By Dr. H.V. Satish, Senior Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon, Apollo BGS Hospitals, Mysuru
Do you know that the demand for cosmetic surgery has gone up by 200 percent in the last two years? It is not surprising. Of late, most people who came for cosmetic procedures are from middle-class families. They all wanted to change something they were very unhappy with and they were willing to even undergo an operation because they felt the benefits were worth it.
The importance of appearance is directly proportional to the visibility of the job or life profile. As people want to move up an organisational ladder/ society/ relationship, they feel that appearance too can play a significant role. A pleasant face or a pleasing body shape can make the critical first impression needed for success.
There is no age-specific group for plastic surgery. A 4-month-old girl child with a deformed ear lobule was brought by her mother who wanted it corrected so that the ritual ear-piercing could be done. A 78-year-old man came with a bulging tummy and said he always wanted to tuck his shirt inside. Changes brought about by growth (crooked nose), pregnancy (flabby tummy and drooping breast), lifestyle (belly and hip fat) opportunities (oval face for a model) also make people seek help.
The most common procedures are related to change in the shape of the nose, stomach and breast. While some wanted fat removal or mole removal others underwent Laser skin tightening, change in the shape of the lips and so on. The latest trend was an increase in people asking for making the face into an oval shape by reducing the double chin and making the jaw more prominent. This can be done without surgical operation also.
In cosmetic surgery, a few things are critical. Deciding on the treatment requires experience. Performing the procedure requires skill. Safety is paramount and a well-equipped hospital is necessary. One of the most important things in cosmetic surgery is pre-surgical consultation. The cosmetic surgeon and the patient should discuss in detail and understand the full treatment plan.
Cosmetic surgery is more common than many people think. This is because people who take this treatment do not discuss it. Most people feel shy to consult because others may think they are obsessed with appearances. Some others resist meeting a plastic surgeon because of a fear that some artificial material (plastic) may be inserted or as it may be too expensive. A consultation is only the beginning and all problems don’t require surgery.
Safety and outcomes are the two biggest concerns of anyone seeking cosmetic surgery. It is better to have a detailed discussion, more than once to help both — doctor and client — understand the issue. The outcome depends on the surgeon’s experience/ skill and safety depends on the hospital facility.
People concerned about the shape of any part of their body, may consult a Plastic Surgeon. Only those with an M Ch degree in Plastic Surgery are best trained to offer cosmetic surgery.