Over-indulgence at Christmas is as traditional as turkey, mince pies, sherry and all manner of luxuries that add to an ever-expanding waistline.
Come the New Year, many people look to cosmetic surgery as a “quick-fix” to offset the yuletide greed, but cosmetic surgeon Andrea Marando suggests alternative methods before going under the knife. Andrea, who qualified in Medicine from the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome, in 1991, before completing the accreditation process to become Specialist in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1997, is now one of the leading cosmetic surgeons in the North West.
From his main base in Deansgate, Manchester and Bridgewater Hospital, Andrea also works in Gisburn, Lancashire and London and says that the Christmas and New Year period is becoming one of his busiest.
“In theory there should be a slow down but there seems to be no change and since October there has actually been an increase in inquiries and an increase in treatments booked.” he says.
“I had to open a couple of theatre lists between Christmas and New Years Eve – something which I don’t tend to do – but I had to fit in all the patients that wanted to see me.”
Andrea says there is a contrast in the surgeries booked before and after Christmas.
“What is interesting is come February, March and April, there are mainly body contouring surgeries such a liposuction and abdominalplastys. Before Christmas it is mainly breast surgery and facial surgery.
“Before Christmas people book surgeries mainly to look fresher and also to look better in clothes – hence the breast surgery
“But when you indulge too much over Christmas you try to exercise as much as you can the first few months of the year but when you don’t win, people turn to surgery for the areas of fat that don’t go away.”
Despite the recession, cosmetic surgery continues to be growing industry.
Television programmes such as The Only Way is Essex have led to a burgeoning acceptance of boob jobs, lip fillers and tummy tucks.
Even the great PIP (Poly Implant Prothese) scandal has done little to affect business.
“Programmes such as TOWIE, in my opinion, promote a lifestyle of people without any problems – everything about the show is based on image,” says Andrea. “The vast majority of people on that show don’t seem to go to work or they must be very successful in what they do and they pay a lot of attention to how they look.
“I don’t think I have every seen anyone as groomed in real life like the people on that programme and viewers looking at those images to that extent is making cosmetic surgery another acceptable option.”
And it isn’t just women coming to see Andrea, who himself is not afraid to admit he has botox.
“In the past, the number of men coming to see me was very limited - they were coming just with their wife or their partner - but this morning I had three male patients come in to see me; two a non-surgical procedure and one a surgical procedure.
“They tend to have botox for the lines around their eyes and foreheads and as men are beginning to pay a lot of attention to their skin, they have chemical peels too.”
Depsite the acceptance, Andrea is keen to stress that whatever surgery he performs, his patients must be healthy enough to undergo the procedure.
“Cosmetic surgery is a serious subject and provided that you look into it with the right eyes it is the answer to many questions but not the answer for every question,” he says.
“If there is an alternative, such as dieting or leading a better lifestyle that try the alternative first but there are things that cannot be addressed by these methods which is when surgery is the way to go.”