BAAPS weighs in on lip filler debate

lip augmentation problemsSocial media has been named as the chief culprit behind the rise in young people seeking aesthetic procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers and now the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), the UK’s leading independent plastic surgery association of which I’m a member, has been moved to comment on the situation.

Last month, a study published by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics called for the UK government to provide greater protection for young people. In particular, they pointed out the vast amount of makeover apps and online cosmetic surgery games that were accessible and even aimed at very young children.

Furthermore, the rise of social media platforms that focus on ‘selfies’ which can be digitally manipulated before being posted for likes or negative reviews combined with a celebrity culture that portrays an unrealistic lifestyle and airbrushed images, contributes to a spike in anxiety and impact on self-esteem.

Professor Jeanette Edwards of the University of Manchester, who chaired the Nuffield Council’s research into ethical issues and cosmetic procedures, said: “There is a daily bombardment from advertising and through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat that relentlessly promote unrealistic and often discriminatory messages on how people, especially girls and women, ‘should’ look.”

The Council were focusing on those under the age of 18 that might be being pressured into these kinds of procedures and BAAPS agrees that there are serious concerns over how these treatments, particularly dermal fillers, are being marketed to Millenials.

A recent poll by WhatClinic.com found that almost half of traffic to web pages about lip augmentation were from visitors in the 18-24 age bracket and those clinics surveyed said that although they wouldn’t treat under 18s, they would provide fillers to those under 21.

Dermal fillers remain unregulated in the UK and, as a result, plastic surgeons are increasingly being called upon to treat complications arising from treatment. Despite many calls for the Government to introduce more stringent regulations of fillers and a whole host of other ‘minimally invasive’ procedures, patients still remain at risk.

Until new laws are introduced, the best advice is always to see a medically qualified practitioner such as a plastic surgeon that has the necessary experience to both produce the aesthetic results you’re hoping for as well as deal with a problem if it was to arise.

Quality of life improved by body contouring surgery after weight loss

body contouring after weight lossLast year there were calls for the NHS to significantly increase bariatric surgery rates to 50,000 a year to bring it in line with European averages. The paper published in the British Medical Journal, propounded the major health benefits and potential reduction in healthcare costs for the NHS. Yet, according to a new study, quality of life after weight loss surgery may be dependent on the patient undergoing further surgery to tackle excess skin.

For men and women who are determined to transform their lives, then weight loss surgery can be the answer to many years of struggling to lose weight. For those that have a BMI of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 to 40 with a related health condition, then a gastric band, gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy might be appropriate and patients can expect to lose up to 50% of their excess weight in the first six months after surgery.

However, that sort of massive weight loss over a short period of time is not without its downsides and often the biggest – and most unwelcome – surprise is that you’re still unhappy with how you look. After years of being overweight, skin becomes stretched and less elastic and many men and women are left with folds of sagging skin.

Clothes can still fit badly because of the excess skin and you can still be reluctant to bare your bodies on the beach or in the gym. Even physical problems can persist with chafing and rashes and no amount of exercise can improve the problem significantly.

Benefits of body contouring after weight loss surgery

In recent years, there has been more focus on this problem. One report published in 2013 in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal, found that patients who’d undergone body contouring surgery were less likely to gain weight back than those that hadn’t. One hundred patients that had lost about 100 pounds as a result of bariatric surgery were monitored after their procedure and those that had also underwent a cosmetic surgery procedure to remove excess skin, gained back approximately 13 pounds whereas those that hadn’t had further surgery gained about 50 pounds back.

Now, a new study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal has found that those who undergo procedures such as a tummy tuck or arm reduction after losing massive amounts of weight, may have a better quality of life.

The study questioned 112 female patients who’d undergone successful weight loss surgery about their attitude to their bodies and perceived quality of life. These women then went onto have body contouring surgery and the researchers spoke to the women at intervals over the next two years. On average, quality of life scores rose from 44 before body contouring surgery to 86 in the short term and a similar improvement at longer-term assessments.

Body contouring surgery options

Mr Richard Matthews offers a number of different plastic surgery procedures that are aimed at removing excess skin, whether on the breasts, thighs, flanks and abdomen, improving the body’s shape and tone.

Breast lift: also known as a mastopexy, this procedure is suitable for patients who have sagging skin and loss of volume in the upper part of the breast, a common problem after massive weight loss. The aim is to produce a more youthful, fuller, lifted appearance to the breasts.

Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty: this is one of the most well-known and popular body contouring procedures as it is possible to remove excess skin, tighten up the stomach muscles, sometimes combining with liposuction, to greatly tighten and tone the abdomen.

Body lift: often the amount of excess skin resulting from bariatric surgery means the patient requires a body lift. An incision is made around the circumference of the body to reshape the abdomen, waist, hips, flanks, thighs and buttocks by removing excess skin and lifting and tightening the remaining skin.

If your weight is stable and you are committed to a healthy lifestyle, with realistic goals from your surgery, then body contouring after weight loss surgery can be a very positive experience that can greatly boost body confidence.