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While the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has reported a 40% drop in cosmetic procedures over the last 12 months, a recent poll conducted on behalf of Jefferies Solicitors has revealed that almost a third of Brits would still consider having cosmetic surgery.
In February 2017, we asked 2603 people (of which 85% were female) about their views on cosmetic surgery. The survey explored the main reasons behind people choosing to make physical changes as well as the most popular cosmetic procedures. The findings also shed light on the main worries for people contemplating treatment.
When looking at the most popular motives for cosmetic surgery, we found that, interestingly, the majority of people wouldn’t undergo a cosmetic procedure to correct a physical problem or improve a particular feature. Instead, they would do so in order to boost their self-confidence and make them feel more attractive. Nearly half (45%) of respondents cited this as their primary reason for considering treatment.
However, pressure from society and the media could also play a part. 17% of those we spoke to said that photos of others on social media have caused them to feel like they need to look a certain way, and in some cases, this can lead to people seeking a long-lasting cosmetic solution. The fact that platforms like Instagram and Facebook promote a youthful and age-defying appearance as the ‘ideal’, could also explain why the third most common motivator for surgery was to reverse the signs of ageing.
The most appealing procedure amongst our respondents was leg shaping surgery. Nearly half (46%) of the people we spoke to said they would be interested in undergoing a leg shaping procedure such as thigh lift surgery or leg contouring.
The data compiled by BAAPS earlier this month demonstrated a 42% drop in people opting to undergo liposuction in 2016. However, liposuction remains popular with male patients and, according to our survey, it is the second most tempting treatment, with 16% of respondents showing an interest in the procedure.
Last year, breast augmentation was the most common surgical procedure for women and, over the last few years, it has become increasingly popular amongst men. 12% of the sample surveyed, who were overwhelmingly female, would consider this kind of cosmetic surgery.
Of the people we spoke to who had had some kind of surgical treatment in the past, as many as 17% of those were unhappy with the results. While this figure is relatively low, it does suggest that, for almost a fifth of patients, cosmetic surgery doesn’t end up being the quick-fix it is often promised to be.
While we are seeing a move towards less invasive, non-surgical treatments, unfortunately, no cosmetic procedure will ever be completely risk-free. It was encouraging to find that most of those we surveyed were aware of the potential dangers associated with surgery. Of these, respondents were most concerned about complications that could arise such as hematoma, deep vein thrombosis, blood loss or organ damage, with 38% saying that these possibilities were a worry.
A quarter of respondents said that they would be most worried about being dissatisfied with the results of surgery, while 14% were concerned about the risk of infection.
Our director Michael Jefferies commented on the findings:
“It’s interesting to see just how many people are open to the idea of cosmetic surgery despite the risks involved. Undergoing any kind of cosmetic procedure is a big commitment and such a decision should not be taken lightly. At Jefferies, our clinical negligence team work with many people who have suffered as a result of cosmetic surgery that hasn’t gone as expected. It’s essential that individuals thoroughly research the procedure they’re interested in and speak to the surgeon who will be carrying it out before they commit to anything.”
For more information about why you shouldn’t rush into cosmetic surgery, read our blog.
First published on 28th February 2017.