And spending up to $15K in the process.

Cosmetic procedures both surgical and non-surgical are BIG business here in Australia.

Every week thousands upon thousands of Australian women are having cosmetic procedures of one form or another, yet not many are talking about it.

So why are we not admitting to what to we’ve had done?

Is it for fear of being criticised? Is it fear of being called vain or fake? Or being judged? I’m thinking all of the above, there is definitely a stigma associated with cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery.

If you think that no one you know has had anything cosmetic done, I’d bet you’re wrong. They probably just choose not to talk about it. Many women I speak to choose not to tell anyone, not even their husbands about what cosmetic procedures they have done.

So why are cosmetic procedures so popular?

That’s easy- because they give people a boost of confidence. You’ll find that most women aren’t doing it for attention, or to appeal to the opposite sex. If they decide to have ‘something done’ it’s always to make themselves feel more confident.

And if you thought having ‘work done’ means looking like a plastic barbie doll or having a trout pout, think again. Good ‘work’ should look completely natural.

I’ve tried a lot in the name of research, and some of the best treatments I’ve had I’m still reluctant to talk about and share my experience. I don’t want to go from being known as a relatively natural beauty to suddenly being labelled ‘fake’ because I’ve had something done. Yet on the other hand I think there should be more talk and discussion around cosmetic procedures -free of the judgement.

I’m all for enhancements, done well, that help women feel more comfortable in their own skin, and age with confidence.

Without a doubt our selfie culture and social media have played a large part in the rapid growth in popularity of certain procedures because they make us aware of what can be done and what results can be achieved.

Among the most popular cosmetic procedures in Australia are liposculpture, breast augmentation and cosmetic injectables. I spoke with the doctors who are busy performing the most popular treatments on why Aussie women are loving these procedures and why some are still reluctant to talk about it.

Liposculpture

I was surprised to find out that Liposculpture is the world’s #1 most popular cosmetic procedure.

Liposculpture is a gentler, more refined version of liposuction. It’s an immensely popular procedure because of it’s ability to remove stubborn bulges of fat with minimal pain, rapid recovery and low complication rates.

Dr Meaghan Heckenberg is one of Sydney most popular liposculpture surgeons. When asked about why liposculpture is so popular she says “It isn’t a weight loss tool, but a body sculpting tool. There is no substitute to maintaining a good diet and regular exercise program but liposculpture can remove those bulges of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise and improve the body proportions considerably.”

Several litres of fat are removed during the procedure and results are usually excellent. With liposculpture the complication rates are low, it’s done while you are awake without the use of a general anaesthetic, and fat is removed permanently through tiny cannula incisions on the area being treated, so scarring is also very minimal and barely visible.

In Australia liposculpture is very popular, with some clinics performing hundreds of treatments per week.

In recent years non-surgical fat removal methods like Coolsculpting and Sculpsure have come onto the market, and were initially very popular. However the cost of both CoolSculpting and Sculpsure is relatively high and success rates are fairly low, leaving patients still unhappy and often opting for liposculpture eventually anyway.

“More often than not, I see patients who have tried these devices before they revert to liposculpture. It’s often a false economy because they have tried these expensive devices first but the outcome has not been as they would have hoped for. Ultimately, they come and see me to have effective body sculpting with liposculpture, where they should have had liposculpture in the first place and saved themselves the money,” explains Dr Heckenberg.

I’ve tried both CoolSculpting and Sculpsure, and both gave me a small improvement but neither treatment was as effective as I’d hoped for, and after spending the money I was still left with my post baby stomach podge…

Dr Heckenberg said “Non-surgical fat reducing devices do NOT provide the same results as liposculpture. There is no substitute to a dedicated liposculpture surgeon using micro cannulas.

A person is 3 dimensional and requires different depths of fat removal for different areas to establish a shape change. Reducing fat in one area may leave indentations with these devices as they are unable to blend effectively into surrounding areas.”

Another reason why Liposculpture is so popular is the minimal pain, minimal bruising, and quick recovery time, most people are back at their normal activities within a few days.

The ideal candidate for liposculpture is not overweight, it’s best for people who are healthy weight that have stubborn areas of fat that exercise and diet won’t budge.

Liposculpture patients vary in sex, age and life situation. Some are extremely fit and want extra muscle definition, some just want a flatter stomach or slimmer thighs, and often patients are mums who want help getting their body back into post-baby shape.

“I think I would see 1 man to every 15 women. So women far outweigh men in seeking liposculpture. The most common age would be between 40-60 years of age but I’m also seeing women in their early ’70s too! A lot of women come after they have had children, and they’ve suffered the effects of pregnancy on their body, plus they are ageing too. Genetics also come into play, and they may exhibit body shapes the same as someone in their family,” says Dr Meaghan.

When asked if her patients talk openly about having liposculpture Dr Meaghan said “I have many patients who have quite freely spoken about their journey with liposculpture and therefore tell their friends and family. However there are some others that don’t want anyone to know, not even their husbands! I’d say half are happy to talk about it and half keep it quiet.”

Liposculpture comes with a substantially lower fee than conventional liposuction because there is no need for hospital and anaesthetists fees.

On average liposculpture costs $6000-$12000

Dr Meaghan Heckenberg is at Be Sculptured, Crows Nest

Breast Augmentation

We all know someone who’s had their boobs done, and while it might be easier to hide lipo under your clothing, often there’s no hiding an enhanced bust.

In Australia Breast Augmentation is extremely popular, with an estimated 30,000+ surgeries performed each year. The increase in popularity has sky-rocketed in comparison to other countries with similar climate and similar populations.

“I think breast augmentation has become such a popular surgery here in Australia because of our warm climate and beach lifestyle. Everyone wants to look good at the beach and look good in a bikini,” says Dr Steven Liew, one of Australia’s most well-renowned plastic surgeons.

“Good breast augmentation not only enhances the bust, it enhances the body shape and can make the waist look smaller,” he adds..

I used to think that all fake boobs looked like ‘bolt-ons’- unnatural, hard looking and fake.

Back in the ’90s there was more risk of complications from breast augmentation surgery, and the results were much more unnatural looking.

Nowdays breast augmentation is a relatively low risk procedure and the implants themselves are better quality, better shape and safer to use.

Modern day breast augmentation can give a very natural result, almost to the point where no one could tell you’ve had the surgery done. Often implants are not just used to increase size, but also to improve breast shape and symmetry. Consequently popularity of breast augmentation surgery is at an all time high.

“I see an increasing number of women in their thirties and forties, particularly those who have chosen to have surgery after pregnancy. Pregnancy changes the shape of the breast, and causes volume loss. Breast Augmentation can replenish fullness, and improve lift,” says Dr Liew.

When I asked Dr Liew about whether his patients are happy to talk about their surgery he said “I often find there are two types of patients. Younger patients in their ’20s are more open to talk about their surgery, yet many patients in their ’30s and ’40s prefer to keep it to themselves.”

On average breast augmentation costs around $12,000-$15,000 AUD

Dr Steven Liew, is at Shape Clinic Darlinghurst

Dermal Filler

Dermal Fillers and botox have exploded in popularity over the last few years, and while many women are happy to discuss having botox, filler is still a less talked about treatment.

Without a doubt dermal filler is the culprit for many people’s fear of cosmetic procedures. Everywhere you look you see examples of over use of filler, those weird lips, out of proportion cheekbones, that plastic fantastic kinda look.

Filler when used correctly can be fantastic at correcting under eye bags, dark circles and adding volume to the face where it has lost it as you age.

Another thing people should know is that if you have filler when you don’t need it, it will probably make you look older.

Sydney plastic surgeon Dr Jack Zoumaras explains, “You just have to have a look at celebrities or people on social media that have had a lot of work, they look like they are in their mid to late ’30s and a lot of them are still in their ’20s. Those of you in your twenties, you don’t need filler. “

Plastic fantastic look ain’t my thing at all, but I have had filler to correct my dark circles under my eyes and it was one of the best things I’ve done for my face! #NoRegrets

I now need much less concealer and I don’t feel self conscious about the darkness around my eyes. And no one would know (unless you’ve read this article), it looks completely natural.

There are several different types of filler and it isn’t cheap. But the filler used to correct volume loss in the face or dark circles lasts for around two years which I think is worth the investment.

The result you get relies for the most part on the person injecting, and while you might find a cheap deal somewhere, I’d disregard the price and opt for the most reputable injector you can find. Ask around see who’s popular amongst friends and peers, and meet the doctor, if you get a good vibe from them and feel confident that they understand what it is you want to achieve, then go with them.

As with any cosmetic procedure it’s important to go to a great doctor. Personally I’d always choose a doctor with a great reputation over a cheaper priced procedure, this is your face and your body you are dealing with and as with any cosmetic procedure things can go wrong, so put yourself in the safest hands. A good doctor is worth every penny.

I love the cosmetic industry, and I hope that eventually we can all openly discuss and share our experiences on what we do or don’t have done without judgement.

Written by Bonnie G aka Oz Beauty Expert @ozbeautyexpert