sagging eyelid treatmentIt’s said the eyes are the window to the soul. This may well be true but they’re also one of the strongest indicators of ageing. Droopy eyelids could eventually happen to us all as we grow older so it’s perhaps comforting to know that there is a range of aesthetic solutions to the problem.

Two of the most common are the brow lift or the eyelid lift (otherwise known as blepharoplasty). Both treatments can have a startling effect on ageing, taking years off you without actually looking like you’ve had work done. It’s very common for friends to comment how youthful you’re looking without actually being able to pinpoint why.

What is involved in the treatment?

A brow lift is focused only on the upper face and forehead. Classically, an incision is made on or above the hairline and the skin is pulled taut to help remove the sagging. These days most surgeons prefer a less invasive method known as an endoscopic brow lift.

Blepharoplasty involves removing or repositioning tissue from the upper eyelid and around the eyes, including any unsightly bags. There will be some scarring, but the thin skin on the eyelids typically heals very well and any incisions are typically hidden in the normal folds of the eye, so are to all intents and purposes invisible.

Although both procedures are routine they are invasive surgery and will usually be carried out under a general anaesthetic. Recovery times are similar in both cases with full recovery normally taking four to six weeks.

Which is the best treatment for sagging eyelids?

This is probably the wrong question. It probably makes sense to ask, “which treatment is more appropriate for me?” The fact is that sagging eyelids can be caused by a number of things so it’s vital to identify the source of the problem before choosing the solution. Ageing eyes can be caused by excess skin around the eyelids, a drooping forehead or a combination of both.

Determining the root cause should define the most appropriate treatment which might well be a brow lift and blepharoplasty together. It’s not just the ageing effect either that might prompt treatment. Some people are born with naturally drooping brows and there’s even a medical condition which prevents the eyelids from opening as wide as they should. In some cases, surgery may even be required to help with impaired vision where the need isn’t driven primarily by cosmetic considerations.

Your cosmetic surgeon will normally be able to tell immediately which procedure is most appropriate for you but if you want to get an indication yourself before a consultation you can try this simple test. In front of the mirror raise your forehead, using your fingers to what you feel is a natural level. If your drooping eyelids have disappeared, then you will probably just require a brow lift. If that doesn’t solve it then you might want to consider blepharoplasty too. You need to trust your own eyes sometimes.

breast augmentation timingThere really isn’t a complete consensus amongst breast surgeons when it comes to answering this question on breast augmentation timing. The reality is that no two cases are the same and there are many variables to consider before making the decision to undergo a breast augmentation prior to completing your family.

Breast augmentation has little impact on pregnancy

The good news is that the procedure has little impact on a pregnancy. In a number of studies, including a ten-year one carried by the American FDA, the procedure has been proven to have no impact on fertility and in no way affects the gestation period (no threat of miscarriages) or cause birth defects.  There is evidence to suggest that in a few cases breast augmentation may cause difficulty in breastfeeding, but this is hard to prove definitively and it has been suggested that in these cases the reason is more likely to be psychological than physiological.

One of the first questions to ask yourself is how soon are you planning to get pregnant? If it’s in the next 12 months, then it might be better to hold off from the surgery. Whilst it’s not likely to have an effect on the pregnancy or the baby after childbirth the size and shape of the breast will change for the majority of women and this should be a consideration before embarking on a procedure that might need further work after having your family.

Whilst breastfeeding, the breasts will swell and when they reduce back to their pre-pregnancy size they often tend to sag and lose some of the perkiness. It’s quite possible that a woman who’s had a breast augmentation before giving birth will still be happy with the results later, but many women choose to return for a further operation. In these cases, larger implants may be fitted to fill out the stretched and saggy skin or a combination breast uplift and augmentation is performed.

There isn’t really any way of predicting how breasts will change after childbirth. Some surgeons recommend looking at the mother’s body shape as a guide, but this can be taken as no more than a loose indication. For some women the changes are minimal whilst for others, it can be dramatic and life-changing. The length of time spent feeding on the breast and the number of children can all have an effect too.  It’s different for every woman.

Discuss the pros and cons with the surgeon

The best way to make the decision is to discuss the situation in detail with the surgeon prior to committing. For some women, the risks of a second post-partum operation are far outweighed by the impact the procedure will have on their self-confidence and general happiness in the meantime. Mr Nigel Horlock will carefully weigh up the facts and offer you expert, unbiased advice tailored to your circumstances.

In today’s society, the pressure to look young and dynamic is a huge motivating factor in the drive to undergo anti-ageing cosmetic surgery procedures such as the facelift, as a recent investigation by the Nuffield Bioethics Council found.

A successful facelift should aim to make you look younger and more refreshed. In a 2012 study at the University of Toronto, researchers analysed before and after photos of cosmetic surgery patients to try and find a more precise reckoning of how many years you could lose if you underwent a facelift or eyelid surgery.

Images of 60 plastic surgery patients, between the ages of 45 to 72, were analysed in the study. In most cases, their real age in the before photos was correctly guessed and then the volunteers studied photos of the patients who had undergone either a facelift, neck lift, eyelid surgery, or a combination of procedures.

The first group, that had undergone a facelift and neck lift, were guessed to be 5.7 years younger. The second group, who had also had an eyelid lift at the same time, were seen to be 7.5 years younger and the last group that had undergone the most surgery, including a brow lift, were perceived to be 8.5 years younger than their actual age.

So, when it comes to facial rejuvenation surgery, the greater the investment, the bigger the return. But how do you protect that investment? A facelift can’t stop the ageing process entirely so here are our top five tips on how best to maintain your facelift results when the clock restarts:

# 1: Maintaining your facelift results: get serious about sun damage

It’s thought that sun damage is the cause of 90% of what is perceived as facial ageing, including lines and wrinkles, poor skin tone and discolouration. Protecting your skin at all times – even in the midst of winter – is probably the most important factor in maintaining your facelift results.

# 2: Maintaining your facelift results: protect your skin from the inside out

If you’re serious about looking your best after a facelift, then consider your diet. A healthy and well-balanced diet is always important, but recent research has flagged just how damaging sugar can be. Sugar triggers a chemical process known as glycation which produces sugar-bonded proteins. These proteins produce free radicals which deplete collagen and elastin levels in the skin. This causes skin to look less firm and increase the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

# 3: Maintaining your facelift results: give up smoking

Southampton plastic surgeon Mr Nigel Horlock always gives his facelift patients comprehensive aftercare advice that includes giving up smoking before and after surgery. Nicotine in cigarettes acts as a vasoconstrictor, in that it reduces blood flow and compromises the healing process among other risk factors, but even after you’re fully healed it’s important you don’t restart the habit as smoking will accelerate the ageing process.

# 4: Maintaining your facelift results: invest in skincare

As well as adopting good lifestyle habits, it’s important to invest some money in good skincare products. Cosmeceuticals or medical-grade skincare products contain active ingredients such as retinoids, antioxidants and peptides that can produce a radiant and clear complexion that is very anti-ageing.

# 5: Maintaining your facelift results: combine with aesthetic treatments

A facelift can lift, reposition and reshape facial tissues to produce a more youthful appearance, but there are certain things it can’t do. Dynamic wrinkles that typically appear in the upper third of the face can be treated with muscle relaxing injections that smooth the skin. Once you’re fully healed, skin rejuvenating treatments such as laser rejuvenation or chemical peels can greatly improve skin texture and tone.

To find out what facelift surgery can do for you, call us on 023 8076 49 69 to arrange a consultation.

As this season’s Love Island comes to an end, it’s interesting to note that the popular reality TV programme has a profound impact on viewers, with one in ten women who watch the programme claiming that it has left them considering undergoing a breast augmentation.

Carried out by YouGov, the survey found that almost half of all female viewers, aged between 18 to 34, felt self-conscious about their looks after watching the programme. This led to eight per cent considering breast enhancement surgery, 11% of them planning anti-wrinkle treatments and lip fillers and seven per cent contemplating liposuction.

A number of the girls that appeared on the show have undergone breast augmentation procedures which they freely admitted and that, coupled with the cosmetic surgery adverts that were shown in the ad breaks, have sparked fears that cosmetic surgery has become ‘normalised’. Breast augmentation is very popular, and it can produce fantastic, life-enhancing results, but it’s also a serious surgical procedure and it’s essential that prospective patients are fully informed about all the pros and cons before they decide to go ahead. Here’s everything you need to know about breast augmentation.

The consultation process: making the decision to go ahead with a breast augmentation

The consultation is an essential part of the process, as it gives you the opportunity to become fully informed about the procedures and that means being aware of all potential risks as well as the possible results. Your consultation is also the chance to meet your plastic surgeon and ensure that you fully trust them and are confident in their ability to look after you.

Important decisions are made in terms of implant type, shape and size and where the implant will be located in relation to the muscle. The location of the incision will also be discussed.

Am I the ideal candidate for a breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a relatively straightforward cosmetic surgery procedure and if you are in good health and have realistic expectations about what can be achieved then you should be suitable.

There are certain considerations that might mean your plastic surgeon advises you to consider another procedure or delay surgery at this time. If you have undergone pregnancy or weight fluctuations, for example, you may have a degree of ptosis or sagging in the breast tissues that may become more pronounced after augmentation. In this instance, a mastopexy or breast uplift may be advised, with or without implants. On the other hand, if you’re planning a pregnancy in the imminent future then it might be advisable to delay surgery until after that point.

Understanding breast augmentation risks

This is essential as any surgical procedure entails some risks and there are also possible complications specific to the breast augmentation procedure. Typically, a breast augmentation is performed under a general anaesthetic and there are anaesthesia risks to take into account. Post-surgery there are risks of bleeding or haematoma as the wound heals and any surgical incision that is made will result in some degree of scarring.

Breast augmentation complications include implant rupture, changes to nipple or breast sensation, capsular contracture and the likely possibility that you will require revision surgery at some point in the future.

All these potential risks will be discussed in full at the consultation before you make the decision to go ahead. If you have any more questions or would like to organise a breast augmentation consultation at Mr Horlock’s Southampton plastic surgery practice, call us on 023 8076 49 69.

Cosmetic surgery is often perceived as the preserve of women, but figures released recently by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons point to a surge in men opting for aesthetic work. It’s true that women still outnumber men by 10 to 1 when it comes to getting work done but the report shows a 29% increase in male cosmetic surgery between 2000 and 2017 with 1.3 million men undergoing a procedure last year alone. Some surgeries are even reporting as much as a tenfold increase in the number of men approaching them for cosmetic work.

It’s hard to point to any specific reason but it certainly seems to be true that men are becoming more body conscious.  The report indicates that up to 31% of men would consider a cosmetic procedure.  Maybe this change can be partly attributed to the rise of social media and the associated selfie phenomenon, with men simply becoming more aware of their appearance. It might also be the result of an increasingly competitive and youthful workplace where experienced executives find themselves competing with younger co-workers and feel the need to opt for some anti-ageing work.

Male cosmetic surgery no longer stigmatised

Another reason for the increase could be that male cosmetic work is no longer stigmatised in quite the way it was. It may not have become completely acceptable but it’s becoming quite commonplace for celebrities from the sport and entertainment world talking openly about work they’ve had done. According to the Society’s President, Jeffrey Janis, “Men were a little bit more reluctant to talk about it,” he said. Now, that’s no longer the case.”

In the US, there’s also been a drive to open male only surgeries which create a more comfortable environment for men to talk openly about any aesthetic work they might be considering. From a male receptionist to surgeons specifically trained on the male anatomy this type of surgery is helping to make the whole process of cosmetic work more enticing to men. Actually finding a surgeon that specialises in the male anatomy is quite important. Procedures can vary dramatically between men and women. Rhinoplasty, for example, requires a very different approach when creating a strong masculine nose as opposed to a delicate female one. When it comes to injectables much larger volumes are required simply because men have larger muscles.

Top four male cosmetic surgery procedures

Although there are some differences in the type of procedures carried out on both sexes the main areas are broadly aligned according to the society’s report. The top four for men and women are nose jobs, eyelid surgery liposuction and breast reduction. After this comes a male-specific procedure in hair transplants, although this is hardly surprising given that at least half the male population has a hair loss problem by the time they hit 50. There’s also a noticeable difference between the types of work carried out dependent on age. Younger men tend to favour body sculpting and toning procedures whereas as older men are opting for anti-ageing work.

A recent survey of 2,000 women in the UK found that 46% wanted to “turn back the clock” on the ageing process and recover the looks they had in their 20s. The peak age for this seems to be about 45 with many women reporting a feeling of becoming invisible and less alluring to men. With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that more and more women are turning to facial rejuvenation surgery to turn back time. Here are some of the most popular facial rejuvenation procedures available:

  • Eyelid Surgery: Also known as blepharoplasty, this procedure is designed to tackle the problems of eyebags and droopy or puffy eyelids which can create an unwelcome ageing effect. The procedure involves the removal of sagging tissue from around the eyes and the transforming results should be noticeable after just a few weeks. After this period, when any swelling has subsided you should really be able to see the difference.


  • Facelift: Perhaps the most well-known procedure, the facelift typically takes around three to four hours under a general anaesthetic. Although there are a number of techniques, generally incisions are made along the hairline and the skin and muscles are lifted and tightened and any excess skin is removed to restore a more refreshed look. Although some people might be concerned that they might end up with an awkwardly stretched appearance, a good facelift will normally look completely natural and the results can easily knock up to 10 years off you. Whilst you can’t stop the ageing process in its tracks, you will continue to look younger than if you hadn’t had the facelift.


  • Brow Lift: Similar to the facelift, a brow lift focuses on the forehead area where saggy skin can result in wrinkles, a lowered brow and a generally aged appearance.


  • Neck Lift: The neck can be particularly sensitive to the effects of ageing as gravity takes hold and the skin loses its elasticity creating a generally saggy appearance, sometimes with unwelcome drooping jowls. In some cases, liposuction might be used to tackle the problem and this can be done under local anaesthetic but often a full procedure is required under general anaesthetic. Like the facelift, incisions are made which allow the tissues to be lifted and tightened.


Like all surgery, facial rejuvenation procedures are invasive and shouldn’t be entered into lightly. It’s important to discuss aftercare and recovery times with your surgeon as well as covering the risks. Facial rejuvenation surgery can really have quite outstanding results, rolling back the years and improving your confidence and self-esteem.

breast reduction questionsBreast reductions are normally in the top 10 cosmetic procedures carried out it any year and not surprisingly they’re often perceived as a routine operation. It’s generally not complicated and normally you’re back home on the same day. That doesn’t mean that it’s a walk in the park though. These are some of the things to consider before you elect for the procedure.

  1. You may think that you’re just having your breasts reduced but actually to get the desired results you might be advised to have other procedures. It’s possible, for example, that you may need liposuction in other areas such as under the armpits. Your surgeon would discuss and advise on this.
  2. A breast reduction is typically a straightforward procedure and you will usually return home on the same day, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be back to work the next day. It’s still surgery after all. Most surgeons agree that strenuous exercise and lifting is to be avoided for at least six weeks after the operation. You will probably also be advised to wear a sports bra or post-surgery bra for up to three months. Like all surgery, it can leave you feeling tired whilst the body focuses on healing itself. It’s critical to listen to your surgeon’s advice on this.
  3. It may be possible to get a breast reduction through the NHS. NHS rationing has limited the amount of funding for operations such as a breast reduction, but it may be possible to prove that you need this surgery for important health reasons. That means a history of back pain or other complications that couldn’t be sorted out by a professionally fitted bra or physiotherapy.
  4. It could affect your ability to breastfeed. Anyone who’s considering more children should speak to the surgeon about the likely effect on milk production. Depending on the extent of the surgery then some milk ducts and glands may be removed which is why some women leave breast reduction surgery until they’re sure they’ve completed their family.
  5. Don’t splash out on new clothes immediately. Whilst it may be tempting to hit the high street with your new shape it’s probably best to wait a couple of months until everything has settled down as there’s bound to be some swelling after the procedure.
  6. Your nipple sensitivity might change. This can be quite unpredictable. Sometimes there is reduced sensitivity for a while which may last or disappear within a couple of weeks. On the other hand, some women report hypersensitivity after the procedure. Either way, it’s something you need to be aware of as a possible side effect.
  7. Your weight could be important. Whilst it might seem unfair, if you’re overweight then you might be advised to go on a weight loss programme by the surgeon before they can carry out the procedure. Weight gain and loss can also affect the size of your breasts which is something you need to consider. You may have the perfect size breasts a couple of months after the operation but if you gain weight then this could change the results.

If you have more questions about the breast reduction procedure, call 023 8076 49 69 to arrange a consultation with Mr Nigel Horlock.

Choosing a surgeon for cosmetic surgery could be one of the most important decisions you make. You’re putting your looks, your health and a significant sum of money in the hands of another person and the results can often be life-changing.

When you’re searching for a cosmetic surgeon and arranging consultations, here are some of the fundamental factors you should take into account.

1. Make sure that the cosmetic surgeon your speaking to is accredited.

It may seem obvious, but they should be listed on the General Medical Council’s list of specialist plastic surgeons and it is advisable that they are also a member of either the British Association of Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeons or the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. It also makes sense to stay in the UK, too. Temptingly cheap operations in places like Eastern Europe and Turkey have become increasingly popular but bring their own risks. These countries don’t always carry the same safeguards in place and it is highly unlikely that you will receive the same level of care and attention from your cosmetic surgeon as you would in the UK.

2. Avoid the hard sell.

If you feel the surgeon is pushing you into a certain type of treatment rather than listening to what you want, then you probably need to go somewhere else. It’s really important that they cover all the potential risks with you, as well as discuss the likely outcome of the work. Bear in mind also that their view of what’s appropriate might be different to yours so ask to see photos of their work and get references.

3. Check out the facilities.

It’s not just about the cosmetic surgeon. It’s also about the hospital or clinic where your procedure will be performed. Travelling a long distance, even within the UK, might add additional stress to an already traumatic experience.

4. Get a second opinion.

This is a significant investment of time and money and so a good cosmetic surgeon will. Not be surprised or offended if you get a second opinion. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions even ones that may seem a bit rude. Make sure that the cosmetic surgeon is specialised in the area you’re looking at. A surgeon with a great reputation for rhinoplasty might not be the best place to go for liposuction, for example.

5. Talk about the recovery period.

Cosmetic surgery procedures such as a tummy tuck, facelift or breast reduction are significant surgical operations and so it’s important to find a surgeon who clearly communicates what’s likely to happen after the operation and what you need to do to help the body heal as quickly as possible. An honest and open approach should make you feel reassured that you understand the risks. It’s also vital that you follow this advice to the letter.

The key thing with cosmetic surgeon choice is to do your homework, ask the right questions and make sure you feel comfortable with your surgeon. If you’re unsure then get a second opinion.

As we draw closer to the third decade of the 21st century the landscape of cosmetic surgery for men is beginning to change.  Once regarded as an almost exclusively female option aesthetic work is becoming increasingly common amongst men.

There are no exact figures for the cosmetic surgery industry in the UK but every year, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) releases figures from their members, including Mr Nigel Horlock. Last year alone, BAAPS reported that 2,471 had some kind of cosmetic procedure in the UK.

Men and women opting for different cosmetic surgery procedures

It’s not just simply a case of the playing field levelling itself out between the sexes, though. The report also indicates that men and women aren’t necessarily opting for the same kinds of procedures. The stats would suggest that women seem to be much more body conscious whilst men are focused on the face when it comes to getting work done.

According to BAAPS here are the five most popular procedures with UK men last year:

  1. Rhinoplasty: Nose jobs are steadily on the increase in the UK with a 5% increase between 2016-17. There isn’t really a single standard approach to this procedure as it might be carried out for a whole range of reasons from purely cosmetic enhancement to correction of a sporting injury.  With 554 men opting for rhinoplasty last year it’s the number one procedure on our list.
  2. Otoplasty: Ear correction came in a close second in 2017 with 419 men undergoing some work last year.  A relatively minor procedure (which doesn’t typically require a general anaesthetic) the process involves the removal of some of the cartilage so that the ears move closer to the head and don’t stick out. There has been an almost imperceptible dip in the number of procedures between 2016-17 and the expectation is that it will continue to be steady moving forward.
  3. Blepharoplasty: Eyelid reduction, on the other hand, has seen a dramatic increase of 25% between 2016-17.  This anti-ageing procedure is designed to tackle the sagging effect caused by the skin losing its elasticity and the wrinkles and crow’s feet that build up over time. The procedure can be carried out on upper, lower or both eyelids and 403 men opted for it in 2017.
  4. Gynaecomastia: Male breast reduction remains relatively stable although there was a slight decrease of 6% between 2016 and 17. Typically, this is a relatively minor operation requiring liposuction although there may also be a need to cut out glandular tissue in some cases which could leave small scars around the nipple.
  5. Liposuction: The drop off in liposuction procedures for men is quite marked at 20% and it seems to confirm the observation that men are becoming more focused on facial rather than general body surgery. The procedure itself is quite routine with a small tube inserted under the skin to literally suck out excess fat leaving a more sculptured and toned body shape. In 2017 only 270 men opted for the procedure.

For more information on the male cosmetic surgery procedures that Mr Horlock offers, call us on 023 8076 49 69 to arrange a consultation.

Whilst breast augmentations are increasingly common and are generally regarded as routine, it’s still invasive surgery which requires a period of downtime. There are a number of variables that can affect this recovery period. For example, if you’ve had the implants placed on top of the muscle rather than under it then you can expect the recovery to be less painful and quicker by up to half.

Also, it is just a fact that people differ naturally in their ability to tolerate pain. Some plastic surgeons believe that mothers have a higher pain threshold because of the experience of giving birth.

In terms of recovery time, then the type of work you do may mean spending longer at home resting. Office workers could be back within a couple of days whereas nurses who regularly lift people might have to take a period of weeks off.

General guidelines for the recovery period after a breast augmentation

It’s probably fair to say that there’s no complete consensus on how best to approach the recovery period but generally speaking you’ll find that most cosmetic surgeons recommend similar guidelines to these below:

  1. Expect to rest for at least 3 days. This will vary depending on the type of surgery, age, underlying health, type of workplace etc. During this time don’t do any lifting, driving or vigorous exercise. If you’ve got children who want physical contact, then you might want to encourage them to climb on to your lap rather than lifting them up for a few weeks. It can take up to eight weeks for the body to be ready for heavy lifting and full activity depending on your lifestyle and job so just be careful and make sure you discuss this fully with your cosmetic surgeon.
  2. Take the prescribed pain-killing medication but don’t overdo it. n the first few days particularly, you’re going to feel tightness, pressure and some pain. This is perfectly normal and you should be taking enough painkillers to reach a point of tolerable discomfort. You won’t make it go away completely and you should also expect to be more tired than usual during the first week or so as your body heals. Some people have described the pressure as the tight feeling in the chest after a heavy cardio workout or the feeling of engorgement when breast milk first arrives.
  3. Don’t expect everything to look as you want it straight away. It’s surgery after all, so it can take up to six weeks for swelling and bruising to subside. Normally, everything should be as planned after three months other than the scar tissue. Surgical scars take 18 months to fully mature and fade. Until then scar therapy cream might be an option. Your surgeon will be able to advise on this pre- and post-op.

The reality is that although there are general guidelines for recovery each individual case is different and it’s important that you talk in detail to your plastic surgeon about the type of surgery and how best for your body to heal post-op. It’s vital that you follow their advice diligently in this period to ensure that you get the expected results from the procedure.