But some women take things further, and choose to go under the knife to look their best. But what happens when people ignore the advice of medical professionals and things go wrong?
Read on to find out more and make sure you don’t become the next plastic surgery horror story…
Rise of plastic surgery
While once it may have been the preserve of Hollywood celebs or women in their 50s and 60s, nowadays plastic surgery has entered the mainstream. Even teenagers and women in their 20s are having work done. So who’s to blame?
The media is often named as the culprit for presenting women with airbrushed, unrealistic images, and the fashion industry plays a role too.
And what about slick marketing? Procedures have come a long way, with many doctors promising to make you look better without anyone knowing you’ve had work done or offering lunchtime fixes like fillers which suit busy working women.
But it’s the rise of social media that’s blamed for the most recent spike in plastic surgery appointments. These days every moment is captured and posted on sites like Facebook for all the world to see – and judge. The result? Women are becoming increasingly self-conscious and obsessed with their body hang-ups so every frown line is a monumental problem.
There’s nothing wrong with getting a little help from a plastic surgeon. The problem is, many women aren’t listening to medical advice, with potentially life-altering consequences.
Plastic surgery tourism
Can’t afford plastic surgery? No problem – just go abroad where it’s a fraction of the cost. But you should also know that you’ll be putting yourself at risk.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has found that a quarter of their members have seen a rise in patients coming to them after suffering complications from a surgery performed abroad.
When you decide to go under the knife, it’s so important that you fully understand the risks involved, especially with high-risk procedures like a tummy tuck. But it seems that 90 per cent of the patients who suffered complications weren’t told about what could go wrong.
Getting the right treatment and being closely monitored after your operation is just as important, and it’s an area where overseas doctors often fall short.
That’s not to say all foreign surgeons are incompetent, it’s just that they’re not regulated in the same way that surgeons here in Britain are, so it’s more of a lottery.
Plastic surgery parties
Plastic surgery parties are a worrying sign of how commonplace and trivialised surgery has become. People think that it’s just like getting your eyebrows waxed or having a lunchtime facial – but it’s not.
These parties see women getting together (often fuelled by lots of alcohol) to indulge in ‘treatments’ like botox, fillers and teeth whitening which they can sometimes perform on each other, a trend BAAPS bemoans.
Checking out your surgeon
Your surgeon should be a trained medical professional who is registered with the General Medical Council, preferably holding a specialist qualification in plastic surgery. Dermal fillers are one of the most popular treatments, but they’re often carried out by untrained beauticians, so make sure you do your research.
When you meet, ask them a few probing questions about how many times they’ve done your surgery before, how many times they’ve had to correct a procedure they’ve performed and how many patients have filed a complaint.
It’s vital that you quiz them about your surgery if they aren’t forthcoming with details. Ask how long your recovery time will be, if you’ll need any follow-up appointments, what the risks are, whether you’ll experience pain or temporary scarring and redness and also if you’re being realistic about the results you’re looking for.
Should you have surgery?
Many women find that once they’ve had one procedure, they become addicted and keep going back for more. But psychologists have warned that changing the way you look too dramatically and too quickly could be confusing and give you an identity crisis.
Some women also use plastic surgery as a crutch to cover up an underlying psychological issue, or could have a condition called body dysmorphic disorder, where what you see in the mirror doesn’t match up to reality.
If you’ve been advised against having surgery on psychological grounds, it’s best to try to address your issues before changing your body forever.
When it goes wrong
Be under no illusions – plastic surgery is a medical procedure, and there will always be a degree of risk involved.
Chemical peels can cause permanent scaring, dermal fillers in the face can move and look lumpy, wounds can get infected and breast implants could rupture and leak toxins into the body. Sometimes, the result can even be fatal as Rheagan Hendry tragically found out when her Mum died from a botched liposuction operation.
If you’re unhappy with your results and think you were badly advised, get in touch with a medical negligence solicitor who can tell you if you’ve got a case. Don’t let bad practitioners get away with it.
Has your experience with plastic surgery been good or bad?
About Author: Janet Brown writes on a number of topics including health related issues.