The UK is currently at the peak of plastic surgery demand, with a record number of procedures performed each year.
However, the UK government has warned that it would “not be appropriate to estimate” when the number of plastic surgeries would fall, and that its aim is to ensure the country is “on the cutting edge of plastic and reconstructive surgery.”
“The number of surgeries per capita in the UK is a matter of concern for many of us, and there is a very high demand for plastic surgery,” Dr Sarah Smith, from the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Authority (PRA), told the BBC.
“We know that demand is growing rapidly, and we are in the process of meeting it with the right kind of planning and support.”
However, some plastic surgeons are concerned that their services could become unaffordable as the NHS struggles to cope with the demand.
In the UK, the average patient spends £20,000 on plastic surgery procedures.
However in Scotland, a study by the Institute of Public Health (IPH) found that patients are spending an average of £3,000 more on plastic surgeries than they are on prescription drugs.
Dr Adam Jones, from PRA, said that the NHS is taking steps to address the problem, including introducing “gold-plated” plastic surgery surgery procedures to allow surgeons to charge a fee if they believe they can make a difference.
Currently, plastic surgery is only available for people with a pre-existing health condition, but Dr Jones said the NHS was considering a “gold standard” procedure for all types of cosmetic surgery.
A recent survey by the IPRH found that 85% of respondents wanted to see a universal scheme to allow people with mental health issues to have plastic surgery as soon as possible, while 83% said they wanted the NHS to provide a “free plastic surgery” to people with other health conditions.
But, despite the government’s warnings, many plastic surgeons feel that the majority of their clients are willing to pay for the procedure, and would rather see it done privately.
According to a study conducted by the British Board of Plastic Surgery, 85% said that they would recommend a plastic surgery to their clients, but only 13% would pay for it themselves.
The Royal College of Surgeons’ chief executive, Dr Stephen Fagan, said it was important to remember that plastic surgery was an “intensive and expensive” procedure, adding: “It is vital that patients understand the risks of this procedure and that there is no rush to make a decision.
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