Top surgery trends from UK’s leading cosmetic surgeon

London: The increasing trend for cosmetic procedures worldwide will continue in 2007 with approximately a 25-30% increase in surgical procedures over 2006 and a 30-40% increase in non-surgical procedures such as Botox and dermal filler injections, predicts Rajiv Grover, Consultant Plastic SurgeonKing Edward VII Hospital & 144 Harley Street, London.

Facial rejuvenation
The largest area of growth is likely to be in anti-ageing procedures such as facelifting, necklifting, blepharoplasty (eyelid reduction) and browlifts. This is fuelled by the large numbers of “baby boomers” born after the Second World War who are reaching 50 and 60 like the iconic Bill Clinton and Mick Jagger. This is a generation who gave us the summer of love in 1967 and whose joie de vivre has kept them young at heart but who now want to look as good as they feel. Improvements in the safety and recovery time following cosmetic surgery such as the use of minimally invasive key hole techniques and shorter scars have fuelled the increased demand in facial rejuvenation. Attention will focus on Brow lifting as a “hot” cosmetic procedure for women in 2007, performed either surgically (with key hole surgery) or non-surgically with Botox.

Non-Surgical Facial Rejuvenation

Non surgical anti ageing treatments have seen the biggest growth of all in recent years. Botox remains the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world with dermal fillers such as Restylane and Hydrafill coming second. Research published in 2006 (Grover et al American Journal of Aesthetic Surgery) revealed that volume loss from the face was the first sign of ageing with gravity taking effect a few years later. Non-surgical volume replacement (such as Restylane sub-Q) for facial rejuvenation will therefore become an important trend in 2007. Changes in legislation will come into force during 2007 licensing practitioners and clinics for injectable treatments providing the public with added security.

Men and Mother in Laws!

Although cosmetic surgery has largely been a female preserve (90% plus over the last 5 years), the men are catching up. 2007 will see a continued trend for male plastic surgery with rhinoplasty, liposuction and anti ageing procedures topping the list. 2006 saw a number of reality tv shows following pre wedding cosmetic surgery for bride and groom. However, real life reality suggests that cosmetic surgery for the mother of the bride is the area of biggest growth in pre wedding surgery.

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation remains one of the most popular procedures in the UK and the wider use of cohesive silicone gel implants, which reduce the risk of leakage, will provide added safety for women undergoing this procedure in 2007 as will their impending approval in the USA. The trend for the larger sized augmentations is falling with implant manufacturers reporting a drop in sales of the larger Jordanesque prostheses. Women are definitely opting for more natural looking breast enhancement emphasizing the philosophy that less is more.

The Body

Body contouring (liposuction, abdominoplasty and body lifts) is another area of growth in cosmetic surgery. Women recovering form the effects of childbirth seek help to reshape their abdomen and breasts with uplifts, tummy tucks and liposuction for stubborn areas of fat. As many women are now having children in their thirties rather than their twenties we recognize that recovery from the metabolic drive to gain weight is more difficult. This, along with rumours of younger celebrities having surgery to recover from childbirth have fuelled this trend, although it is never sensible to consider surgery for at least 6-9 months after childbirth.

The second trend in body contouring (body lifts, arm and thigh lifts) reflects the prediction that obesity will affect 1 in 6 of the population by 2012. Operations such as gastric banding (performed by Gastrointestinal Surgeons and not Plastic Surgeons) which help recipients to lose weight are responsible for creating loose skin around the waist, thighs and upper arms. Procedures to remove this skin excess and contour the body will not only increase in 2007 but continue over the next few years.