Boob jobs, mummy makeovers, tummy tucks, face lift and eyelid lifts, in particular, are among the more popular choices for cosmetic surgery for South Africans.
Leading plastic surgeon Dr Nerina Wilkinson said that unlike trends overseas, South Africans did not come to consult with a celebrity makeover wish list.
The Global Aesthetic Survey by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) - which surveys plastic surgeons throughout the world, including in South Africa - showed an overall increase of 9% in surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
The top five countries accounting for 41.4% of the world’s cosmetic procedures are the US, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Mexico. The survey ranked South Africa in 24th place.
“Most of the patients I see are people who just want to be the better versions of themselves. They don’t want to look different, just to slightly enhance the features they have,” said Wilkinson.
She said in terms of age ratio, there were certain preferences:
Most younger clients want breast work done, where they feel their breasts are either too big or too small.
This is followed by mommy makeover, where moms just want to get back to the bodies they had before having babies. No unrealistic celeb-look ambitions, but more in line with lifting or adding volume to the breast, a tummy tuck, or bit of lipo and/or body sculpting, with the aim being to get back their original shape.
Progressing further along the age track is where the facial work becomes more popular. There is a bit of crossover, with some younger patients wanting to do their lips and cheeks, while older patients aim to address sagging, particularly to lift their eyelids as the eyes start looking tired and the eyelids start to droop.
Wilkinson said cosmetic surgery seemed to be growing in popularity largely because of changes in society.
“It has definitely become more acceptable to have work done, and to say you've had it done. And with it being more acceptable, and with all the celebrities having these procedures done, you may find that people are more open to having procedures done than what they may have been several years ago. I think social media has definitely enhanced this.
“People see these beautiful women and these beautiful images, and you always live the perfect life on social media. So people want to look good. When they go on holiday. They know there will pics of them on social media, so they want work done,” said Wilkinson.
Some of the 2016 Global Aesthetic Survey findings include that:
Breast augmentation continued to be the world's most popular cosmetic procedure, accounting for almost 16% of all surgical procedures.
This is followed by liposuction (14%), eyelid surgery (12.9%), rhinoplasty (7.6%) and abdominoplasty (7.4%).
The most popular non-surgical procedures continue to be injectables with (botox) ranking at number one.
Women continue to drive the demand for cosmetic procedures, accounting for 86.2%, or 20.3 million cosmetic procedures worldwide.
The five most popular procedures requested by women are breast augmentation, liposuction, eyelid surgery, abdominoplasty and breast lift.
The survey noted that in 2016, men accounted for 13.8% of cosmetic patients with 3.2 million procedures performed worldwide.
The top five requested procedures by men were eyelid surgery, gynecomastia (male breast reduction), rhinoplasty (nose job), liposuction and hair transplant.
This article was originally published in IOL.