Plastic surgery on the increase

Plastic surgery is on the increase, with Greek women – and an increasing number of men – undergoing more operations than their counterparts in many Western European states, statistics show. Greeks undergo some 15,000 plastic surgery operations every year – chiefly nose jobs, face-lifts and breast enlargement – as compared to 8,114 in England, 7,680 in Denmark, 5,400 in Italy and 4,902 in Sweden. This is according to statistics issued by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) which ranked Greece 18th out of 42 countries regarding the number of operations conducted per year. In Greece, 24 percent of operations are undergone by patients under the age of 21 – one of the highest rates in the world for this age group, according to ISAPS. Meanwhile, the number of Greek men undergoing plastic surgery is increasing rapidly. «Men once accounted for 15 percent of patients – now the ratio of men to women is 30 to 70 and is increasingly balancing out,» said Andreas Koupas, vice president of the Hellenic Society of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (HESRAS). The most popular operation in Greece – for both men and women – is corrective nose surgery. This is followed by face-lifts, breast enlargement, stomach tucks and liposuction for women. As for men, after nose jobs, they favor corrective ear surgery, wrinkle repair surgery and stomach tucks. However, experts say botched operations are frequent and advise prospective patients to choose accredited doctors. «Twenty percent of the operations I do are to correct previous operations,» said ear, nose and throat specialist and plastic surgeon Vassilis Pavlidelis. «A second operation is costly, not just financially but also psychologically,» he said.