These days, no sooner has a celebrity popped out a baby, are they back to their size zero jeans and skimpy, tight-fitting outfits. Most mums by now know that a lot of these images are airbrushed?but this knowledge doesn?t do anything to improve our self-esteem any. Especially when all the exercise and diet routines us ?normal mums? spend months, sometimes even years, doing in a vain attempt to get back to pre-baby weight doesn?t get us even halfway close to these levels of “perfection”.
It?s no surprise then that a recent poll by the Harley Medical Group said it had seen an all-time high in cosmetic surgery enquiries in the first two weeks of 2008 – up 32% on the same period last year. A total of 11% had worked overtime or taken on a second job for between six and 12 months. The poll also found that 8% of respondents had used long-term savings and inheritance money, while 3% took out a full loan.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) says UK mothers are one of the key groups seeking tummy tucks and breast surgery. In a recent survey of 2,000 new mums, one in four said they were considering cosmetic surgery, while three quarters admitted being shocked by the effect pregnancy had had on their bodies. Sadly, almost all respondents said they hated their flabby stomachs, droopy breasts and stretch marks.
It?s become apparent that rather than mopping around, feeling inadequate and not feeling able to dress the way they want, a lot of mums are taking the plunge and going under the knife. Mum-of-two Angelica Kavouni, 40, did just that. The only twist to this tail is that she is a plastic and cosmetic surgeon herself!
Job title: plastic and cosmetic surgeon
Children: two boys, aged three and five
Relationship status: married
What cosmetic surgery have you had done? Breast uplift
How much money have you spent on surgery so far? ?2000 the operation was performed by a colleague of mine
What made you decide to undergo surgey?
After breastfeeding two children and loosing most of my pregnancy weight my breasts were left empty and droopy. I had little confidence and it was too painful to go shopping, especially for swimwear and underwear!
Is it unusual for a cosmetic surgeon to undergo surgery themselves?
It is difficult to find the time!
The media is often blamed for the rise in cosmetic surgery, particularly because of ‘perfect looking’ celebs who have flat stomachs and pert breasts within weeks of giving birth. Do you think this is the reason why so many women are going under the knife these days?
It is safer, more affordable, we have better techniques and materials and it is more acceptable. People live longer and lead active lives so the body and face has to keep up! Most women are very realistic and do not want to look false, [they] just want to tidy things up and enhance their attractive characteristics!
There has been quite a lot of news reports on celeb mums having a c-section and tummy tuck before they leave hospital. Is this surgically possible?
Very difficult to do as there is a lot of excess weight still and the uterus has to contract over a few weeks period.
Is cosmetic surgery too affordable now – hence why the rates of surgery have gone up?
[It’s] like [buying] an exotic holiday or a new car! However people always had plastic surgery, since ancient times! The desire to beautify ourselves is not a new phenomenon.
What advice would you give to mums who are thinking about undergoing surgery?
Allow about a year after they finished breast feeding, do a lot of exercise to tighten the core muscles and use a specialised cream like Terprolene to improve skin elasticity. They will need a lot of support with the baby for a few weeks.
What do you think about people going abroad for surgery, and combining it with a holiday – is it safe?
There are reputable surgeons everywhere however clinics cut corners to reduce the costs and aftercare is a big issue. You can?t go in the sun for a month after surgery anyway!
What is the most common reason women give for having surgery?
Lack of confidence
Is there ever a situation where you would refuse to give a woman surgery?
About 15% of patients coming to see me have unrealistic expectations and their aesthetic ideals are far different from mine. I do only work for which I can be proud of.
How have your friends and family reacted to your surgery?
They were very supportive.