Meet Rajiv Grover BSc MB BS MD FRCS
An NHS Consultant in Plastic Surgery by training with a thriving private practice on London’s posh Harley Street, Mr. Grover is among the preeminent consultant plastic surgeons in the UK. He performs his brilliant natural looking facelifts, eyelid surgeries, and rhinoplasties along with the occasional breast enhancement or lift, tummy tuck and lipo at London’s King Edward VII Hospital, renowned for its charter to serve the Royal Family. Mr. Grover sits on the council of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and is responsible for the UK national audit of cosmetic surgery & safety performed through the Royal College of Surgeons. Known for his gentile manner and caring approach to his patients, he pays particular attention to the finer details of the entire surgical experience from preop to recovery.
How did you decide to follow the path of becoming an aesthetic plastic surgeon?
First of all I chose Plastic Surgery because unlike other surgical specialities where the usual outcome is to destroy anatomy perhaps to remove a tumour or damaged tissue, in Plastic Surgery one faces the challenge of reconstruction in trying to put something back together. This coupled with the delicate and meticulous nature of operative techniques I found very appealing. The next step if you like in technical skill beyond reconstruction is to enhance normal anatomy which is the field of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. This combines an element of artistic appreciation as well as being technically demanding. This unique surgical discipline certainly attracts those who enjoy the technical and artistic challenge and also have empathy helping patients through the whole process. I could not see myself ever doing anything else!
What is your favourite surgical procedure and why?
Forgive me but I have to name two equal favourites: facelifting and breast enhancement. I think facelifting is the ultimate technical challenge from a pure surgical perspective but it also demands an aesthetic eye to create a younger as well as beautiful result which is individual to each patient. Breast enhancement may seem like an “off the shelf” procedure but truly no woman has the same breasts as another so there is a real demand for surgery that aims not just to achieve a particular size but also addresses shape, lift and harmony with the body. Providing a bespoke service I find very satisfying and these two procedures allow me to indulge myself in delivering this.
Describe some of the most common concerns British women have about cosmetic surgery
British women are by nature quite conservative and we live in a society where surgery is acceptable but rarely discussed openly in the UK. Having been reassured about the overall safety of having a procedure patients are always concerned about looking obviously operated and not wanting to look like someone else. Some women in Britain perhaps differ from their sisters on the continent or USA in having feelings of guilt in undergoing surgery for enhancing looks rather than to treat a medical condition. Their sisters on the continent are less prone to this as they believe “they are worth it”.
How have British attitudes towards cosmetic beauty changed over the past decade?
Ten years ago there was little information easily available for prospective patients and few treatments between a face cream and facelift. The last decade has seen not only the proliferation of the internet with its deluge of information on cosmetic treatments but the growth of non-surgical procedures which bridge the gap between a cream and going under the knife. This coupled with the exposure of cosmetic surgery in the media and the rise of celebrity culture has fuelled the growth in demand for cosmetic procedures. These are far more talked about than a decade ago and they are an accepted part of modern beauty with the word Botox now listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. Women consider non surgical procedures as a normal part of their beauty regime not only to enhance but also as a means of prevention. Having dipped their toe in the water with a needle the knife now also seems less scary!
Which celebrities do your patients most talk about as having had good work and bad work done?
Fortunately most of my patients are not celebrity obsessed but of those who have mentioned it they seem to think that, for whatever reason (alleged surgery or otherwise): Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Sharon Osborne, Liz Hurley, Catherine Deneuve and Sophia Lauren seem to look good and natural (assuming of course they have had any alleged surgery!). I think for a bad result the queen would be Jocelyn Wildenstein although as a group, the men would win the bad surgery team prize with Mickey Rourke, Burt Reynolds and Tom Jones leading the pack.
What is the mission of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons?
The BAAPS is the UK national association for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. It is a charity set up and based at the Royal College of Surgeons for the purpose of educating surgeons in this field and also disseminating information to the public to advise them on safety and efficacy of cosmetic treatments. It is not a regulatory body but to be a member the surgeons are required to have held a substantive Consultant Post in the NHS and have trained in Aesthetic Surgery with a submission of two years of their operating logbook to attest to their experience. For continued membership the surgeons are required to complete an annual audit of their practice including safety data of their complications. The BAAPS mission would be to educate and raise standards in Aesthetic Surgery for its member surgeons as well as providing the public with honest advice about cosmetic treatment. It is also a forum ( at the annual meeting for surgeons) to promote research in the field of Aesthetic Surgery in the hope of developing new techniques as well as scientifically evaluating existing ones.