Last month, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), of which I am a member, released their 2014 cosmetic surgery figures. Despite a general mood of cautious economic buoyancy nationwide, there was a drop in last year’s numbers compared to the previous year.
These figures are only based on the number of procedures performed by BAAPS members, all of whom have to be NHS-trained, consultant-level surgeons on the GMC’s plastic surgery register. This doesn’t, therefore, take into account the procedures performed by the big cosmetic surgery chains, but the conclusion drawn was that there had been a drop in ‘glamour model-inspired boob jobs and summer body-influenced transformations’, meaning the big chains are likely to have been similarly affected.
The phrase ‘tweaked not tucked’ was coined to describe the move towards more understated aesthetic procedures. Although I have seen no drop in my own private practice, I do think there is a move towards anti-ageing procedures, such as the eyelid lift, that produce subtle, naturally-beautiful results, rather than a transformation that shouts to all and sundry that you’ve been ‘done’. Certainly this conservative approach has always been the basis of my own plastic surgery philosophy.
Another trend I have witnessed that chimes with BAAPS findings is that patients are doing more research. The majority of patients attending my Leamington cosmetic surgery clinic have done thorough research before they arrive for a consultation; a change that can only be encouraged and embraced by any reputable and ethical plastic surgeon.
Other conclusions that can be drawn from these figures include:
The impact of changes to the National Health Service
BAAPS figures showed that while breast augmentations still came out on top, demand had dropped by a massive 23%, but breast reduction procedures saw a rise. Previously, breast reductions were commonly performed in my NHS practice, but more and more patients are finding themselves ineligible for this procedure on the Health Service so are forced to look privately.
Cosmetic surgery versus non-surgical procedures
In previous years, there has been much media coverage of non-surgical, minimally-invasive body reshaping or fat reduction procedures. The appeal is understandable; fantastic results without the associated downtime or possible complications. However, as in life, there is no such thing as a quick fix and if something sounds too good to be true it usually is.
The internet is awash with stories of disappointing results from these non-surgical procedures, so it is perhaps unsurprising that surgical liposuction has increased in popularity last year, with a rise of 10% for women.
If you’ve done your research and are interested in exploring a particular procedure further, book a consultation at my Warwickshire private cosmetic surgery practice. All patients are given in-depth coverage of both the benefits and drawbacks and an honest opinion as to whether cosmetic surgery is right for them.