Cosmetic surgery boom linked to age discrimination

anti-ageing surgery

The cosmetic surgery industry has been steadily growing for decades, with many different factors influencing people’s choice to get some surgical assistance to make themselves look and feel better. Many of the reasons for wishing to have cosmetic surgery are personally motivated and we as professionals hope that these are borne from a desire to improve body confidence for personal reasons. Interestingly, though, in July 2019, the Aesthetic Surgery Journal reported a link between age discrimination and the desire to have cosmetic surgery.

The study, undertaken by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, “surveyed 50 patients at a University of Pennsylvania plastic surgery clinic over a one-year period. The participants were all over age 18 and mostly women.” The findings at this stage are being treated as preliminary, owing to the small amount of data currently available, but they suggest an apparent link between the desire to have cosmetic surgery and a feeling that you are being unfairly treated as a result of your age.

According to Dermatology Times, there are two beliefs that underpin the reason this study was conducted and these are as follows:

  1. Ageism increases the risk for psychological distress and problems with physical health.
  2. Many cosmetic patients seek anti-ageing surgery

Questions explored patients’ experiences of discrimination and also how they felt that their age affected them in a variety of different settings, including the workplace, friendships, more general interactions, romantic relationships and in relation to their health and wellbeing. The survey went on to cover patients’ anticipation of ageism and also asked them to rate themselves in terms of their own health and how they regarded their own self-confidence.

Report authors revealed that “Our survey found that over 30% of participants reported that they had been treated with less courtesy or respect than others, received poor service in a restaurant or store, or had other discriminatory experiences because of their age.” Not only that, others felt that people in a customer-facing environment were also guilty of making them feel uncomfortable about their age, with “many patients also reported perceiving ageism in their interpersonal relationships, such as by being excluded by others or teased or mocked due to age.”

Age discrimination and anti-ageing surgery

Despite an apparent link between age discrimination and cosmetic surgery in this study, the authors agree that more work is done to see whether this pattern is seen elsewhere or whether specific to this cohort. Additionally, researchers would like to explore the levels of satisfaction patients went on to garner from having the procedures they felt age discrimination contributed towards them choosing.

Facial rejuvenation surgery, such as the facelift, neck lift or eyelid lift, can produce fantastic patient satisfaction, as they can restore a more youthful, rested appearance. To find out more about the anti-ageing procedures we offer at Clarence Clinic, call 020 7118 6887 to arrange a consultation.

Survey identifies what drives women to improve body shape

body contouring surgery

Motivation is an interesting thing and something that can be very personal. Let’s take working, for example, some people need to be under pressure with a looming deadline to feel motivated enough to really pull out the stops and deliver what is required, whereas that is someone else’s idea of a poorly planned nightmare.

Achieving your desired body shape is another interesting one, what is it that really drives women to make a step change to try and alter how their bodies look? Cynosure, a body contouring surgery technology company, wanted to know just what motivates women to get their bodies into better shape, and so commissioned a survey to get to the heart of this.

Factors most likely to motivate…

The researchers consulted with 1,000 women in the UK and the primary factor that made women sit up and pledge to do something about their body shape was seeing an unflattering photograph of themselves. A whopping 50% of the sample said this would be the thing most likely to trigger them to do something about how they look.

Following that, one-third of those surveyed suggested that fitting back into clothes that had become too tight or too unflattering would motivate them. Many of us can relate to the favourite pair of jeans or another item of clothing that has been reluctantly retired to the back of the wardrobe as it is uncomfortably tight at the moment.

Just shy of one in ten of the sample cited getting back into shape following childbirth as a trigger to start addressing negative perceptions of one’s own body shape.

And to a lesser extent…

One in twenty of the sample claimed that a divorce or relationship breakdown would motivate them to pull out the stops and show your ex what they are missing out on. Less than 5% of women surveyed suggested that if their friends were busy exercising this would encourage them to join in, and interestingly, just 2% claim they would be motivated by seeing how celebrities and role models in the media are shaping up.

Fat reduction and body contouring surgery options available

For many of us, diet and exercise will take us so far but then we will get to a point where the good work plateaus and it becomes increasingly difficult to achieve the shape we want or once had. Stubborn pockets of fat can appear to become more tenacious, and the balance of calories to exercise seems out of kilter. If that sounds familiar, then there are options such as liposuction and body contouring surgery that could offer the extra push required.

Liposuction extracts stubborn fatty pockets from under the skin, giving a smoother and firmer appearance. Body contouring surgery is also popular, as it offers procedures such as a tummy tuck, a thigh lift and removal of excess, saggy skin from problem areas such as the midriff.

To find out more about your fat reduction or body contouring options, call 020 7118 6887 to arrange a consultation.

The male facelift: men more likeable and trustworthy after facial surgery

male facelift

Cosmetic surgery journal JAMA reported recently that men who choose to have cosmetic surgery are recipients of much warmer, positive reactions from others, compared with those who hadn’t made surgical enhancements to their facial features.

This research was undertaken amongst a very small sample, just 24 men with an average age of 49 were consulted. Each of the men in the study had undergone facial cosmetic surgery and had footed the bill themselves. Nevertheless, the findings of this study were very interesting, concluding that “men who have cosmetic surgery on their faces can appear more attractive, likeable, trustworthy, and as if they have better social skills.”

The type of procedures the men had chosen included:

  • brow lifts
  • facelifts
  • chin implants
  • neck lifts
  • upper or lower eyelids reductions
  • nose reshaping

Photos of the men were shown to a panel of respondents, all of whom were aged between 25 and 34. They were then asked to rate a variety of different personality traits that they believed the men would possess, such as “how attractive, aggressive, extroverted, likeable, risk-seeking, sociable, masculine and trustworthy the men seemed”.

Male facelift vs female facial aesthetic surgery

It is interesting how the results of a male facelift can affect how strangers are likely to perceive them. It is also interesting to note that the effectiveness of facial cosmetic surgery procedures can differ for men and women. Men’s faces are structurally somewhat different from women’s, and what they are hoping to achieve usually differs also. Not only that, women’s skin is thinner than men’s which can make it harder for a surgeon to work with.

The desired outcomes also vary, with men often wanting to achieve a stronger, more defined appearance, while women are more likely to want softer features, but with enhanced areas such as cheekbones and lips.

Regardless of the subtleties of what they are looking for, all patients who choose facial surgery around middle-age tend to wish to restore a more firm and youthful appearance to their face and neck. Not only this, the uptake of these different procedures is growing year on year, with higher demand than ever before seen by men.

No longer are men just accepting middle-age spread and softening features, they are proactively seeking to address these issues and are ready to embrace the male facelift.

Wimbledon winner expounds breast reduction benefits

breast reduction benefits

The 2019 Wimbledon winner, Simona Halep, has opened up about the benefits of breast reduction surgery. The tennis star claims her breast reduction op helped her to win this year’s biggest tennis tournament.

The Romanian star had a 34DD chest, which she felt was getting in the way of her progress on the court. So, at the age of just 17, she decided to go under the knife for a breast reduction procedure. Here, we’ll look at why Halep chose to go under the knife and the benefits a breast reduction can deliver.

Larger breasts were holding the star back

Halep claims it was the weight of her larger breasts which led her to seek breast reduction surgery. The additional weight was affecting her reaction times and it was becoming uncomfortable to play.

Although Halep underwent the procedure to aid in her tennis career, she claims she would have had the operation anyway. The side effects of having larger breasts can be difficult to deal with, even just in daily life.

After undergoing the procedure, Halep’s career started to really take off. Now a 34C, she has quickly begun to ascend to the top of the tennis world.

What are the breast reduction benefits you can expect?

For many women, larger breasts are the ultimate goal. However, those who do have bigger breasts know that it isn’t always a good thing. When the breasts are too large, they can cause back pain, make it difficult to exercise and cause a lot of embarrassment.

By undergoing breast reduction surgery, it’s possible you could regain a better quality of life. It can aid in self-esteem and confidence, as well as eliminate pain and make it easier to lead a more active lifestyle.

How long does it take to recover from a breast reduction?

A breast reduction procedure is fairly simple, but it does come with some risks. The recovery time can also be quite lengthy. The first few days after the procedure may be tough, with most experiencing pain or discomfort for a few days following the op. It’s advised that patients stay off work until they no longer need pain medication. All activity should also be limited for three to four weeks after the surgery.

Simona Halep’s decision to be open about her surgery perfectly highlights the benefits the procedure can deliver. However, before deciding whether or not to undergo breast reduction, it is important to talk through your options, along with the risks, with an experienced cosmetic surgeon.

To arrange a breast reduction consultation at our Central London Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, call 020 7183 1559 to speak to one of the team.

Ministry of Defence funds tummy tucks and male breast reduction ops for troops

male breast reduction

New figures obtained by the Freedom of Information laws has revealed that the Ministry of Defence has spent thousands of pounds on cosmetic surgery procedures for its troops. Tummy tucks and male breast reduction were among two of the most common procedures carried out.

Officials have claimed these procedures were necessary to allow the troops to best carry out their jobs. So, why are troops having cosmetic surgery procedures funded for them and why might they need them to carry out their jobs?

Troops undergoing cosmetic surgery is nothing new

Although the recent figures released have shocked members of the public, it isn’t actually anything new. The Ministry of Defence has been funding cosmetic procedures for many years now. It was reported back in 2012 that the military was funding breast reduction procedures.

However, officials have been quick to point out that the procedures are never done purely for cosmetic purposes. They are instead funded to ensure the troops can carry out their jobs effectively.

Which cosmetic surgery ops do our soldiers most commonly undergo?

The latest figures show that the most common procedures troops undergo in terms of how much money was spent in the past year in the military, include:

  • Tummy tucks – £19,285 for both male and female troops
  • Breast reductions – £16,430 for male troops and £15,730 for female troops
  • Rhinoplasty – £8,990
  • Muscle Relaxing Injections – £4,883

Other procedures troops have undergone in the past year include tattoo removal and liposuction.

Why are the procedures being funded?

Officials originally claimed the procedures are funded in order to help troops carry out their jobs effectively. However, when it was revealed in 2012 the extent of the funding provided to cover cosmetic procedures in the military, officials claimed it was to help troops fit into their gear. However, they since backtracked on the statement, saying military outfits come in a range of sizes.

So, the reasons behind the funding to allow troops to undergo numerous procedures isn’t clear. However, they have been quick to point out that it isn’t for purely cosmetic purposes. There are many reasons why cosmetic surgery might be funded by the Ministry of Defence.

Although many are largely considered cosmetic, undergoing a procedure can help to boost confidence. This is something that would be important for troops, giving them more confidence in their abilities.

Not everyone is supportive of the fact the Ministry of Defence is providing cosmetic surgery ops at the taxpayer’s expense. There is some speculation it is being provided as more troops than ever before are failing their physical tests. Cosmetic surgery is, therefore, being used as a quick fix to get the troops in better shape.

While cosmetic surgery can have a lot of benefits, it is very important it isn’t used as an alternative to a healthy diet and exercise. If it is being used to improve mental health, it may also be a bad idea to undergo a procedure. Going under the knife to boost your confidence is great, but if it is being used to treat more serious mental health conditions, it could make the situation worse. This needs to be considered before deciding whether or not cosmetic surgery is right for you.

Social media means greater openness towards cosmetic surgery

social media and cosmetic surgery

Social media offers an instant peek into people’s lives; a chance to see what they are thinking, what they are wearing, how they have done their make-up, what they plan to purchase – and it’s not just ordinary people either, it is a chance to get a very real perspective on what celebrities are up to as well.

The images are not always what they seem though. Very few of us will upload a bad picture of ourselves or one shot from an unflattering angle. Not only that, the ease of applying filters to pictures has caught like wildfire, so many of us will also experiment with what we look like with bigger eyes, a smaller nose, more defined cheekbones and so on.

Social media and cosmetic surgery acceptance

As a result of this, research suggests we are getting more and more used to seeing enhanced features, and our acceptance of undertaking these procedures is increasing as a result. Research published recently in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that “users of certain social networks and photo editing apps were more accepting of cosmetic surgery generally, and more likely to consider getting plastic surgery themselves.”

Some platforms are more influential than others

Interestingly, users of some popular social media platforms were more likely than others to show greater acceptance of these procedures and also lean more towards having cosmetic surgery themselves. Those who tended to use Tinder, Snapchat and Snapchat filters indicted the greatest warmth to cosmetic surgery and were most likely to suggest they might go down that route in the future.

What this means for those wishing to undergo cosmetic surgery

It’s fascinating to see the impact social media has on the way we think, act and conduct ourselves, and the things which we value. Social media platforms undoubtedly help promote lifestyles and life choices, all of which can be seen in the choices we then go on to make in our own lives.

When starting on a cosmetic surgery journey, surgeons will want to talk to patients about what they wish to get from their chosen procedure(s), what has influenced their decision and what they are motivated by.

Although influences from social media are unavoidable, it is important to maintain a level-headed sense of perspective regarding what is achievable and how the outcomes might make you feel. Although many will take what they see online with a pinch of salt, there are others who are struggling to live up to what they are seeing as the online reality, “doctors say affected youths are depressed that their natural look does not measure up to the airbrushed version.”

If you’re interested in discussing whether cosmetic surgery is the right choice for you at this time, call 020 7118 6887 to arrange a consultation.

Body reshaping surgery has higher risk of complications for smokers rather than face or breast ops

Smoking causes all kinds of negative effects on the body, one of which is that it affects the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Smoking restricts the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the body via the blood, and this can cause all kinds of challenges when you are choosing to make alterations to your body that will require your body to heal, fight infection and accept the changes. This is why the knowledge of whether or not a patient smokes is of paramount importance to cosmetic surgeons. If they are faced with a patient who smokes compared with a patient who doesn’t, they will be aware from the outset that the risks to the smoker of developing any form of complication are higher.

We now have a vast wealth of data to compare patterns in smokers and non-smokers who have undergone different cosmetic surgery procedures.

Different procedures have differing levels of impact by nicotine in the body

Interestingly, according to research published recently by the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, “smokers are more likely than non-smokers to have complications after undergoing cosmetic surgery on the body, versus the face or breasts”.

These findings have come from a massive study, looking at data from 129,007 cosmetic surgery patients. The differences found were interesting and extremely helpful to give surgeons a steer towards which procedures presented the greatest risks to smokers. Worryingly, the study also revealed that “smoking increased the risk of wound infections by 61%”. With statistics as alarming as this, it is no wonder that many plastic surgeons will actually decline to perform some cosmetic surgery procedures on individuals who smoke.

Advice for smokers keen to have cosmetic surgery

The best thing a smoker can do if they wish to have a cosmetic surgery procedure is to stop smoking. Even if this is just short term, in the weeks leading up to the operation and the weeks after, this is going to have a marked difference on how well your body is likely to heal.

Surgeons will always recommend that smoking is ceased or reduced, and this in itself can sometimes have a longer term, positive side effect. Research published by the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal concludes that “a long-term follow-up study finds that many patients receiving these instructions will quit smoking, or at least smoke less, in the years after cosmetic surgery.”

Although a relatively small-scale study, the first wave of results is encouraging – the work that cosmetic surgeons do to encourage patients to stop smoking to aid their recovery for an operation seems to be having a longer-term positive impact on their health and wellbeing as many are continuing to abstain from smoking.

For more cosmetic surgery advice, call 020 7118 6887 to arrange a consultation at the Clarence Clinic.

Is it possible to prevent capsular contracture?

capsular contracture prevention

No operation is ever entirely risk-free and complications can occur no matter how skilled the surgeon is, simply because it is impossible to predict how someone will respond to surgery. The physiological differences affect how quickly they heal and also affects how likely they are to develop complications following surgery.

Scarring after surgery is particularly difficult to predict. Some patients suffer from keloid or hypertrophic scarring, where an overproduction of collagen means the scar tissue exceeds the original wound, resulting in a large, raised, hardened scar.

There is also a form of internal scarring that can present as a complication after breast implant surgery. Known as capsular contracture, it roughly affects less than 10% of patients in the first few years after surgery to some degree.

What is capsular contracture?

This complication is caused by the patient’s ability to grow scar tissue. In ‘normal’ cases, when a wound or incision is made then the body works to repair itself. It creates scar tissue, which is firmer and harder compared with the original tissue. When a patient has a breast enlargement, the body will react to the operation by creating scar tissue around the wound and the foreign bodies it detects – the implants. Normally, this is actually a good thing. The harder, firmer tissue actually helps keep the implants in place.

For patients who experience more significant capsular contracture, however, the scar tissue forms too tightly around the implants, which can compress them, change their appearance, make the skin look or feel uneven and sometimes may even cause discomfort. The degree of capsular contracture can be graded:

Grade 1: very mild capsular contracture that often the patient is unaware of. The breasts remain soft to the touch and there is no change to their shape.

Grade 2: the patient may be aware of very minor cosmetic changes to the breast. The shape is still relatively normal, and the breasts may feel slightly firmer to the touch.

Grade 3: the patient notices obvious cosmetic symptoms including changes to the breast shape and the breasts feel very firm.

Grade 4: the breasts feel very hard and misshapen and the patient will usually experience a degree of discomfort.

Is capsular contraction prevention possible?

The good news is that the risk of serious complications follow cosmetic surgery is really rare. The advances in medical technology in the decades that these procedures have been practised for have ensured that the medical profession are extremely skilled and proficient in the procedures that they carry out. Coupled with this, advanced in medication, pain relief and antibiotics have improved, as has our understanding of pre-care and after-care.

In regard to capsular contracture prevention, there are certain steps your plastic surgeon can take to minimise the risk.

  • Using the correct size of implant for your body shape and frame: placing a too large implant in a patient with insufficient breast tissue can increase the risk of capsular contracture
  • Type of implant material: gel implant with a textured surface rather than a smooth surface is thought to lower likelihood of developing capsular contracture
  • Implant placement: placing implants under the muscle also reduces the risk
  • Minimal implant handling: it’s now thought that a low-grade bacterial infection can be introduced to the breast cavity during surgery and this creates a ‘biofilm’ around the implants. By reducing the handling of the implant during surgery, the lower the risk of this bacterial contamination occurring. A recent study found that the use of a Keller Funnel to insert the implant significantly lowered the risk of capsular contracture

For more advice on breast implant surgery and capsular contracture prevention, call 020 7118 6887 to speak to the experts at the Clarence Clinic.

Am I a good candidate for a breast uplift?

good candidate for a breast uplift

For women who are unhappy with the size, shape, look or feel of their breasts, there are a number of cosmetic breast procedures that are designed to help. Women often have a preconception about how they would like their breasts to look and if they are not meeting these expectations it can lead to confidence issues and low self-esteem.

One of these procedures is breast lift surgery which is a surgical procedure also known as a mastopexy. The operation lifts the breast tissue and the nipple and also takes away excess skin. The breasts are reshaped after the procedure and sometimes this operation is conducted alongside a breast enhancement surgery where implants are inserted as part of the reshaping process.

This is not always the case though it depends on the volume of the breast and the look that the patient is hoping to achieve. Breast lift surgery is typically sought by women who have gained and lost a significant amount of weight, who have had multiple pregnancies with breastfeeding, or whose breasts are naturally lower than they feel they would like them to be.

Who would be a good candidate for a breast up020 7118 6887lift?

The first thing to say about suitability for a breast lift is that it depends entirely on how you feel and how comfortable you are with your own breasts. There is no such thing as a ‘normal’ shape and size; breasts come in all shapes and sizes and each woman’s breasts are unique. The real question is whether you feel unhappy with your own breasts, because if you do then there are definitely options that can be explored to make you feel happier about your appearance.

Another factor that affects the suitability for a breast lift operation is generally based on where the nipple is located on the breast. If the nipple is situated in line with or above the fold underneath the breast, the breast shape may be acceptable or a breast augmentation should be sufficient to achieve a pert look. If the nipple is now south of that line, for whatever reason, then you are likely to require to be a good candidate for breast lift surgery.

If you have finished having children, you are also regarded as being more suitable for this kind of operation because changes to the breasts through pregnancy and breastfeeding means that if you choose to have this type of operation before you have finished your family then the work done by surgeons may alter throughout the course of future pregnancies.

Next steps to consider

If you feel that breast lift surgery is something that you would like to consider then book an appointment to talk through the options that are available. You may wish to consider a lift in isolation, or you may feel that a lift coupled with implants is the right route for you. Mr Paul Tulley will be able to talk to you about the different options and together you will be able to make the correct choice for you and your body.

Cosmetic clinics urged to screen for mental health problems before offering cosmetic treatments

patient safety

Anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers are popular procedures and are readily available in clinics across the UK. As these procedures are deemed ‘non-surgical’ or ‘minimally-invasive’, the eligibility criteria are quite relaxed, with many people being regarded as suitable to choose to have this type of cosmetic work done. This is all set to change, with a tightening up of the rules that is welcomed by those who regulate the aesthetics industry and wish to ensure patient safety.

Mental health assessment before cosmetic treatment

Cosmetic surgery regulators and the NHS have previously voiced concerns that people suffering from negative body image perceptions should not have such an easy route to access cosmetic treatments. They are concerned that these people may have a skewed perception of how they look and how these procedures can help address this. The challenge for people suffering from body dysmorphia is that they are rarely pleased with the results that they achieve, meaning that the surgery does not help improve how they feel or how they believe they look.

The Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners believes that “practitioners should be trained to recognise vulnerable individuals who are looking for “quick fixes” and to assess their suitability for the procedures.” It is their belief that clinics have more of a responsibility to their patients and should be screening people for warning signs ahead of agreeing their suitability for surgery.

According to a report published in the Guardian, “clinic staff will be trained to understand the issues around people’s appearance and how to spot signs that a would-be customer may have a mental health problem. Anyone who appears vulnerable could be advised to seek help and directed to nearby NHS mental health services.”

Widespread support for these patient safety measures

Professional bodies such as the Royal College of Surgeons and the British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) believe that these measures are a necessity and would like to see them rolled out even more widely. At the moment, clinics that are members of the trade body the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners will be given training and guidance to ensure they know how to correctly identify those in the higher risk categories when it comes to mental health screening.

BAAPS has developed an ‘ABCDE’ screening tool for its members which aids surgeons in performing necessary checks on patients’ suitability before they are approved for surgery. Part of the assessment involves studying the patient’s behaviour, motivations and expectations from the surgery, to ensure that they are meeting appropriate mental health markers.

Even though treatments such as anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers are non-surgical, they can still result in serious complications and less than satisfactory results, so this move to introduce similar standards to the aesthetics industry is welcomed by cosmetic surgery professionals and professional bodies who often see examples of botched aesthetic procedures in their clinic.