The Breast Boom hasn’t Burst!

Every year the British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) releases a headline-grabbing statistical overview of cosmetic surgery trends.

For a number of years it has reported a rise in cosmetic ­surgery procedures – until now. In fact, according to BAAPS, cosmetic ­surgery was down 40 per cent in 2016 compared with the record-breaking heights of 2015. The breast boom, we’re told, has bust.

According to BAAPS, global uncertainty has elicited the ­lowest numbers of cosmetic surgery operations in almost a decade, with patients prioritising stability and comfort over big life changes. Instead, less costly procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion – as well as wrinkle ­relaxation injections and dermal fillers – are on the up.

Having worked in the aesthetic and cosmetic surgery industry within Scotland for more than ten years, and having just launched my own clinic, ­Cosmedicare Cosmetic Surgery, you might think the figures are a cause for concern.

However, writing from a personal perspective, I believe Scotland is bucking the trend. I remain unconvinced these latest results paint an accurate reflection of the industry.

One major factor is that the BAAPS figures aren’t universal and are only submitted by BAAPS ­members which account for around 50 per cent of plastic surgeons in the UK. They don’t necessarily take into account figures from national cosmetic surgery chains, as many don’t always opt to submit their data.

Nor does it take into consideration the prevalence of UK patients who choose to travel abroad for ­surgery, either for cost reasons or for ­treatments not offered in the UK.

At Cosmedicare, we’ve been ­inundated with enquiries and bookings from a cross-section of the Scottish population. I believe this is because the cosmetic surgery ­business model was in need of a facelift itself – today’s savvy patients expect more.

They want the country’s leading consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeons, consultant anaesthetists and senior theatre teams who can offer a wide range of cosmetic procedures. They want the latest technology and they want their ­surgery carried out in a state of the art hospital complete with onsite theatre, imaging and full medical facilities, which is what we offer.

I firmly believe that today’s ­clinics must focus on the patient journey from start to finish, informing, educating and guiding each person through the entire surgical process.

Instead of focusing on the bottom line, there needs to be an ethics over aesthetics approach with the most appropriate surgical procedure offered for the best results, tailored to each individual’s needs.

Unlike BAAPS’ claim, the appetite for cosmetic surgery shows no sign of slowing down. Gill Baird MBA is founder and director of Cosmedicare Cosmetic Surgery. For more information visit

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