Cosmetic surgery considerations

cosmetic surgery considerationsAll big decisions in life need careful thought and consideration before you decide to take the plunge, and cosmetic surgery is no different. It is important to think through every step if the process carefully before you commit to any decision, as you need to be fully informed and fully prepared before you opt for surgery.

Here’s some of the key things our patients should consider before choosing to go ahead with any cosmetic surgery procedure with Mr Alan Park.

Think about the costs – both up front and in terms of aftercare

Most cosmetic surgery procedures are funded by the patient, so make sure you’re fully informed at the onset what costs to expect. Ask plenty of questions, especially with regards to things such as aftercare requirements. It is also important to consider whether or not you will be able to work properly in the days/weeks following your operation and putting suitable plans in place to manage this process.

Ensure you have realistic expectations

Surgical procedures can make a marked difference to areas of the body that you’re not happy with (and as a by-product, can also help improve self-confidence), but it is important to remember that this is only within achievable parameters. Looking at before and after photos of what has been achieved in the past is a great starting point to see what can be achieved by different operations and how this fits with the body shape you’re starting with and wishing to end with.

Consider who the procedure is ultimately for

Cosmetic surgery is a very personal thing and there is no doubt in our minds that when you make the decision to alter your appearance, you must be making this decision for yourself – not for someone else. Don’t bow to peer or family pressure – opt for what is best for you and your own wishes.

Get ready to listen to the experts

In the run up to your operation you may be asked (or suggestions will be made) on how to prepare your body for surgery – and this will include recommendations such as stopping smoking, as this can affect the body’s ability to heal. The same is true when you’re in the recovery period. Depending on the scale of your chosen operation(s), you’ll be advised how quickly you can begin exercising again, what you should be eating, how long to wait before undertaking any form of heavy lifting, and so on. It is important to listen to this advice as the experts know what they are talking about. Ignoring advice could result in longer healing times or damage to the operation site.

To discuss all the implications of cosmetic surgery, call 07468 418 419 to arrange a consultation with Mr Alan Park.

0ver 50’s choosing Cosmetic Surgery to improve their looks

0ver 50’s choosing Cosmetic Surgery to improve their looks

A recent study carried out by SunLife to determine how attitudes towards life changes when people reach 50 has had some remarkable results. The overall factor found that almost all of those questioned within the study felt an increased pressure to look good, with many opting for Cosmetic Surgery procedures to slow down the signs of ageing.
We now know that almost 250,000 British people have undergone some form of cosmetic surgery at the age of 50 or over but the good news is that those people approaching the big 5-0 admitted feeling ten years younger.
60% of the 50,000 who took part in the study said they were enjoying their life at 50 more so than when they were younger with 78% of them saying this was probably because their self-confidence had grown and they no longer cared what people thought of them.

Ian Atkinson of SunLife said: “While some over 50s are feeling the pressure to stay young, most don’t actually care what other people think and are happy just living their lives to the full. This includes making more of an effort to eat well and exercise more regularly than they did when they were younger which suggests that far from feeling ‘over the hill’, people aged 50 and over are making sure they are fitter than ever so they are free to do what they want to do. Some people still believe that turning 50 is something to worry about, that life slows down after that – but after conducting the UK’s biggest-ever study with 50,000 people over 50 we know that’s not the case at all: for many, life after 50 is the best time of their lives.”

Six out of ten of those taking part in the study said they began taking more notice of what they were eating while 46 per cent have started exercising more. One fifth said they had cut down on drinking since turning 50 and one in seven had stopped smoking.

For us within the Cosmetic Surgery industry we are not surprised by the research found. Our practice sees a whole range of ages coming through its doors but what we can say is that we recognise that as patients are approaching their 50’s they begin to take surgical steps to keep their looks youthful. Many younger people use Non surgical treatments like botox and fillers to give them the aesthetic appearance they wish however as people age and this skin becomes more lax, this becomes more increasingly difficult and sometimes surgery is the better and more permanent option.

*According to the ONS there were 23, 072,619 people aged 50 and over in the UK in 2015. One per cent of this number is 230,726.

Removal of skin tags

Leamington skin tag removalSkin tags are small growths of skin that are very common and will affect almost everyone at some point in their lives. Some people may only ever develop one skin tag, some may develop hundreds, however they are not dangerous so should be not cause for concern.

They are formed when two layers of skin rub against one another; the resulting friction causes skin to become loosened and protrude. As a result they tend to develop in areas such as the neck, under the arms or around the groin. They also tend to be more prevalent in people who are carrying excess weight, as this leads to a greater abundance of skin folds which can rub together.

Depending on where the skin tag has developed, these can be irritating, especially if they begin to catch on clothes. If that starts to happen the skin tag may become sore and you may wish to consider having it removed. Some people also may feel embarrassed by the presence of skin tags, especially if they have formed in an area where they are clearly obvious, such as the face or neck. If skin tags are affecting your self esteem, this is another reason to consider having them taken off.

What happens during skin tag removal?

Depending on the size and shape of your skin tag, there are a number of options that can be considered by GPs or plastic surgeons to remove them. One approach is to use liquid nitrogen (the same component that you may remember from science lessons – the one that creates artificial smoke). Liquid nitrogen is kept at extremely cold temperatures, so when applied to a skin tag it quickly freezes the cells, kills them and the skin tag will fall off soon afterwards. A similar approach can be taken with acidic substances which can burn the skin tag off, using similar principles to the freezing technique.

Another approach is to use medical scissors or a small scalpel to cut them off, or restrict the blood flow to the skin tag by tying them off with something like dental floss.

No time for DIY

It is important not to try and remove a skin tag yourself unless you have spoken to a GP or a plastic surgeon and they have suggested that this is acceptable. Although it may seem tempting, you risk causing pain, haemorrhaging or an infection if you do this incorrectly. It is a very simple procedure but should usually be left to the experts.

If you have a skin tag that is bothering you and wish to speak to someone about getting it removed, contact Mr Alan Park’s team today who will be able to book you in to speak to an expert and to have this removed.

Carrying too much weight – the fat versus sugar debate

We are always being advised what to eat and what to avoid, and how to strike the correct nutritional balance of for a healthy lifestyle. Experts all agree that undertaking regular exercise coupled with a sensible diet will give you the best chance of living a long, healthy life, however, some of the information available is rather confusing.

Product labelling tells us that some products are low in fat, fat free, sugar free, no artificial sweeteners…but what really is the biggest threat to our waistline – is it sugar or is it fat? Or is it both?

The biggest risk

It’s often very difficult to establish which foods are better or worse for people as it’s hard to have a “control” (i.e. something to benchmark against that has exactly the same properties as the test subject). Recently the BBC came up with a clever way of getting a control sample – they tested the sugar versus fat debate on identical twins.

The identical twins were brothers who each dieted for one month, hoping to really put the fat versus sugar debate to bed. One brother cut out sugar (and carbs) and the other cut out fat.

After one month, the brother who cut out fat lost the most weight, but the one who cut out sugar/carbs had the most trouble sustaining energy and keeping his brain functioning as efficiently. Interestingly, there wasn’t an easy solution that presented itself. The brothers concluded that cutting out either fat OR sugar wasn’t going to offer the easy solution they were hoping it would.

Their research led them to believe that avoiding processed foods that contain BOTH sugar and fat is the best approach to ensuring you’re consuming a healthy, balanced diet.

A surgical helping hand

Regardless of your eating habits, if you are carrying (or have carried) excess weight for a long time then you may find that this has resulted in an abundance of excess skin that is hard to shed via conventional means. If this is the case then an abdominoplasty (often referred to as a tummy tuck) may be the resolution you’re looking for.

Leamington liposuctionThis operation works by tightening loose or flabby skin, giving the appearance of a more toned abdomen. It can sometimes be coupled with a liposuction procedure as well, which can reduce stubborn pockets of fat from underneath the skin.

If you have tried adjusting your diet and exercise regime and are still struggling to achieve the look you’re hoping for, make an appointment to talk to Mr Alan Park about whether an abdominoplasty and/or liposuction may be the most appropriate next step.

‘7 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Getting A Nose Job (rhinoplasty)’ by Jacqueline Kilikita

‘7 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Getting A Nose Job (rhinoplasty)’ by Jacqueline Kilikita

We found this ‘blog’ from Rhinoplasty patient Jacqueline Kilikita to be an insightful and honest account and helpful to people considering having a nose job.

What is a Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty (Greek: ῥίς rhis, nose + πλάσσειν plassein, to shape), commonly known as a nose job, is a plastic surgery procedure for correcting and reconstructing the form, restoring the functions, and aesthetically enhancing the nose by resolving nasal trauma (blunt, penetrating, blast), congenital defect, respiratory impediment, or a failed primary rhinoplasty. Most patients are wishing to remove a bump, narrow nostril width, change the angle between the nose and the mouth, as well as correct injuries, birth defects, or other problems that affect breathing, such as deviated nasal septum or a sinus condition. There are two types of rhinoplasty, the open and the closed, with each technique the surgeon aims to achieve a functional, aesthetic, and facially proportionate nose. This is performed by separating the nasal skin and the soft tissues from the osseo-cartilaginous nasal framework, correcting them as required for form and function, suturing the incisions, using tissue glue and applying either a package or a stent, or both, to immobilize the corrected nose to ensure the proper healing of the surgical incision.
What were the 7 things Ms Kilikita wished she’d known before she had surgery?

1. The big reveal is extremely disappointing – It will still be very swollen and bruised
2. It takes time to adjust to the new face staring back at you
3. It looks worse than it feels, so don’t let people work you up into a panic beforehand
4. Other people’s perceptions of your appearance are totally different from your own
5. Changing your appearance won’t change the way people treat you
6. It’ll never be completely perfect
7. People might make you feel silly for having it done – Don’t listen to them

How do I know if it’s a skin tag or a wart?

skin lesion removalPlastic surgeons can deal with any number of unexpected, unwanted and unwelcome bodily conditions, one of these being the removal of unsightly or irritating skin lesions. Examples of these include skin tags and warts – but how can you tell the difference between the two?

Warts are small, rough growths that are typically found on the hands and feet. Their appearance ranges from looking a bit like a raised blister to looking much lumpier, like a miniature cauliflower.

Skin tags on the other hand tend to be much softer and are formed anywhere on the body where there are folds of skin that create the perfect conditions for a tag to form. They can be very tiny and resemble a small mole, or up to around 5mm long and be more elongated.

Are they essentially the same thing?

Warts and skin tags may occasionally look the same but they are very different. The key difference between warts and skin tags is how they are formed.

Warts are formed due to the presence of a virus in the skin called the human papilloma virus. The virus enters the skin through a cut or an abrasion and causes the skin to create more keratin than it needs. Keratin is naturally produced by the skin and in the correct quantities just forms part of the normal epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). In the presence of the human papilloma virus it goes into overdrive and creates a hard bump on the skin, which takes on the unsightly appearance of a wart. This is the same virus that is also responsible for creating veruccas.

Skin tags are created when excess skin rubs together and creates a protrusion. There is no virus or infection responsible for their creation, but they tend to be more prevalent in people who are overweight or obese, as there is more spare skin available. Skin tags can vary a lot in terms of size and shape, whereas warts tend to be more rotund.

What can be done to fix them?

Now the differences are clear in terms of how they are created, the similarities arrive when looking at treatments for both skin tags and warts.

Warts will often eventually disappear of their own accord, although this is not often a speedy process – it can take years. Skin tags will occasionally fall off, but often people choose either to leave them alone or have them surgically removed.

If you choose to have warts or skin tags removed then many of the same treatments and techniques can work for both. Plastic surgeons or GPs may freeze them off or burn them off with a controlled acidic solution. Skin tags can also be treated by snipping them off or cutting them off with a sharp scalpel. They may also be removed by a technique similar to a tourniquet – a small wire or threat can be used to cut off the blood supply to the tag which will lead it to fall off.

What are the chances of a breast implant leaking?

All cosmetic surgery procedures carry risks and it is part of the decision-making process to make sure that you fully understand what these risks are. With the news story in recent years of the leaking PIP breast implants, there is now an increased awareness amongst consumers that this is one of the breast implant risks, so just how great is this risk?

According to the NHS, the PIP implants still carry a much higher risk compared with traditional silicone implants. They are made with a different gel substance, rather than the medically approved silicone that has been used for many years. With this different approach the risk of a PIP implant rupturing is considered to be “two to six times more likely to rupture than standard silicone implants”.

Since the PIP story broke in 2010, PIP implants are no longer in use and although the leaks did not cause serious harm to the patients, they certainly caused unpleasant side effects (such as unevenly sized breasts, lumpy skin around the breast, pain, swelling and redness) for many patients who underwent removal of the implants.

A reassuring approach

Breast Implant RisksAt his practice, breast implant specialist Mr Alan Park only uses implants from manufacturers with an impeccable safety record. One brand he uses are designed and manufactured here in the UK by a company called Nagor. According to research undertaken in 2013, Nagor implants were found to have one of the lowest rupture rates of all implants available on the market.

If you decide to have implants with Mr Park and his team, you can be reassured by this high quality, and you’re also protected with the Nagor GCA Comfort Guarantee, all of which will be fully explained at consultation.

Understanding breast implant risks

Overall, it is generally considered that the longer you keep an implant for, the greater chance there is that it will eventually rupture. As with all man-made modifications to the body, implants do have a shelf life, so depending on your age when you have them, you may need to have these replaced at some point in the future.

If you choose to have implants and ensure that you select a reputable plastic surgeon, one who uses medically approved implants such as a Nagor, then the risk of premature rupture are very small. If you have had implants for several years (for example, 10 years or more) and have got any concerns about their longevity, make an appointment to speak to a specialist. They will be able assess how your implants are faring and whether or not a follow-up operation may be required.

Wrinkles – separating fact from fiction

Wrinkles: separating fact from fictionOne of the many facts about getting older is that we will develop wrinkles. Some people are more prone to them than others, but at some point, we will all succumb to one of the most common signs of ageing. There are things that can be done to slow down this process and also many old wives’ tales too. Here we look at the fact and the fiction concerning facial lines.

True or false….?

Smoking gives you wrinkles – true

Cigarettes continue nicotine and this is the ingredient that heightens the appearance of wrinkles. When nicotine is inhaled, it narrows the blood vessels in the top layers of your skin, which means that the skin does not get sufficient blood supply. This limited blood supply restricts the amount of nutrients that are delivered to your skin by the blood, including oxygen and vitamin A. Over time this will cause your skin to sag and develop lines.

Sun cream can help prevent wrinkles – true

Looking after your skin from an early age is the best way to ensure that wrinkles are kept at bay for as long as possible. Regularly moisturising your sink is a good idea, and sun protection is vital. Using sun cream with a minimum strength of SPF15 will help your skin from damaged caused by the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Anti-wrinkle creams can remove wrinkles – false

Anti-wrinkle creams can work hard to moisturise your skin, keep it supple and nourished, which is the first step in trying to reduce the appearance of lines. The truth is that most moisturisers will be able to subtly help the appearance of your face, as drier skin can make the creases look more pronounced. Anti-wrinkle creams cannot offer proven, scientific reversing of lines on your face.

What to do if you’re unhappy with wrinkles

Your facial lines are evidence that you have lived, smiled, laughed and frowned. For some people, they represent a natural part of the ageing process and they are happy to let them appear and shape the contours of their face. However, if you’re not ready to give into wrinkles just yet, arrange to speak to Mr Alan Park to understand exactly what treatments are available to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Non surgical methods of tackling hyperhidrosis

Non-surgical methods of treating hyperhidrosisHyperhidrosis is a condition that affects around 1% of the population in the UK, and it is where sweat glands work overzealously, causing excessive sweating. This condition can be embarrassing and can have a detrimental effect on self esteem. It is also one of those unfortunate cyclical conditions, whereby worrying about it can make the condition even worse.

According to NHS choices, this condition can affect your whole body (although this is rare) but more often it will affect areas such as your under arms, palms of your hands, soles of your feet, face and chest, and your groin.

The good news is that there are things that can be done to target this problem. At his surgery Mr Alan Park offers solutions such as Botox injections which can help paralyse the part of the nervous system that is causing excess sweating to occur. However, if you’re not ready to consider seeing an expert yet, there are some handy hints and tips that can help you control the condition.

Learn the triggers and avoid them

Individuals will find that there are certain things that trigger hyperhidrosis, so the first step is to try and remove yourself from exposure to these. Stressful situations, eating spicy food and drinking alcohol have all been linked with hyperhidrosis, so if these are triggers for you, try to avoid them as much as you can.

Dress appropriately for hyperhidrosis

There are some fabrics that are more accommodating than others, so try wearing loose-fitting, cotton clothing. Avoiding man made fabrics (like nylon) is also helpful, as these are less breathable than natural alternatives. The colour of your clothes can also make a difference. Avoid colours that show wet stains such as bold primary colours, and opt for colours such as black and white, as these can help mask any leaks.

Use an antiperspirant

It is important to understand the difference between ‘deodorant’ and ‘antiperspirant’. Deodorant is purely designed to mask odours, whereas the components in an antiperspirant are designed to help reduce sweat. If you’re suffering with hyperhidrosis then you’ll probably find that normal antiperspirants are not effective enough to keep you dry, however there are stronger alternatives (brands such as Anhydrol and Driclor – both of which contain aluminium chloride as their active ingredient) that are available – although you will often have to ask a pharmacist for these.

Combating wrinkles and crows’ feet….does anti wrinkle cream really work?

Thinking about wrinkles and crows' feetMany people are unhappy to see the arrival of wrinkles, especially those that appear around facial features. Laughter and frown lines, crows’ feet, whatever they are called, they are often unwelcome.

There are a number of surgical procedures available that can significantly improve the appearance of wrinkled skin, although people often try non-surgical alternatives first. One of the best known non-surgical approaches is using anti-wrinkle cream, but does this really work?

The truth behind the advertising

Many anti wrinkle creams promise truly great results – which can sometimes sound too good to be true. Unfortunately, as with most things that sound too good to be true, often the reality doesn’t quite live up to the claim. It’s not that the advertising is untrue, per se; it’s often that claims may be somewhat exaggerated, or tested on very small groups of people. Unlike advertising for medical products, non-prescription treatments are not subjected to the same rigorous code of conduct that drugs are, so they can be a bit more relaxed with the language, terminology and claims made.

Interestingly, although you will pay a premium for creams that contain wrinkle-busting ingredients such as retinol, Q10, different vitamins, peptides, hydroxyl acids and so on, even very basic moisturisers will be able to somewhat lessen the appearance of wrinkles. So, although the benefit achieved by creams is limited, any moisturising cream should be able to help somewhat reduce wrinkles.

The key to this is the moisturising credentials. When skin absorbs moisture, it becomes fuller. This in turn makes wrinkles appear to be diminishing, as the firmer, fuller skin masks their appearance. So, really what you want to look for is a good moisturiser, rather than an extremely expensive anti wrinkle cream with lots of impressive-sounding claims and ingredients.

When you consider which moisturisers to try, sun cream is a surprise contender for its effectiveness against wrinkles. Not only does it moisturise your skin, the components that block harmful UV rays from the sun will work in parallel with the moisturising to ensure that your skin is protected against any further damage.

Thinking about the next steps to deal with your wrinkles

When you’ve finished exploring different creams, lotions and potions and feel ready to talk to a cosmetic surgeon about the surgical options that are available, book an appointment to speak with Mr Alan Park and his team. They will guide you through the treatments that would be most appropriate and help you decide on the next steps.