Social media selfies driving facial cosmetic surgery

facial cosmetic surgery in selfies

Social media is all around us; from our phone and tablets, to computers and laptops, from articles in newspapers and reports in the news, we are constantly interacting with images and posts from social media.

Most of us also choose to actively engage with at least one social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and, for some of us, it is the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning and the last thing we look at before bed. Love it or hate it, there’s very little chance you can escape it.

Social media gives us access like never before to friends, peers and celebrities, showing off what they regard to be their best assets. Throw in some flattering camera angles and a filter or two, and you have the perfect storm of trying to create the perfect look.

Continued growth in procedures inspired by the selfie

Cosmetic surgeons are really noticing the difference. They are seeing many more patients citing the desire to look better in ‘selfies’ (the popular arm’s length photos typically taken with your smartphone).

Interestingly, according to a report published recently by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), this has grown exponentially, with 55% of facial plastic surgeons reporting patients in 2017 wanting to look better in selfies. This is a trend that has been growing year on year, and all indications suggest that this is likely to continue.

This craze is really appealing to the younger market too. Previously, facial surgery tended to be favoured by older people who were keen to try and mitigate the ageing process. Nowadays, if people desire a certain look they are keen to get it – and cosmetic surgery can be the solution.

Designing the perfect look – but maintaining a ‘natural’ appearance overall

So which procedures are people looking for in their pursuit for looks that they feel are more desirable? From fuller lips, to a smoother forehead, more defined cheeks to less visible wrinkles, the younger generation is keen to achieve the perfect ‘selfie’ look, but interestingly, they still wish the end result to look natural.

The report by AAFPRS suggests that “no matter the treatment, a natural-looking outcome is paramount for patients, with 33 percent stating a fear of looking unnatural as their top concern”.

The latest cosmetic surgery craze: belly button surgery

belly button surgery

There are few areas of the body that you can’t nip, tuck, tweak or smooth, but the latest cosmetic surgery trend focuses on a body part that typically receives less attention… the belly button.

Thanks in part to social media and its effect on the perceptions of perfection, the humble belly button can now be altered so that it looks more ‘flawless’ in the eyes of the beholder. There’s even a name for it; the cosmetic surgery procedure to modify your belly button is known as an umbilicoplasty.

There is a growing awareness that this type of procedure is available and acceptable, and surgeons are reporting a rise in demand for this new operation. They say that typically people consider this type of operation in spring/early summer, when the prospect of getting their midriff out becomes a reality again.

So, who has the type of belly button that others are keen to replicate?

Surgeons report that celebrities such as Jessica Simpson, Erin Heatherton and Emily Ratajowski have enviable belly buttons, the characteristics of which appear to be a ‘hooded, oval-shaped belly button’. Demand for a perfect button is growing, with surgeons in the UK reporting a 12% increase in demand in the last year.

Innie or outie?

The current trend appears to lean towards an ‘innie’, (hence the interest in Jessica Simpson and Emily Ratajowski) but there are some who favour a more discrete ‘outie’, as seen in Victoria’s Secret catalogues courtesy of Erin Heatherton. The crux though, according to plastic surgeon Dr David Shafer, a US board certified plastic surgeon and RealSelf contributor, is that the belly button is ‘midline’ or centred.

This operation is quick and straightforward, usually only taking around 30 to 40 minutes to complete, and the subsequent recovery time is fast as well.

Nevertheless, despite that fact that this is a relatively quick and easy operation (compared with some of the more complex cosmetic procedures available) you should ensure that you’re visiting a legitimate plastic surgeon, one that is authorised and regulated by professional bodies such as BAAPS (The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons). 

What happens if your weight fluctuates after a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck can help those who are struggling to shift excess fat from the abdominal region or who have found that they have an abundance of loose skin, from significant weight loss, the natural ageing process or multiple pregnancies. The tummy tuck procedure is well known and has helped many people achieve a smoother, firmer abdomen.

Before undergoing this type of procedure, surgeons will recommend that you reach a weight that you are happy with and that you’re not still working towards. The reason for this is that dramatic weight changes following a tummy tuck operation can affect how effective the results are.

What happens if weight creeps back up once the operation has been done?

Gaining a little weight won’t cause major problems following a tummy tuck, so there is no need to worry unduly if you over-indulge on holiday or over Christmas, for example. If you gain a significant amount of weight then this will affect the look of your abdominal region, as the surgery will be tailored to your weight and body mass at the time of the operation.

If you do notice that you’re gaining weight and work to address this reasonably quickly then you’ll soon notice that the results you were seeing post-operatively return. The longer you carry excess weight, the harder it will be to bring your body back to how it looked when you were the weight when the operation was newly undertaken.

If you gain a significant amount of weight then you are at risk of stretching the skin again, which could put you back to square one. Falling pregnant after having had a tummy tuck will undoubtedly affect the operation, so it’s sensible to ensure that your family plans are complete before choosing this type of surgery.

And what if I lose weight?

The same principle applies to weight loss. If you lose a bit of weight then this will not affect the results of the operation, but significant weight loss is not advised. If you begin or continue, to lose weight once you’ve had a procedure like this, your skin can loosen and become less tight/firm.

Losing weight is not as risky as gaining weight when considering your op’s longevity, but neither is ideal and both should be avoided if possible. The best advice following this type of procedure is to maintain a good diet and undertake a sensible amount of exercise to remain fit and healthy while keeping your weight as stable as possible.

Tummy tuck vs lipo? Which is the best option for me?

If you’re unhappy with the girth and/or appearance of your abdominal region and have reached the furthest you can go with diet and exercise, then it may be time to consider surgical options.

There are three main options that can be considered to help smooth out and firm up your tummy:

Tummy tuck

• Liposuction

• A combination of both

Choosing a tummy tuck

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is an operation where skin and muscles can be tightened up, leaving a smoother, firmer look and feel. A tummy tuck is ideal if you have got sagging skin, caused by factors such as ageing, weight loss or pregnancy. Some people have better skin elasticity than others. If your skin has lost some of its natural elasticity, commonly after pregnancy, or didn’t have a great deal in the first place, you may find that no amount of exercise is helping affect the look of your tummy.

Tummy tucks don’t just address weakened skin, they deal with weakened abdominal muscles too. Often following pregnancy, the abdominal muscles become weaker and the abdomen may bulge. While exercises can help strengthen these muscles, depending on the amount of damage that has occurred, these may only fully recover with a surgical helping hand.

Choosing liposuction

For people who are suffering with stubborn pockets of fat, liposuction may be the best option. Via a series of small incisions, surgeons are able to extract fatty tissue from under the skin, leaving a smoother, leaner appearance. If there is sufficient skin elasticity, the skin should shrink to fit the newly contoured region in the weeks following the liposuction.

Considering both body reshaping procedures

It may be that a hybrid approach of liposuction and a tummy tuck represent the best fix for you. In many cases, surgeons will recommend undergoing liposuction first and waiting to see what benefits this brings. By around three to four months following liposuction you should be able to assess whether or not the results are satisfactory enough. If you still feel that this has not addressed your concerns, then a tummy tuck can be considered as the next step.

Some patients will not wish to stagger this and may choose to have both done at the same time. During your initial consultations, you’ll be able to talk to your surgeon in depth about your preferred course of action and they will offer guidance accordingly.