Mr Nigel Horlock

Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon


Fifty per cent of women would like to ‘turn back the clock’ on facial ageing

Posted by on Jul 9, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on Fifty per cent of women would like to ‘turn back the clock’ on facial ageing

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.

7 things to know before having a breast reduction

Posted by on Jun 25, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on 7 things to know before having a breast reduction

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.

Cosmetic surgeon choice: how to avoid the common mistakes

Posted by on Jun 18, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on Cosmetic surgeon choice: how to avoid the common mistakes

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.

Which are the five most popular male cosmetic surgery choices?

Posted by on May 22, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on Which are the five most popular male cosmetic surgery choices?

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.

What is the recovery like after a breast augmentation procedure?

Posted by on May 15, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on What is the recovery like after a breast augmentation procedure?

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.

Is a tummy tuck more than just a cosmetic procedure?

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on Is a tummy tuck more than just a cosmetic procedure?

Abdominoplasty or a tummy tuck is primarily regarded as a cosmetic procedure. It’s commonly performed on women who’ve struggled to regain their shape post childbirth (although not exclusively). According to a recent study though, the procedure has functional benefits beyond the cosmetic ones which could have a life-changing effect for some women post-partum.

The Australian study, published in the March issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) focused on two common complaints from women who’d given birth: back pain and urinary incontinence. The results were fairly clear cut with less than 2% of the 214 women studied reporting either of the conditions as still being significant six months after the surgery.

Some common post-partum conditions

During pregnancy, the stomach muscles effectively separate by stretching the seam in the middle to make space for the growing baby. Dependent on body shape and fitness levels the problem can be exacerbated but it affects nearly all pregnant women to some extent. The condition known as rectus diastasis doesn’t just leave the stomach looking flabby and out of shape. If the muscles are no longer where they should be there can be other side effects.

Poor posture is common amongst many post-partum women. Weakened muscles and a layer of flabby skin can result in ‘sway back’ (lordosis) which in turn can lead to chronic back pain. The weakened state of the stomach muscles can also leave the body more prone to ventral hernias where tissue begins to force its way through the wall of the abdomen. Stress urinary incontinence is another common condition for women who’ve undergone a vaginal birth.

The lack of muscle definition and excess skin can also lead to a general dip in fitness levels as women find it more difficult to adhere to pre-pregnancy workouts and exercise regimes.

What’s involved in a tummy tuck

Whilst the procedure is relatively straightforward it is still major surgery with up to five hours in the operating theatre and several weeks’ recuperation. Mr Horlock will have sutured the abdominal tissue into place and removed any excess skin and fatty tissue.

By re-strengthening the body’s core everything should start to improve from lifting and sitting up straight to just simply breathing. To further alleviate stress incontinence, a small obstruction can be created to stop leakage from the bladder or the tummy tuck can be combined with a hernia repair.

The study’s lead author, Dr Alastair Taylor believes that it might be time to reclassify abdominoplasty as more than just a cosmetic procedure. She commented: “By reducing the problems of back pain and incontinence, abdominoplasty with rectus repair leads to a better life for women after childbearing.”

It’s clear for any woman who’s experiencing some or all of these post childbirth conditions that a tummy tuck could be much more than just a mummy makeover.

New figures from the US show cosmetic surgery still in good shape

Posted by on Apr 5, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on New figures from the US show cosmetic surgery still in good shape

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) have recently released their annual statistics and as the organisation is the largest of its type in the world and has more than 7,000 members with over 94% of all certified cosmetic surgeons in the US, the annual report can often give an early indication of global cosmetic surgery developments.

It’s a pretty positive picture too, on the whole given the rapid technological changes. Whilst the growth in the total US number of procedures was a modest 2% from 2016 there were some individual trends that stood out.

Tummy tucks make a comeback

Tummy tucks, which had been on the decline and hadn’t even featured in the top five most popular cosmetic surgery procedures for 2016 made a surprising rebound in 2017 with an increase of over 2,000 procedures. Possible reasons could be that more post-partum women are recognising the additional benefits of a procedure that can deliver functional benefits beyond the cosmetic results.

There was also a staggering 20% growth in body sculpting and non-invasive fat procedures which would include ultrasound, radio frequency, vacuum massage, fat freezing and injectable medications. Non -surgical laser treatment for cellulite has also seen a 55% increase since 2000 with a 19% increase last year alone.

The picture in the UK isn’t that different according to UK statistics produced in February by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), of which Mr Horlock is a member of. Unlike the US, though, there is a general decline in surgical procedures (around 8% year on year). The statistics from BAAPS only covers surgical procedures and do not include treatments that are deemed ‘non-surgical’ or ‘minimally invasive’ unlike the US figures.

According to the BAAPS President Simon Withey, the downturn represents a ‘normalisation’ as there’s a growing awareness in the UK of the serious impact of surgical procedures and that surgery isn’t a ‘quick fix’ but is a longer-term commitment.

Growth of non-invasive aesthetic options

There are one or two major divergences though. Whilst liposuction has increased by 5% in the US the UK has seen a 28% reduction year on year, again this is almost certainly due to the variety of non-invasive options available now to combat fatty tissue.

Although surgery has seen a general decline in the UK the tummy tuck continues to hold its own and whilst the procedure hasn’t seen the same growth as the US since last year it has remained static whilst face and neck lifts have reduced by a staggering 42%.

The UK statistics also indicated an interesting split between men and women when it came to cosmetic surgery options. In 2016 and 2017, we saw a focus shift from the body to the face with tummy tucks down and facelifts up. Women, on the other hand, eschewed the facial treatments (facelifts down 44%) but breast augmentation was up by 7%.

In summary, the UK and US are both performing largely as expected. Yes, there were one or two surprises but allowing for the predicted correction in the UK the general view both here and Stateside confirms that cosmetic surgery remains in good shape.

Welcome to my new website

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Welcome to my new website

After a lot of hard work – and some cursing when all my emails disappeared briefly – my new website has now gone live. I’m very pleased with the look of it and plan to keep updating it with more news and info for patients.

I have been performing a wide range of plastic surgery procedures, both in my NHS practice and my private practice, in the Southampton and Salisbury area for a number of years and I felt the time had come to develop a website outlining all I had to offer.

I hope prospective patients will find it a useful source of information, although nothing beats face-to-face interaction. To book a consultation and to discuss any treatment in more detail please call my Practice Manager Vanessa Head on 023 8076 49 69 or drop us a line on

Mr Horlock's NHS practice is based in the regional plastics unit at Salisbury District Hospital. He covers Salisbury, Southampton and Dorchester. He sees patients in his private practice at Southampton, Salisbury, Dorchester.

Spire Southampton Hospital
Chalybeate Close,
S016 6UY
Sophie Freud - CLINIC APPOINTMENTS: 02380 914 504
Julie Martin: 02380 764 969