According to a new study, more than one-quarter of those considering cosmetic surgery have a gender preference and overwhelmingly, they would prefer a female surgeon. The study was conducted by a private practice employing a female and a male surgeon, who were closely matched in training, experience and reputation.
The practice involved 200 patients in the study, all of whom were women. Of those, 46% had no gender preference, 26% requested a female surgeon and 1% requested a male surgeon. The results indicated that the preference generally depended on the nature of the surgery. Patients interested in body surgery were least likely to have a gender preference, but almost 25% of those interested in breast and face procedures preferred a female surgeon. Interestingly, there was a 50/50 split for those considering genital procedures.
Similar studies have been carried out before looking at other medical specialties, but there has been little data available relating to cosmetic surgery procedures. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) previously released a study, which suggested that there was a preference towards female surgeons because they showed more empathy and concern.
Elise Bevan, a solicitor in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches LLP, said: “Although around 90% of all cosmetic procedures are performed on women, the vast majority of cosmetic surgeons are men. Historically, this has been thought to be due to the need for female surgeons to overcome gender bias, gruelling training and the lifestyle demands of their chosen profession. Currently, data suggests that 14% of practising cosmetic surgeons are women but this is changing. According to ASAPS, 37% of current cosmetic surgery trainees are female.”
Regardless of preference for a male or a female surgeon, anyone considering cosmetic surgery should check that the surgeon is fully trained and qualified and meets a number of criteria. He or she should be registered with the General Medical Council and on its ‘specialist register’ for cosmetic surgeons; hold an FRCS (Plast) or FRCS qualification in plastic surgery (FRCS stands for Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons); work or have worked as an NHS cosmetic surgeon; hold membership of an organisation like BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) or BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons); and work out of a reputable clinic or healthcare facility.”