Woman’s Hour takes a look at cosmetic surgery

Womans Hour and cosmetic surgeryIn celebration of its 70th year, BBC Radio 4’s flagship show Woman’s Hour recently released a poll that looked at every aspect of a woman’s life in 2016. As well as discovering that 86% of women would rather be a woman than a man, compared to just over half of women interviewed in 1947, a third of women also said that they would consider cosmetic surgery.

In figures released earlier this year, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) of which I am a member, compiled plastic surgery statistics in the UK. As evidenced by the Woman’s Hour poll, a greater acceptance of cosmetic surgery powered a 12.5% growth on the previous year’s figures.

The top 10 plastic surgery ops for women

  1. Breast Augmentation: The popularity of enhancement surgery among the young also shows no sign of abating; the sector of the female population most enthusiastic about going under the knife as per the Woman’s Hour poll were women under the age of 35, with breast augmentation the most requested op.
  2. Blepharoplasty: Also known as an eyelid lift, a blepharoplasty can be performed on either the upper or lower lid or both. The eyes often give away the ageing game and a blepharoplasty can transform the upper part of the face and produce an impressively rejuvenating effect.
  3. Face/Neck Lift: Other popular facial rejuvenation surgery are facelifts or neck lifts. Although non-surgical procedures, such as dermal fillers or Botox, have massively grown in popularity in previous years, there is a limit to how much they can achieve and, so far, there has not been an effective alternative to cosmetic surgery that can tackle sagging facial tissues.
  4. Breast Reduction: For women who have suffered with the physical and psychological problems associated with overly-large breasts, often for many years, a breast reduction can produce life-changing results. In 2013 a study published in Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, applied validated survey tools to evaluate patient satisfaction after a breast reduction procedure. Statistically significant improvements were recorded in terms of satisfaction with appearance and physical and psychosocial well-being.
  5. Liposuction: Increasingly safe and highly effective, it’s no wonder that liposuction for women was the procedure that saw the greatest growth; according to the BAAPS figures it was up 20% on the previous year.
  6. Rhinoplasty: Known as the world’s oldest cosmetic surgery procedure, early surgeons were performing reconstructive nose operations many thousands of years ago. The nose is the central feature of the face and a nose that is too big, too long, crooked or generally out of balance with the rest of the facial features, can greatly impact on a woman’s self-confidence. However, it is essential that you have realistic and achievable expectations from surgery and it’s part of my role in a rhinoplasty consultation at my Leamington cosmetic surgery clinic to ensure that this is the case.
  7. Fat Transfer: During this procedure, fat is taken from one part of the body where it is not wanted and moved or ‘grafted’ to another part of the face or body, to restore volume or enhance a particular feature. Although it may be less well-known as a cosmetic surgery op, it has been performed for many years. However, it is only in recent years that results have become more predictable and successful.
  8. Abdominoplasty: The tummy tuck can produce some of the most dramatic before and afters photographs, removing excess sagging skin, tightening muscles and flattening the abdomen. It is important to realise, though, that a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure – it is best suited to women who are at or near their ideal body weight. However, for women who may have stretched skin and muscles from weight fluctuations or pregnancy, a tummy tuck is often the only solution.
  9. Brow Lift: Many women complain that low, sagging brows make them look tired and even cross all the time. A brow lift is a popular facial procedure that can dramatically rejuvenate the upper third of the face.
  10. Ear Correction (Pinnaplasty/Otoplasty): Although surgical treatment for prominent ears is most commonly performed on children aged around 5 or 6, both teenagers and adults of both sexes come forward, having ‘slipped through the net’ for a variety of reasons, and having put up with many years of hiding their ears or having to put up with upsetting banter or even direct verbal abuse.

If you are interested in discussing any of the top ten female cosmetic surgery procedures in more depth, call 01926 436341 to arrange a consultation.

New advice warns against vaping and cosmetic surgery

smoking and cosmetic surgeryPrior to anyone embarking on a cosmetic procedure at my Leamington plastic surgery practice, I cover the dos and don’ts before they proceed. One of the topics we touch on is smoking and patients are always advised to quit the habit for at least a few weeks both before and after any major procedure.

Now I read with interest a new study from America that has looked at the possible dangers of e-cigarettes. The research was backed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and found that e-cigarettes carry similar risks to normal cigarettes, particularly in relation to healing.

Why smoking and cosmetic surgery should never mix

A cigarette contains many different chemicals that can affect blood flow and almost 7,000 compounds are produced every time you light up. One of the chief chemicals is carbon monoxide which decreases the oxygen-carrying capacity of haemoglobin in the blood stream. This differs to how nicotine affects our blood vessels but has the same result in decreasing the amount of blood – and oxygen – flowing to any wounds.

Although e-cigarettes may not contain these thousands of nasty chemicals, nicotine on its own can cause major problems. Nicotine restricts blood flow by shrinking the capillaries and this process known as vasoconstriction can compromise wound healing.

Popular cosmetic surgery procedures, such as a tummy tuck, facelift or a breast uplift, entail reshaping or moving body tissues. Your cosmetic surgeon will typically have to cut some of the blood supply, but your body is usually well able to deal with this slightly restricted blood flow and still heal well. However, when nicotine further compromises blood circulation, in some cases, not enough oxygen reaches the tissue and this can lead to wound healing issues and even a condition known as necrosis where the tissue dies off.

It’s not just a matter of wound healing. Smoking causes a rise in inflammation in the body which can, in turn, increase the chance of post-surgical complications. In a study in 2011, Dr Alparslan Turan, a professor of anaesthesiology at the Cleveland Clinic in the US, found that smokers were 57% more likely to have a cardiac arrest, 80% more likely to have a heart attack after surgery and 73% more likely to have a stroke.

Furthermore, questions have been raised about just how safe e-cigarettes are. Although Public Health England (PHE) has endorsed vaping and made the claim that it is 95% safer than normal smoking, earlier this year researchers at the European Society for Cardiology congress in Rome warned that electronic cigarettes may be “far more dangerous” than has been initially thought. Scientists monitored the impact on the aorta, the main artery into the heart. They found that a vaping session had a similar stiffening effect on the aorta as smoking an ordinary cigarette.

The good news is that within a matter of weeks of quitting smoking or vaping, the improvement in body function can prevent any major complications occurring after your operation. I advise stopping for 8 weeks before any major cosmetic surgery.

During your consultation at my Leamington cosmetic surgery clinic, we discuss all possible complications and risks as well as the benefits of a cosmetic surgery procedure, so you can make an informed decision about whether to go ahead. To arrange a consultation, call 01926 436341.