography before breast reduction surgery… Few may realise the unnecessary screenings come at a price — and not just a monetary one that adds to the nation’s health care bill.”

Although it might seem a sensible precaution to take, putting your body through the mammogram screening can result in complications later in life. It is believed to carry “a risk for subsequent tests and invasive procedures.” As such, it is recommended by some professional bodies (for example the American Society of Plastic Surgeons) that screening is only carried out when deemed necessary based on specific medical concerns.

Talk to your cosmetic surgeon about any concerns

For women who are concerned about the risks of developing breast cancer and who wish to undergo any form of breast surgery, it is always sensible to talk to your cosmetic surgeon first about anything you are concerned about. They see patients every day about breast surgery so will be able to advise the best course of action regarding your personal situation, your own medical history and relevant medical history of family members (regarding breast cancer occurrences). If they have any concerns once they have spoken with you, they may advise speaking with your GP as well, who can assess the necessity of being screened before your operation.

Warnings over Botox parties

Warning over ‘Botox parties’

Cosmetic procedures broadly fall into two categories – surgical procedures and non-surgical procedures. Whereas there is little doubt that surgical procedures need to be carried out in an appropriate, professional and sterile environment, there is evidence to suggest that some people are prepared to risk their health by agreeing to have non-surgical procedures in non-medical environments.

Bogus ‘professionals’

A report published by the BBC showed evidence of two ‘disgraced’ nurses who were offering ‘Botox parties’ in people’s homes or in beauty salons. These nurses were offering Botox treatments at a fraction of the price that they would be if they were purchased through conventional channels, and despite carrying significant risks, people were prepared to accept these treatments in favour of making a financial saving.

Opting for treatments such as this via a non-regulated channel is extremely risky and is not advised. One of the first things you should do when considering surgical or non-surgical cosmetic work is to fully research the medical practitioner to ensure you are choosing someone with suitable credentials, experience and professionalism. The BBC reports that in the case of the two nurses offering these treatments, “while they were once registered nurses, both have been ordered to stop practising – making it illegal for them to prescribe medicine.” This case reiterates the saying if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is – the treatments were cheap, but at what cost?

In the investigating into these parties, patients were reportedly left in serious pain following the treatment, which is not an expected side effect of Botox if administered properly. Patients also reported that the procedure didn’t actually work and they were left having to pay again in a reputable environment to have the work done properly.

Official rules regarding Botox

Botox is a prescription medicine and is regulated by law. It “can only be prescribed by a doctor, dentist or nurse in a specific patient’s name – and can only be used for that patient.” It is important to remember this if you wish to have Botox treatment and you should ensure you are only choosing a proper clinic where you will be treated by a qualified medical practitioner.

smoking and cosmetic surgery risks

Smoking heightens risk of developing complications following cosmetic surgery

It is well known that smoking is not good for your health and can be responsible for creating or exacerbating a wide number of health problems. Cosmetic surgeons always recommend that patients who smoke try and refrain from smoking in the weeks leading up to their operation and then for as long as possible afterwards, as smoking can affect the body’s ability to heal. New research which has been published in January 2019 by the Aesthetic Surgery Journal has found yet more evidence which supports how bad smoking can be for patients undergoing cosmetic surgery.

Extensive data analysis into smoking and cosmetic surgery risks

The research was large-scale, comprising data collected from 129,007 cosmetic surgery patients. It was carried out by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, led by researchers in the Department of Plastic Surgery. The data was sourced from insurance company CosmetAssure, which operates in the US providing cover for 24 different cosmetic surgery procedures when patients suffer unexpected major complications.

Research findings into smoking and cosmetic surgery

The data showed that, for cosmetic surgery operations on the body (rather than the face or breasts), smokers are at greater risk of developing complications post-operatively, compared with non-smokers. Evidence shows that for some operations, the difference is startling. For example, patients choosing significant operations such as an abdominoplasty or buttock augmentation, the complication rate was 2.9% for smokers compared with 1.9% for non-smokers. Thigh lift operations showed the greatest variance, with a complication rate of 23.8% for smokers versus 3.6% for non-smokers. Male breast surgery also demonstrated a notably higher risk for smokers.

Perhaps most worrying, it was found that smoking heightened the risk of the wound/incision site becoming infected by a massive 61%. If caught early and treated effectively, infected wounds can be successfully treated, but if overlooked, ignored or extensive, these can cause significant setbacks in recovery, and can sometimes lead to much more serious complications.

Helping ensure everyone knows the risks

Plastic surgeons will continue to recommend patients temporarily abstain or (ideally) stop smoking altogether if they are considering cosmetic surgery, and the evidence from reports such as this gives surgeons the facts, figures and information to help land this message effectively with patients, adding clarity in support of their guidance.

Report authors believe “the findings of our study will further assist surgeons in anticipating the extent of morbidity that may be seen in smokers following cosmetic surgery, and how those risks vary depending on the operative procedure.”

To discuss further the link between smoking and cosmetic surgery and what you should do if you’re contemplating undergoing a procedure, call‬ ‬‭01926 436341 to arrange a consultation with Mr Alan Park at his Warwickshire cosmetic surgery clinic.

cosmetic surgery and BDD

Superdrug screening Botox customers for Body Dysmorphic Disorder

We recently reported on the news that high street store Superdrug has started offering Botox as one of its in-store beauty treatments. It stipulated that this was only available to people over the age of 25 and they had to meet certain booking criteria including an assessment by a qualified nurse. In a report by the BBC recently, Superdrug said this involves “an hour-long consultation before cosmetic procedures take place and these include a mental health assessment.” Nevertheless, the decision to offer Botox injections in a high street setting has raised concerns amongst the cosmetic surgery community.

Potential problems with greater ease of access to cosmetic treatments

Many were concerned about the trivialisation of this procedure, as Gerard Lambe, consultant surgeon and spokesperson from the British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons explained: “While Superdrug may be hiring medically trained nurses, it is crucial members of the public do not treat having Botox and dermal fillers as casual beauty treatments, like brow threading or waxing.”

The NHS also expressed concerns that people suffering from body dysmorphia (an excessively negative perspective on their body and appearance) could have such easy access to cosmetic treatments.

Ensuring ethical practice

It has now been announced that Superdrug has recognised these concerns and is reassuring consumers and the medical profession that it will be ‘fully committed’ to ensuring that stringent mental health checks are undertaken before people are approved for these high street Botox treatments in-store. In particular, patients will be screened for Body Dysmorphic Disorder, to ensure that patients are given the most appropriate guidance and information.

The particular challenge with the ease of procedures like this being allowed on the high street is how the desire to obtain it correlates with the satisfaction that customers feel afterwards.

The biggest issue for people who suffer with Body Dysmorphic Disorder is that they can feel very determined to undergo a cosmetic procedure, but that the resulting satisfaction with what they have chosen is often low. The BBC’s report explains that “fewer than 10% of patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder were satisfied with the results of their cosmetic procedures.”

Identifying Body Dysmorphic Disorder or a patient’s unrealistic expectations is an important part of the cosmetic surgery consultation offered by an experienced, skilled and trained plastic surgeon.

cosmetic breast surgery

The difference between a breast lift and breast reduction?

While the breast augmentation procedure remains the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure for women both here in the UK and around the world, there are many women who are unhappy with the size, shape or position of the breasts rather than make them bigger and are unsure of what procedure is best suited

What is a breast reduction?

A breast reduction, technically known as a reduction mammoplasty, is best suited to women who have overly large breasts for their frame, which are causing them discomfort or distress. Mr Alan Park will remove excess breast skin, fat and glandular tissue to instantly reduce the size of the breasts.

What is a breast lift?

Breast lift surgery, known as a mastopexy, is a cosmetic surgery procedure which lifts breasts which have sagged due to weight fluctuations, the effects of breastfeeding or as a result of the ageing process. Sagging, excess skin is removed and the breast tissue can be reshaped to produce a more youthful and pleasing appearance.

What are the similarities and differences between the two cosmetic breast surgery procedures?

Both cosmetic breast surgery procedures reshape and elevate the breasts, but a breast uplift will not significantly reduce the size or weight of the breasts as little to no glandular breast tissue is removed. During both procedures, your surgeon will reshape, resize and reposition the nipples if necessary.

Deciding on the best procedure for you is a case of determining how you feel about your breasts. Do they feel too large for your body or too heavy? Are they affecting your posture or causing your shoulder, neck or back pain? Does their size limit your choice of clothing or what physical activities you can do?

Alternatively, is it the case that you feel your nipples are sitting too low on the breast or pointing downwards? Are you unhappy with the where your breasts are positioned on your chest wall? Do you often find you have a rash or irritation underneath or between your breasts?

These are the concerns you will discuss in full during your cosmetic breast surgery consultation with Mr Park and he can then advise you on whether a breast lift or breast reduction is the most suitable procedure for you. If you’d like to arrange a cosmetic surgery consultation, please call 01926 436341 to speak to one of Mr Park’s team.