The silver surfer and cosmetic surgery

cosmetic surgery ops for pensionersNew research from The Independent Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) has shone a spotlight on what pensioners are planning to spend their hard-saved cash on. As well as travelling the world and indulging in ‘treats’, the over-55s are informing their pension advisers that they’d like to spend their money on cosmetic surgery ops such as facelifts, eyelid lifts and even body reshaping procedures, usually the preserve of the younger patient.

In 2014 the American Society for Plastic Surgeons released data that showed that the over-55s made up 24% of all cosmetic surgery procedures and these figures are probably similar to the UK.

What drives older patients to have cosmetic surgery?

As 50 becomes the new 40 and 60 becomes the new 50, we are living longer and healthier and it is now considered normal – and even expected by some – that you try to keep ageing at bay with whatever means necessary. A poll carried out a few years ago by Saga Magazine, the voice of the older generation, found that four in ten said there was no harm in improving their appearance. Cosmetic surgery has also become far less taboo, helped by ‘older’ celebrities such as Felicity Kendal and Jane Fonda openly admitting that they have gone under the knife or needle.

Which cosmetic surgery procedures are popular with the older patient?

Facial rejuvenation for anti-ageing purposes are the most commonly-requested procedures by older men and women that attend my Leamington cosmetic surgery clinic. Non-surgical procedures such as dermal fillers and Botox can be effective, but often there has been such a loss of skin elasticity that these non-surgical procedure may not achieve the results you’re expecting.

  • Facelift: as the skin and muscles in the face start to slacken and fat volume is lost then you’ll start to see a descent of these tissues, causing sunken cheeks, folds to appear around the nose and mouth and sagging of the jawline. The facelifts of old just removed excess skin, often resulting in a pulled and unnatural appearance. Now, the aim of a facelift is to reposition these tissues, restoring more youthful facial contours.
  • Neck Lift: an ageing neck is a common complaint that I hear at my Leamington cosmetic surgery clinic. The skin on the neck is thinner and is often overlooked when it comes to moisturising and sun protection so skin quickly starts to sag due to a combination of age, gravity and sun damage. Excess skin is removed and the underlying muscles tightened during a neck lift to produce a more youthful appearance.
  • Eyelid Lift: the thin skin on the upper and lower eyelids make them a prime target for wrinkling and I see many women who complain that they are no longer able to put make-up on as a result. In extreme cases, drooping of the upper lids can even obscure vision. An eyelid lift is a very popular anti-ageing procedure producing very pleasing results in both women and in men.

Naturally, great care and attention is taken with regard to safety to ensure that people are fit enough for any selected treatment option, thorough assessment of both individual health status and of risk/benefit being made in each case.

For more information on any of the cosmetic surgery procedures I offer and for a full and comprehensive assessment of your suitability, book a consultation by calling 01926 436341.

Plastic surgeon Mr Richard Matthews addresses latest breast implant scare story

Silimed breast implants suspendedThe implications of the PIP implant scandal are still affecting many thousands of women in the UK and now another breast implant scare story has hit the media with the news that Silimed implants have temporarily lost their CE mark, causing their withdrawal both here and around the world.

Why have Silimed breast implants been withdrawn from use?

This does not just pertain to breast implants. All Silimed’s silicone implants, which include breast, pectoral, testicular and penile implants, have been suspended while regulators from individual countries perform extensive testing.

During an audit of the manufacturing process, sterile particles were discovered on the surfaces of their silicone implants. The issue is whether these sterile particles could potentially cause any health problems and how extensive this contamination is.

This news is bound to cause a great deal of anxiety for any woman who has had these implants inserted, particularly in light of the problems that occurred with PIP implants.

Why would my plastic surgeon have used Silimed implants?

Many of the leading surgeons in the UK have used Silimed implants, including past presidents of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), an independent plastic surgery association that puts patient safety at the very forefront of their endeavours.

There are two guiding factors that a reputable plastic surgeon will follow when choosing implants to offer to their patients: safety and efficacy.

Safety: Silimed is one of the major silicone implant manufacturers in the world, supplying devices to more than 75 countries. They were the first non-USA based manufacturer to gain FDA approval for their silicone gel implants – the FDA approval process in the US is lengthy, arduous and requires a great deal of clinical data to support both the safety and efficacy of a product.

In the UK, any implant or medical device requires a CE mark before it can be used and this CE mark indicates that it has followed all European directives in terms of safety. PIP breast implants gained their CE mark by fraudulently claiming the substance in their implants was something it was not and there is no comparison to the situation with Silimed.

Efficacy: There are many advantages to using Silimed implants and they probably have the widest range of breast implants available. The silicone used in the implants is a specially designed, highly stable silicone gel that is very resistant to damage and the implants are less likely to change shape over time.

Their polyurethane foam coated breast implants also have a very low rate of capsular contracture – the manufactures state that only 1 – 2% of implants were found to have developed capsular contracture after 15 years due to its textured surface.

In conclusion

At the moment it is unknown whether these sterile particles present any risk or even that any of these ‘contaminated’ products will have been used in a cosmetic breast implant procedures in the UK and this is being investigated thoroughly by the regulatory body in the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Their current statement is as follows: “for the moment there has been no indication that these issues would pose a threat to the implanted person’s safety.”

My feeling is that it is very unlikely that problems will be found with the Silimed implants. However it is completely right and proper that the regulators have immediately moved to address this issue. If you are concerned about anything raised in the article, please be in touch with my Leamington cosmetic surgery clinic by calling 01926 436341.