Plastic surgery thriving in city

By Francesca Villette Time of article published Apr 20, 2016

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Francesca Villette

LOCALS are showing no signs of slowing down when it comes to going under the knife in the name of beauty.

Over the past year, at least 10 new reconstructive and cosmetic surgeons practicing in Cape Town have registered with the Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Southern Africa.

The association, with 148 members, 38 of whom are from the Western Cape, represents about 98 percent of registered plastic surgeons in South Africa.

Chris Snijman, association secretary and spokesperson, said the majority of people who go under the knife are locals, with the most popular procedure being breast augmentation.

Breast augmentations are performed to create aesthetically pleasing breasts.

“We have seen a huge increase in the number of people choosing plastic surgery to enhance their features and improve what they already have,” Snijman said.

Based on statistics received by the association’s members, 4 266 surgical procedures were performed in Cape Town in 2014.

But this is not an accurate reflection as data was only captured by 32 percent of members.

Following breast augmentation as the most popular surgery is liposuction, tummy tucks, eyelid rejuvenation and facelifts, Snijman said.

South African Medical Association vice-chairperson Mark Sonderup said it was common knowledge that there was a growing demand for cosmetic procedures, and the media and celebrities played a role in promoting it.

“Medical tourism is also growing in South Africa, with many foreigners choosing South Africa, where they can get excellent service at a low cost to them,” Sonderup said.

A woman in the process of enlarging her breasts said it would cost her R50 000 to go two cup sizes bigger.

In her research she discovered at least six doctors in the CBD who would do the procedure for her.

A mother who recently underwent liposuction, said the procedure cost her R18 000.

“The confidence you gain after the procedure makes it worth it,” she said.

Provincial health department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said at public hospitals, medical reconstructive surgeries were given priority over cosmetic requests.

Groote Schuur Hospital performs an average 28 plastic and reconstructive surgeries a month, while Tygerberg Hospital last year performed 802 plastic and reconstructive surgeries.

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