Labiaplasty Becomes UK's Third Most Popular Procedure

According to an internet clinic search engine (, the UK’s third-most popular type of cosmetic procedure is now labiaplasty – which involves the reconstruction of the inner labia to change their size and/or shape.

Up until recently, the most requested non-surgical and elective surgical cosmetic procedures in the UK included the likes of breast implants, face lifts, tummy tucks, Botox injections, dermal fillers, and laser treatments (according to a Government report published in September 2013). However, the company behind say they’ve seen a 109% rise in the amount of enquiries relating to labiaplasty within the last year, rocketing it into the Number Three spot.

The company believes that such growth in interest can be attributed to “increased consumer awareness”, and cites TV coverage on popular programmes like Embarrassing Bodies as a prime factor, along with articles in newspapers and magazines. The statistics show that the increase in customer interest regarding labiaplasty has been particularly pronounced over the last six-month period.

However, not everyone is happy about the rise in “designer vagina” surgery for various reasons. Some would say that women are now empowered to change their genitalia as they so choose, while others believe we’re being influenced or made to feel inadequate by the pornography industry.

, a member of BAAPS as well as a founding member of SaferCosmetic Surgery, says that around 50% of his patients want to undergo labiaplasty for function while the other 50% want the procedure performed for entirely aesthetic reasons. Mr. Banwell believes the statistics produced by largely represent the trend he’s seen in his own practice. In fact, he’s experienced an even higher increase over the last twelve months – 200%. Contrary to what some critics believe, Mr. Banwell doesn’t think the new trend “has anything to do with the glamour industry”; instead, he believes it is just the latest trend in cosmetic surgery.

Mr. Banwell lectures on this type of female genitalia surgery worldwide, and says that the women who walk through his surgery doors are all “normal people” from all walks of life and ages. Unless he believes a patient is unsuitable for the procedure or has unrealistic expectations, women should feel comfortable about seeking help from a cosmetic surgeon.

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Anger as Government Prepare to Reject Ban on Cosmetic Surgery Cowboys

Despite many industry experts lobbying the Government to take action on current regulations, which allow people with no medical training to perform non-surgical treatments such as Botox, it appears their protest has fallen on deaf ears.

In a recent article published by The Mail on Sunday, it was revealed that the UK Government plans to reject the recommendation that practices such as ‘backstreet Botox’ be banned, and that only qualified surgeons listed on a new, compulsory register be allowed to perform cosmetic treatments.

Allegedly, ministers are concerned that regulating the non-surgical cosmetic industry (which is currently worth £3b) will hamper the economic growth they wish to see continue in the run-up to the 2015 elections.

The news has been anything but well-received by campaigners and surgeons (many of whom are members of BAAPS and BAPRAS), who believe the continuation of an unregulated industry is putting patients’ health at risk.

The results of Sir Bruce Keogh’s review of the industry was published earlier this year, and just some of the recommendations made included the creation of a compulsory register for anyone performing cosmetic treatments, which include dermal fillers, laser hair-removal, and Botox injections, as well as a curb on so-called ‘special deals’, which aim to glamorise such procedures, as well as boost sales, by offering potential customers monetary savings and ‘freebies’.

According to The Mail on Sunday, the Department for Business says that the requested register should be voluntary. Unfortunately, this would mean that un-trained people would still be free to perform non-surgical procedures, sometimes with disastrous results. Sir Bruce Keogh (the medical director of the NHS) told the paper he “would be dismayed” if the Government goes ahead with its decision to ignore the proposed regulations laid out in his review, while the president of BAAPS (the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons), Rajiv Grover, firmly believes that a compulsory register is essential to patient safety.

One of the many patients who have been on the receiving end of a non-regulated procedure claims that the Government’s planned decision is “all about money”, while many critics believe that Ministers have bowed to pressure from the cosmetics industry in their failure to insist on a mandatory register.

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Hampshire Breast Implants Victim Welcomes Court Ruling

A woman from Hampshire, who had to fork out £3,000 of her own cash to replace her faulty breast implants has been given new hope by a recent French court ruling.

Kym McEwan paid £5,000 to have her breasts enlarged in the hope that they would give her the confidence she so desperately craved, after being bullied as a teenager for being flat-chested. However, she soon regretted undergoing surgery when both her PIP implants ruptured, resulting in her having to come up with a further £3,000 to get them removed and replaced. One of the implants had ruptured so badly that the non-medical grade silicone inside them leaked around her body and caused lumps in her lymph nodes.

However, Ms. McEwan now hopes that she will be able to reclaim the money she was forced to spend to get the faulty PIP implants replaced after seeing that a French court in Toulon had recently ruled that a German product-testing company must pay damages to 1,600 women. The company, TUeV Rheinland, was told by the court that it had failed in its duty to fully-check the silicone implants which were later discovered to be prone to leakage. The Toulon court has yet to advise the amount of damages that are payable; however, it is reported that there are 1,600 women affected, who are seeking around £42m in compensation. The case is not cut and dried, however, as TUeV have challenged the ruling, saying that they are not responsible and are planning to appeal.

Although Ms McEwan isn’t one of the women who have made a joint claim against TUeV so far, she is still hopeful that she will manage to reclaim some of the costs she incurred when replacing her burst breast implants, and plans to join the joint claim. Of course, for many women affected by faulty PIPS, it’s not just the financial cost they’ve had to endure, but months, if not years of emotional trauma as well.

The Toulon trial is the latest in a series of court cases which focused on French-based implant manufacturer, Poly Implant Prothese, which went bankrupt as a result of the PIP scandal.

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Stephen McCulley, SCS Surgeon, advises New Mums on Cosmetic Surgery

SaferCosmeticSurgery consultant, , has recently been featured in an online magazine article, giving his opinion on what the most popular types of surgery are for post-pregnancy mothers.

Mr McCulley operates in the Nottingham area of the East Midlands and has been a specialist cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon since 1999.  Mr McCulley is also a member of BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) and BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons ). So Feminine got in touch with Mr McCulley to ask him why he thinks more post-natal women are choosing to undergo surgery these days, and the kinds of things they should consider before going under the knife.

Mr McCulley says that the majority of women who walk through his surgery doors are seeking to regain their pre-childbirth bodies for their own, rather than their partner’s benefit. In fact, many of these women’s partners don’t understand their need to change. As well as the emotional impact motherhood tends to have on the female body, some women also experience a sense of loss when it comes to their pre-baby figures. The main concerns are sagging breasts and stomachs, which cannot always be cured by diet and exercise alone.

Our surgeon believes that the physical effects of pregnancy vary from woman-to-woman, with factors like fitness, genetics, and body shape all having an influence on the body after giving birth. Mr McCulley points out that the changes to the body are perfectly natural, during and after childbirth, and no-one can completely avoid them even if they’re already in great shape. However, he adds that making use of maternity bras, following a nutritious diet, moisturising the skin, and gentle exercise can all help to minimise the impact of motherhood on the body.

He also recommends that women do not seek the help of a cosmetic surgeon until after having her desired number of children. He says that tummy tucks in particular are very hard to re-do if the woman gets pregnant again. He says it’s imperative that new mums wait at least six months before considering surgery - preferably a year, in order to give them time to get back into their normal health and fitness routines and to enjoy motherhood as much as possible.

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Friends Star, Lisa Kudrow, Sings Praises of Nose Surgery

Many of you will recognise the name Lisa Kudrow, the actress who played the dippy but equally-loveable character Phoebe in the American 90’s sitcom, “Friends”. Despite appearing in various films and TV interviews before and after her role in “Friends”, Lisa, who’s now 50 years-old, wasn’t always quite as confident about her appearance as you might think.

In fact, she was so concerned about the shape of her nose that she underwent surgery at age 16, taking her from “hideous to not hideous”.

The star has recently spoken out about her “life altering” procedure, saying that she decided to consult a medical professional during the summer before she was due to attend a new high school. Her timing (in her mind) would mean that there would be plenty of people “who wouldn’t know how hideous I looked before”.

Lisa says she also suffered from anti-Semitism as she grew up in her native California, with college being the worst culprit as many of the people she met there had “never met a Jew before”. Even a friend she considered close to her confessed “I don’t like Jews” when she found out Lisa was Jewish.

Despite, ironically, going on to play one of the major characters in TV’s “Friends,” Lisa was far from surrounded by close companions during her school years. Her older sister often came to keep her company at lunchtimes after she was ditched by her two best friends.

Initially, she never wanted to be an actress and even admits thinking that those in the profession were “egocentric”. However, after attending an improvisation class, she was instantly hooked, going on to star in a series of films and TV shows.

At 50, Lisa Kudrow is now confident enough to face the world full on, after the life-changing nose surgery she received 34 years ago.

According to 2012 statistics released by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, nose-reshaping (otherwise known as rhinoplasty) is the fifth most popular cosmetic procedure among both men and women, with 4,180 people going under the knife in the hope of a more complementary nose in 2012.

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New Institute to Research Breast Implant Safety

Following on from Sir Bruce Keogh’s 2013 report into current cosmetic surgery regulations, in which he highlighted the “insufficient research” being undertaken on “the effectiveness and risks of many procedures”, a new research initiative has been launched this month in conjunction with the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons BAAPS and the Healing Foundation with the Government’s backing.

The NIAR (National Institute of Aesthetic Research) will be responsible for a number of areas of research. One of its first tasks, however, will be to establish a Breast Implant Safety Campaign – partly in response to the PIP (Poly Implant Prosthese) scandal of 2012 and partly due to the fact that breast augmentation surgery is still the most popular of all the various cosmetic surgery procedures.

The Institute, which is the first of its kind in the world, is inviting breast implant manufacturers to donate £1 per implant sold towards their research programme which aims to improve the safety of devices as well as fund research into treatment and aftercare. NIAR has just announced its first two corporate sponsors – UK’s Nagor and South America’s Silimed.

Nagor’s General Director for Europe, Nic Steventon, says his company is “thrilled to take part in this pioneering initiative” and says their mission has always and will remain to be to produce high-quality products “while keeping the best interests of female patients at heart.” Nagor was the only implant manufacturer in the world to offer those affected by defective PIP implants free replacements.

The Managing Director of Eurosurgical, who are the UK distributors for Silimed, says that independent research and “the reporting of clinical outcomes and follow-up are fundamental to our company”. Mr. Cranstone added that he hopes NIAR will help both surgeons and patients select the best implants in future, and avoid “preventable complications” with surgery.

Just some of the areas that NIAR may look into as part of its Breast Implant Safety Campaign include independently analysing and feeding back on data from the Government’s recommended Breast Implant Register, analysing existing surgical data to provide surgeons with evidence-based advice which will hopefully help define “best practice” in the field of breast augmentation, and researching the psychosocial factors behind women seeking this type of procedure.


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