Under the knife or injection? That’s the trending question

Under the knife or injection? That’s the trending question

By Cassandra Charlesworth

It was just a brief glimpse in the wing mirror of the family station wagon that elicited the murmur of horror.

A couple of previously endearing crows’ feet had been joined by a troupe of deep facial rivulets, the fiord in the brow was now more a crevasse than a crease.

Welcome to your 40s, the wing mirror silently screamed, where the rigours of life run deep!

It is minor yet mortifying moments like these that are fuelling a billion-dollar cosmetic surgery industry where more and more women are opting to aggressively dissuade or reverse the signs of aging.

Here’s an insight into Australia’s booming cosmetic procedure industry and why it’s quite probably coming to a face near you…

A billion-dollar bonanza

According to the Daily Telegraph, Australia’s cosmetic surgery is now worth an estimated billion dollars each year. Our veracious Aussie appetite for youth outstrips even America, with a bigger spend per capita on cosmetic procedures that includes injectables and going under the knife.

“Every year Aussies are consuming $350 million worth of Botox procedures, having 8000 breast augmentation surgeries and 30,000 liposuction procedures,” the Telegraph claims.

We’re having these procedures done here, travelling overseas for them and if this year’s forecasts are anything to go by, we’re starting to view them as a normal part of life.

This warm embrace of artificial aging has increased at a rate 2.6% per annum over the past five years, according to a market report by Ibis World and will likely grow 1.5% in revenue this year alone.

What we’re doing

Turns out it’s pretty hard to come by solid statistics when it comes to how many Australians go under the knife each year or turn to injectables to iron out those creases in life.

That’s partly because injectable procedures like Botox can be undertaken in varied medical facilities. It’s also due to the fact cosmetic procedures are elective, so information is not collected by Medicare.

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons notes: “In Australia there is limited regulation or standardisation when it comes to the use of titles to describe qualifications in the area of cosmetic surgery”, however, “With a rise in the number of Australians undergoing cosmetic procedures, cosmetic surgery has become ‘normalised’ and accepted as common place…”

In the search for some statistics, we’ll take the word of Harper’s Bazaar who last year relied on internet search data from to note the following surgeries were the five most popular in Australia:

Eyelid surgery – Designed to tighten and lift sagging eyelids, this surgery was on the rise. They reported a surge of 9%, with an average price in Australian dollars of $4536.

Nose jobs – Rhinoplasty rates were pretty much holding steady with a change in inquiries of -1%. Average price in Australian dollars: $7832.

Breast implants -  These were on the decrease with inquiries down across the board by 33%. Average price in Australian dollars: $8130. Further data also reveals the breast augmentation landscape is changing with Australians now opting for a smaller, more natural look, which in some cases is achieved through fat transfer injections, rather than implants.  

Liposuction – Still hugely popular, liposuction was also down with inquiries reduced by 15%. Average price in Australian dollars: $5067.

Abdominoplasty - Tummy tucks were not as popular with inquiries down 8%. Average price in Australian dollars: $7405. That said, the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons is pushing for tummy tucks to be reimbursed by the government, with a study finding abdominoplasty “can reduce back pain and urinary incontinence after pregnancy and childbirth”.

This blog is a part of a two-part series. Look out for the next blog, coming soon! 

Cassandra Charlesworth

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer with 20 years’ journalism experience. She loves a good old-fashioned story and getting to the heart of a great yarn. She’s also a mum to three children who have encouraged her to hone some secret skills. Nimbly navigating Lego pieces left on her loungeroom floor and creating stylish Barbie attire from all manner of household objects are just a couple of credentials she’s recently added to her resume.


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Comments (1):

Thank you, very interesting

Sue - April 15, 2018