Rural types take to the nip and tuck

BOOB jobs, weight-loss surgery and “mummy makeovers” are booming in Tamworth as the plastic surgery craze goes bush.

According to the city’s only cosmetic surgeon, the number of people opting for a nip and tuck in Tamworth has grown dramatically in recent years.

Dr Chandran Arianayagam, who visits Tamworth from his Coffs Harbour clinic every six weeks, said he has seen a major increase in the number of patients coming to him since he began consulting here 10 years ago.

The specialist plastic surgeon says breast augmentation, liposuction and particularly massive post-weight-loss surgery have soared in popularity in recent years. 

“Mummy makeovers”, eyelid surgery and face and neck lifts were also regularly requested, he said.

And if you were thinking the pursuit of youthfulness or bothersome aesthetic concerns were only the bugbear of women, you would be wrong.

Men also seek procedures to boost their self-esteem, Dr Arianayagam said.

One of the most frequent complaints he receives relates to excess fat tissue, especially around the chest, commonly known as “man boobs”.

“Men do come in a lot,” he said. “Nose and eyelids also bother them, especially after an injury.”

It was a vastly different landscape when the veteran surgeon began practising more than 33 years ago.

Then, the plastic surgery domain was dominated by restorative surgery after cancer and other facial trauma.

“It’s amazing,” he said of the difference. “It’s changed enormously and not all for the best.”

Dr Arianayagam, who also conducts regular outpatient visits at Armidale and Grafton, said rural patients tend to have a greater grasp on reality when it came to procedure requests.

“Living in the country, that’s not a problem,” Dr Arianayagam said.

“I think in the city I would see a lot more of that, but in the country, 9.5 out of 10 people have a genuine problem that concerns them. Country folk are less frivolous.”

Another beauty craze that has been sweeping Hollywood for years and is now filtering into regional centres is botulinum toxin A injections, widely known as botox.

Long considered the secret tool for older women to maintain a youthful glow, locals of all ages are embracing the anti-aging method.

But Dr Arianayagam cautions younger women from starting treatment too early.

“I’m a bit conservative – I don’t encourage very young people,” he said. 

“At least wait until your mid-30s as once you start you can’t stop.”

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