Our research - worrying findings

Our research – worrying findings about cosmetic surgery choices in the UK 

For Think Over Before You Make Over, BAPRAS conducted a major national study of attitudes and approaches to cosmetic surgery. We were shocked by what we found – thousands of people are risking physical and psychological harm from poor or inappropriate cosmetic surgery by not taking a considered and safe approach to their surgery.

There are a number of worrying trends – a quarter of all people having cosmetic surgery in the UK (24%) do not check their surgeon’s credentials, a fifth (21%) aren’t aware of the risks associated with the procedure and a further fifth (22%) aren’t even clear on the potential outcomes of their procedure before going ahead. Furthermore, a quarter (27%) are not aware if any aftercare is available should something go wrong.

Rushing in to surgery without consideration can cause lasting damage – more than half (59%) of patients undertaking surgery less than two weeks after their first consultation are actually less confident about their appearance afterwards.

Half of all cosmetic surgery patients (53%) say keeping costs down is a major consideration. We found people choosing surgery in this way were much more likely to have disappointing results or feel less confident about themselves afterwards.

Our study also identified a range of factors driving aspirations for cosmetic surgery, which are also behind the lack of considered approach taken by many. Over half (53%) of people who’ve had surgery believe celebrity cosmetic treatments make it more aspirational and just under half (45%) felt there was social pressure for them to consider it. A further half (51%) feel marketing from clinics made them more likely to consider a treatment than they would have otherwise.

Our research has shown the urgent need for the Think Over Before You Make Over campaign, to protect patients from uninformed or unsafe choices. Please take time to read our expert advice.