Australia's new surgery trends
Cosmetic surgery is loved by some and frowned upon by others. But no matter what your views on going under the knife, the fact remains that it is becoming a more common procedure.
According to NationMaster Health Statistics, 66.2 people in every 100,000 have had plastic surgery in Australia, which puts us seventh on the ladder when it comes to going under the knife. That's 12 places higher than the US, who come in at 19th.
As with all innovations, cosmetic surgery is moving ahead in leaps and bounds, with the aesthetic and health implications improving all the time. To find out more about the latest news and trends, Health caught up with plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Ben Norris.
What's the most popular procedure in Australia?
Liposuction or body sculpting has been the most popular over the years, however, this is quickly changing. Breast implants are increasingly in demand and will soon take the top spot.
It's the trend here to have a moderate C cup whether that is through reduction or augmentation. There are more and more women requesting a relatively small implant, in fact, so modest that they don't even want their partner to notice.
What are the latest innovations in breast surgery?
The furry Brazilian is the latest innovation in Australian breast implants. These are foam-covered implants that have been used in South America for years but only recently approved by Australian authorities.
The implants reduce the rate of what is known as capsular conjecture, which is when the membrane grows around the implant, tightening like shrink wrap. This has a hardening effect on the implant and is the biggest complaint about augmentation.
The furry Brazilian in covered in a texturised polyurethane foam to reduce the risk of this happening, down to one percent rather than the five-to-six percent of the regular implant.
Another change in the trends is the desire for a fuller implant. The more filling in the implant, the better the projection of the breast without having to go too big.
Finally, the shape of the implant's backside has gone from being flat to concave, a subtle difference that means it will follow the natural shape of a women's chest. Again, this results in better projection of the breast.
Are there any trends you are wary of?
There are Macrolane injections which increase the size of the breast for a limited amout of time. The drug itself lasts only 18 months, but there have been no studies on the effect this can have on the body. It's an expensive option at around $3000-$5000 each time rather then a one-off payment of around $11,000 for implants.
But are implants really a one-off payment? What about replacements?
The biggest problem with implants once they have been in a number of years is not the implants themselves but the natural sagging of the skin. The average life is around 12 years but as implants improve, so too does their lifespan.
Who are the usual suspects for breast surgery?
It's wide ranging. There is a large Asian population in Australia, many of whom have naturally small busts and want a very natural enhancement. The yummy mummy, that is, young mothers, commonly seek a breast rejuvenation after they've had children this is usually a breast lift, modest implant and a tummy tuck.
None of this is a surprise, but perhaps the newest set coming into the surgery is the group I call the studly hubby. Basically these are men over 30 who are feeling increasing pressure to make an effort to look good. In these cases it's a case of tackling manboobs and stomach.
Which celebrity chests are the most popular?
Funnily enough, it tends to be the celebrities who don't actually have implants that people want to look like. Angelina Jolie and Gisele Bündchen are definitely at the top of the list. And no-go zones? Victoria Beckham and Pamela Anderson. It's a clear indication that these days, people want very natural enhancement and not over-the-top implants.