In the UK, cosmetic surgery continues to become ever more popular, with increasing numbers of people seeking out medical treatment to improve their appearance. According to statistics taken from 2013, over 50,000 cosmetic procedures were carried out the year before, with the most popular being breast augmentation, eyelid surgery and face/neck lifts.
With the soaring popularity in more minor surgical procedures, such as dermal fillers, less invasive forms of liposuction and skin rejuvenation treatments, it looks like an industry set to enjoy further growth over the coming years.
Rising Popularity in Over 65s
According to Dr Andrew Watts, a cosmetic surgeon from Nuffield Health, an increasing number of patients are now aged 65 and over. He says: “I’m now seeing many more people in their 60s, 70s and even their 80s seeking plastic surgery, as they not only want to remain fit and healthy in their old age, but they want to look good too.”
He also notes that this age group “aren’t usually looking for radical work,” but simply want to find ways of creating a more youthful appearance, without major surgery.
There are a huge number of cosmetic procedures now available on the market. Here are just a few on offer:
- Dermal fillers involve injecting a substance into the dermis of the skin, which helps to plump and soften wrinkles and lines, creating a smoother appearance.
- Botulinum Toxin, or Botox for short, is injected into the skin, most commonly the forehead, to eradicate lines. It’s also used to treat excessive sweating.
- Chemical Peels are applied directly to the skin and act as an abrasive, removing old layers of skin and revealing fresher, younger skin beneath.
- Mesotherapy involves the injection of minerals and vitamins into the skin, to rejuvenate and stimulate the skin’s metabolism.
- Vaser Liosuction is a minimally invasive way of removing fat, and can be carried out in most areas of the body, including the tummy, thighs and buttocks.
What to Expect?
Most minor cosmetic treatments do not offer radical results. Indeed, with certain procedures, you may have to wait a few days until you notice any difference at all. The majority of these types of treatments are designed to offer a more naturally youthful appearance.
With certain minor cosmetic procedures, such as dermal fillers, you’ll need to return after a few months for a ‘top-up’ session.
Many people are concerned as to whether or not these treatments will hurt. With certain procedures, such as Botox, mild pain may be experienced; however, most do not cause anything more than slight discomfort. You won’t need to remain overnight in a hospital, and it’s unlikely that you’ll need much time off work, if any.
Risks Involved in Minor Cosmetic Surgery
As with any form of surgery, there are always risks involved. However, there have been recent ‘horror stories’ in the media recently about ‘cowboy surgeons’ performing medical procedures without the right qualifications. Understandably, these reports have caused many to distrust cosmetic surgery and the levels of safety within the industry.
According to a recent large-scale study of over 20,000 participants in the US, all of whom had experienced minor cosmetic surgery, results demonstrated that very few complications arose, and that none had been serious. Indeed, out of 20,399 cases in total, only 36 – less than 1% – had experienced a problem.
The report encouraged experts in the UK to review current practices in this country. They recognise that, at present, it is too easy for under-qualified individuals to offer cosmetic treatments, and that the industry as a whole needed to be more effectively regulated.
As a result, the Department of Health is now taking action to introduce measures to stop ‘cowboy’ cosmetic procedures. Nigel Mercer, deputy president of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, emphasises that minor treatments are safe, provided they are carried out by a recognised, qualified medical professional.
Do Your Research
In the right hands, there is very little risk that your minor cosmetic treatment won’t be a success. However, it’s important to do the right research before committing to surgery of any kind. Ask to see certification or proof of qualification; ask whether they are a member of The British Association of Plastic Surgeons or The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
Seek out feedback from other patients, and look for a surgeon with an extensive background in the procedure that you’d like to have done. Make sure you’re also aware of any risks involved, in order to make an informed decision as to whether or not to go ahead with the treatment.
Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you feel is necessary in order to get the reassurance you require.