The rise in the number of celebrities showing off their cosmetic treatments is going some way to ‘normalising’ plastic surgery as well as less invasive procedures.
The plethora of news stories hitting the headlines on online news websites and on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can only fuel our desire for a nip and tuck or aesthetic ‘tweakment’ ourselves.
No bad thing, of course, but just how is this affecting our treatment choices?
Those inspiring ‘before and after’ images of our favourite stars are all well and good but, when it comes to surgery, there are many other factors that need to be taken into consideration before we commit to enhancing our face, bodies or smile.
Here, consultant plastic surgeon Marc Pacifico, an expert with comparethetreatment.com, navigates us to a safe route to treatment.
Body shape suitability. Just because your favourite celeb has had breast augmentation or dermal fillers, it doesn’t mean you can. A consultant plastic surgeon should carry out a thorough assessment of your suitability before you make any commitment to a procedure. This means recording your medical history as well as a careful clinical examination. If your clinician refuses you treatment, you should listen to the reasons why. The decision to have a cosmetic treatment is not to be taken lightly. Some of us look for a ‘pick me up’ when we’re down or base our looks on red carpet stars, but we need to consider all aspects of undergoing a procedure. What are the risks? What are the realistic outcomes? How much recovery time is required and what are the costs? If you're at a period of flux in your life – post break up or job loss – or are being treated for mental health issues, then now is probably not the time to consider any aesthetic enhancements. Taking time out to reflect on the reasons why you want surgery is always important. Body image. Cosmetic treatments may pose as a risk to the body image awareness of younger adults, plastic surgeons have previously warned. Rising rates of body dysmorphia and pressures to conform to a certain image could lead to exposure to surgical and psychological risks, they suggest. Speaking about perceptions of body image with friends and family is important and this applies during any ongoing consultation with your chose clinician, too. Remember, you should never feel any pressure to make a decision quickly and you may change your mind at any stage of the patient journey. Not all of us have huge bank balances to invest in high end anti-ageing treatments nor the possible further unexpected outlay we might need to make in order to remedy anything should there be complications. There are easy pay schemes available but be aware that you need to factor in subsequent appointments to any investment you make in undergoing plastic surgery. Follow up appointments are vital for your safety. Additionally, breast implants, for example, are not a forever thing and you may need to have secondary surgery some years later down the line. Most suitable Why choose an injectable’ enhancement such as toxin injections or lip fillers when a lip plumping lip gloss will suffice? Of course, this is a simplistic comparison but you should be able to talk through options with your doctor before settling on a procedure. The surgeon should discuss possible alternative options so have an open mind. Age appropriateness. According to reports, the age range of patients is expanding, meaning clinicians are treating anyone from 18 to 80. Anti-ageing treatments are hugely successful and, with many of us living longer, we may have increasingly high expectations as to how we wish to present ourselves. However, these need to be managed and it's important to realise that the ageing process will continue post treatment. Additionally, the skin of a 60 year old can never return to its 20 year old former self so we need to go in with eyes wide open as to what can be achieved. At the other end of the scale, an 18 year old who arrives in a clinic seeking invasive surgery for which they are not necessarily suitable may need to have their expectations managed carefully as well. Some surgeons may be hesitant to administer toxin or fillers to anyone under the age of 30, for instance. Over use of toxin can sometimes result in brow descent. Regrets and risk. Every cosmetic treatment comes with risk. Reversing a surgical procedure is never straightforward and anything from breast implant removal to erasing tattoo also comes with health risks. That’s not to say that ‘botched’ plastic surgery is commonplace nor that we are all going to live to regret any enhancements we choose to have. But it is important to do your homework and choose a qualified and appropriately trained clinician with experience in the procedure you want.
The internet offers us access to a wealth of information and, whilst celeb makeover stories can inspire us, it's important to weigh up the pros and cons of cosmetic treatment as well as be aware of the risks. In principle, it it seems too cheap and too good to be true, then be wary, corners are probably being cut.
And stay away from discount websites as well – many people have been caught out by disreputable cosmetic ‘cowboys’ on such sites.
book a consultation with Dr Marc Pacifico