3 reasons why cosmetic surgery figures have declined

Figures just published by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) appear to suggest cosmetic surgery is not as popular as it has been: the number of surgical operations performed last year decreased by 9% since 2013. It cosmetic surgery going out of fashion or is there something else going on?

1. The 2013 figures were hyper-inflated.

In 2013, the UK figures for cosmetic surgery topped 50,000 for the first time but, as Mr Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS spokesman explains, there were some other factors at play: after the PIP crisis of 2012, “a large number of people needed to have implants replaced. So breast augmentation figure went up artificially because of the large number of replacements”. Although down 23% to 8,619 procedures, breast augmentations remain the most popular surgery. Mr Grover also suggested the figures saw a temporary “boom” in 2013 when people began to spend money again after years of saving during a period of austerity.

2. Aesthetic fashions evolve.

Mr Grover also comments that the changes in popularity – both rises and falls – could be a reflection of current trends. In 2014, we “saw men sporting bushy beards and women bushy eyebrows, as well as a number of ‘enhanced’ celebrities downgrade their breast implant sizes”. It seems that people are opting to for more natural-looking, subtle enhancements rather than more invasive, dramatic alterations.

3. Cosmetic surgery candidates are better informed.

As a BAAPS member, Cambridge surgeon Mr Tariq Ahmad encourages all prospective patients to take informed, unhurried and realistic cosmetic surgery decisions. BAAPS is the only professional organisation solely dedicated to safety and education in cosmetic surgery and its president, Michael Cadier, therefore considers these less inflated figures “a triumph”, reflecting that patients “are doing their research, taking their time”.

To become more informed about cosmetic surgery, book a Cambridge cosmetic surgery consultation with Mr Tariq Ahmad by calling 01223 214 960.

Top 4 tips for making confident cosmetic surgery decisions

Each year, more and more people are turning to cosmetic surgery and benefiting from the array of improvements it can make. With the rise in its popularity comes greater press coverage, and an increase in the number of practitioners offering treatments – so there is a lot of information out there, but does this help you choose the right options for you? Here are four tips to help you make informed and assured decisions:

1. Do your research:

Understand what the procedure involves, its potential risks and complications, and you can decide whether you want to put yourself through that. Furthermore, having a good basic knowledge of what a tummy tuck, liposuction or a facelift involves, for example, will help you get more from your consultation, enabling you to ask more specific questions.

2. Talk about it:

While the decision must be yours alone, you may find it useful to speak to others. Friends and family may be more able to be objective, or ask you some pertinent questions. Not only will your GP give you impartial advice, but they also know your medical history.

3. Find a cosmetic surgeon you trust:

By choosing a surgeon who is a member of BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) or BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons) you are certain to receive guidance from someone who acts as a medical professional rather than a salesperson. During a cosmetic surgery consultation with Cambridge-based Mr Tariq Ahmad, you will receive impartial, personalised advice on how best to achieve your goals – even if the advice is that cosmetic surgery isn’t the right route for you.

4. Understand your motivations:

Think about why you are considering cosmetic surgery, who you are doing it for and what you think it is going to change. Mr Tariq Ahmad always discusses a patient’s expectations in his Cambridge cosmetic surgery consultation, emphasising that these need be realistic or you risk feeling dissatisfied with the final outcome.

Top 3 tips to get physically fit for cosmetic surgery

When patients attending Mr Tariq Ahmad’s Cambridge clinic ask how they can get ready for cosmetic surgery, he answers that there are many practical things they can do – but one of the most important measures is preparing your body. Not only will physical readiness help you bounce back quickly after surgery, but it will help you achieve the optimal results, too.

1. Get to your ideal weight before cosmetic surgery.

If you are overweight, shifting those pounds is always going to be a good thing for your heart, your joints and your overall health. When you are soon to have surgery under general anaesthetic, the benefits are more immediate: patients with a high BMI carry a greater risk of complication.

Perhaps one of the greatest motivators is that losing excess weight pre-cosmetic surgery will deliver the better aesthetic results: further weight loss and resulting excess skin may compromise your new firmer, more pleasing contours. So for body contouring procedures such as a tummy tuck or a body lift, get in the best shape you can.

2. Quit smoking.

As with being your ideal weight, your body would warmly welcome the departure of cigarettes from its life – and you would slow down the signs of ageing too. If you're investing in anti-ageing cosmetic surgery, such as a facelift or eyelid surgery, then you're going to want to protect your investment.

Removing nicotine from your bloodstream before you have surgery is very important as its presence can cause complications with the anaesthetic. Furthermore, smoking can slow down the healing process, too. Mr Tariq Ahmad advises his Cambridge patients to abstain from smoking at least two weeks prior to their cosmetic surgery.

3. Go on a health kick.

Most cosmetic surgery procedures are comparatively straightforward and safe when under the care of an experienced team of highly qualified surgeons and anaesthetists – you will discuss potential risks at your consultation. However, being fit and in good health will help your body cope with surgery and to heal quickly afterwards. So, get eating nutritiously and embrace an active lifestyle and you will sooner enjoy the results.

Book a consultation at Mr Tariq Ahmad's Cambridge cosmetic surgery clinic to learn more on how best to prepare yourself for surgery.

The 4 key stages of cosmetic surgery

While each person who has cosmetic surgery goes on a unique journey, there are four stages everyone will go through, sharing similar considerations and concerns.

1. Planning

Most people who have cosmetic surgery have been thinking about it for some time, asking themselves if it is really what they want and what they think will change. To help with the decision-making process, arm yourself with knowledge: research the procedure, talk to others who have gone through it, find out about prospective cosmetic surgeons who come recommended.

2. Consultation

The consultation is your opportunity to fill in gaps in your knowledge, discuss your particular requirements and to meet your surgeon, ascertaining whether you have confidence in their credentials, their clinic and their guidance. It is also a time to scrutinise your goals; Cambridge surgeon Mr Tariq Ahmad believes it is important that anyone considering cosmetic surgery understands the limitations of the procedure and has realistic expectations. To this end, he will discuss your motivations and hopes at your consultation.

3. The operation

During the consultation, your surgeon will have talked you through what will happen on the day of your cosmetic surgery and anything you need to do in advance, such as quit smoking. You should know the potential risks and feel comfortable with the team and the facilities. By choosing a surgeon who is a member of a professional body such as BAAPS or BAPRAS, you can feel sure that they will be supported by highly experienced anaesthetists in top quality clinics such as Cambridge’s Spires and Nuffield hospitals.

4. Aftercare

Before you are discharged from hospital, Mr Tariq Ahmad will give you comprehensive instructions on aftercare and follow up appointments will be scheduled. By following this advice, you give yourself the best chance of sooner enjoying the results of your cosmetic surgery journey.

3 reasons to walk away from cosmetic surgery

Deciding to have cosmetic surgery can be a potentially life-enhancing step. Most people who make such a decision will put a great deal of thought into it, asking themselves how ready they are to make the physical, emotional and financial commitment required. For some people, the outcome of such deliberation will be the decision to say, ‘it’s not for me’ – at least, ‘not now’, or ‘not under your care’. Here are three such occasions.

1. You are doing it to please someone else.

It is imperative that the only person who is driving you on to have cosmetic surgery is yourself. It is you who will be undergoing surgery, and you who will have to adjust to your altered face or body. Patients who are happiest with their results post-surgery tend to be those who have embarked on the journey for all the right reasons.

2. You are not in the right emotional state.

A common trigger for cosmetic surgery is a time of big life change, be it the end of a relationship or a significant birthday. For some, such events bring clarity of thought and it may be the perfect time but, for others, turmoil may be hampering your capacity for decision-making. Mr Tariq Ahmad advises his prospective Cambridge patients to avoid making decisions in times of stress.

3. You feel pressure from your cosmetic surgeon to commit.

If your cosmetic surgeon talks you into having surgery on features that had not previously concerned you, then reconsider your choice of practitioner. By choosing a BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) member such as Cambridge surgeon Mr Tariq Ahmad you can be confident that you are being advised from a medical rather than a commercial standpoint. A reputable surgeon will never rush you into committing to cosmetic surgery and will only proceed when they are confident you are happy with your decision.