March 2, 2024

Nip ‘n tuck no key to happiness

British cosmetic surgeons have warned that their services will not save a marriage or change an unhappy life. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has published guidelines which discourage patients from seeking surgery in times of stress and unhappiness. More Britons seek cosmetic surgery than any other European country, with rhinoplasty, breast enlargements and liposuctions increasing sixfold in six years.

The surgeons are worried that the popularity of television make-over programs will lead people — mostly women — to feel that this kind of surgery is a normal procedure, more like tinting eyelashes or having one’s hair done. “The timing of surgery for a successful result is of real importance,” said surgeon Mark Henley. “It will not solve the problems of people who are unhappy. These patients can be extremely vulnerable.”

Whether these admonitions will be heeded is another matter. A month ago, hundred of women paid 25 pounds to wander through six floors of the UK’s first consumer cosmetic surgery expo, Body Beautiful. A spokesman, Adam Taylor, said, “The business is booming exponentially in the UK. We are following in the footsteps of America. A long time ago, cosmetic surgery was wholly the preserve of Hollywood people and very rich people but now prices are coming down.”

The market is growing because of consumer demand, not because it has the support of women’s doctors, says Mr Taylor. “There’s tons of information in the market and it can be confusing… Some people go to their GPs for a referral but a lot of GPs are very anti-cosmetic treatments so they are going to try to dissuade you, rather than help you find the right surgeon — which is no good if you are already determined to have it done.”