A Harley Street cosmetic surgeon says that the average age of women going under the knife is just 39 – down from 42 three years ago.
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While liposuction, tummy tucks, facelifts and Botox are generally associated with people trying stave off the ravages of old age later in life – Dr Julian De Silva says it’s actually now often women who haven’t even hit middle age.
Meanwhile for men, the average age has fallen from 47 to 45, which is when the Oxford English Dictionary defines as the beginning of middle age.
He made the claims after reviewing thousands of patient records over the past five years, and said that it’s vitally important for patients to be carefully vetted before they’re operated on.
He said the Instagram culture of filtered selfies was partly responsible for the rise in people choosing to undergo surgery, but he insisted that many young people do thoughtfully consider it before taking the plunge.
“They have done their research and have made a positive decision to improve their appearance. They may see their large nose, baggy eyelids, thin lips or weak chin as a barrier to acceptance and want to make a positive life change.”
The doctor, who runs the Centre for Advanced Facial Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery in Hammersmith, also said that social media gives more visibility to those who’ve undergone procedures.
“(People) also pick up on very high profile cases where a relatively young, well-known person has improved their appearance through facial cosmetic surgery – a good recent example being the Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington having rhinoplasty at the age of 25 to improve the appearance of her nose. Her face was transformed by the surgery and it gave her added body confidence.”
A review of the cosmetic industry in England by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh in 2013 saw the industry tightened up, banning two-for-one operation deals, enforcing a period of reflection for patients before undergoing surgery, and cleaning up advertising practices.
According to plastic surgeon Dr Daniel Martin, of Toronto, three key factors to consider are the recovery time (it’s general longer than people expect), whether their expectations are realistic, and choosing the correct surgeon for the type of procedure required.
UK cosmetic surgery trade body BAAPS says more than 30,000 cosmetic procedures were carried out on men and women in the UK last year. The majority of these – 28,341 – were carried out on women. The most popular procedure for women is breast enlargement, while for men it’s surgery to reshape their nose.