Could cosmetic surgery be on the way out?

By Efrosini Costa

Could cosmetic surgery be on the way out?
The popularity of cosmetic procedures has plummeted, but could plastic surgery be on the way out?

Breast augmentations, tummy tucks, nose jobs – the once high demand for such procedures is no longer, at least in the UK that is.

According to the latest statistics released by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) men and women are avoiding going under the knife.

Breast implants and nose job operations fell by almost 20 per cent with the cosmetic surgery facing intense scrutiny since numerous scandals.

In the face of such intense public review their have been renewed calls for new rules and regulations for doctors offering such surgery.

Here are a list of the top 10 cosmetic procedures and their respective numbers of decline:

  1. Breast augmentation – down 23% to 8,619
  2. Eyelid surgery – down 1% to 7,752
  3. Face and neck lifts – up 1% to 6,402
  4. Breast reduction – up 1% to 5,528
  5. Liposuction – up 7% to 4,627
  6. Nose jobs – down 24% to 3,690
  7. Fat transfer operations – down 4% to 3,155
  8. Tummy tucks – down 20% to 2,713
  9. Brow lifts – down 7% to 1,978
  10. Ear corrections – down 20% to 942

While breast enlargmenet is still the number one cosemtic procedure for women, eyelid surgery has surpassed nose jobs as the most common procedure for men.

According to BAPPS spokesman and plastic surgeon, Rajiv Grover, last year’s figures were inflated by the 2012 PIP crisis – where thousands of women were fitted with substandard breast implants – and a large number of people needed to have implants replaced.

“Breast augmentation figures went up artificially because of the large number of replacements,” Grover told reporters adding that the end of the recession would have had an impact too.

“Cosmetic surgery is not a requirement, it is a desire, so during a number of years of austerity people will have put that on hold for a few years and save money.”

But Grover said plastic surgeons welcomed the change.

“It might seem counter-intuitive that as plastic surgeons we could possibly welcome such a change, but we are pleased that the public are now so much more thoughtful, cautious and educated in their approach to cosmetic surgery.”

However, Grover did point to another factor for the decline – current understandings of beauty. He argued that aesthetic preferences naturally evolve over time, with current trends tending towards a ‘less-is-more’ look, where natural features are favoured.

Michael Cadier, Plastic Surgeon and BAAPS President agrees.

“With demand for the most subtle anti-ageing procedures such as eyelid surgery and facelifts holding steady, it’s clear that the public of 2014 were after a refreshed or youthful appearance rather than more conspicuous alterations. Proven treatments such as surgical liposuction also continued to rise which is unsurprising, when so many non-surgical alternatives for fat removal seem ineffective,” Cadier said.

“The message to the aesthetic sector is clear: patients want subtle and understated – most refreshingly, they are doing their research, taking their time and coming to us with realistic expectations. At the BAAPS we consider this to be a triumph and, as the only organisation based at the Royal College of Surgeons solely dedicated to advancing safety and training in aesthetic surgery, we’re committed to continue in our mission of promoting education and sensible decision making in cosmetic procedures.”

What do you think, are cosmetic procedures in decline? Would money or aesthetic preference be a greater factor in your decision to have such a procedure? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.


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