She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say “when”(to stop).
So wrote the master of humour, Sir PG Wodehouse. It is easy to smile at such funny references to a woman’s body weight. However, many women seek consultations with plastic surgeons to change their body size, facial shape, and to rejuvenate their skin.
But, plastic surgery should not be equated with cosmetic surgery alone. It includes reconstructive surgeries as well.
Reconstructive surgeries include:
• Hand surgeries and peripheral nerve surgeries are performed to repair nerve damage due to paralysis or injury.
• Burns reconstruction for burn victims.
• Reconstruction of injuries due to trauma/accident.
• Reconstruction of congenital deformities such as Cleft lip and palate correction. It is performed to correct the birth defects in upper lip and palate in children. This is a common procedure performed by plastic surgeons and requires general anesthesia and a short period of hospital stay. The ideal age for lip repair in babies is between 3 to 5 months and that for palate repair is when they are 12-15 months old.
• Reconstruction for cancer patients.
Cosmetic or aesthetic surgeries include:
a) Breast Surgeries.
These are of many types and conditions under which they are performed are different.
b) Breast augmentation
It is the most talked about cosmetic surgeries among women. It is done with either silicone or saline implants.
c) Breast reconstruction
It is performed on women who have gone through mastectomy (removal of breast tissue to either cure or prevent breast cancer).
d) Breast reduction
It is indicated for women who go through back aches and other complications due to heavy breasts. It is a surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia.
Among young boys there is a condition where their breasts develop slightly. This is called gynecomastia. This can be treated surgically by liposuction.
e) Non-surgical facial rejuvenation like Botox.
A toxin called Botulinum Toxin Type A is injected by the surgeon to smoothen the wrinkles around the eyes and brows. Care must be taken to get this procedure done by a practicing plastic surgeon or dermatologist.
f) Eyelid surgery,
It is soft tissue fillers, lip augmentation and facelifts are other cosmetic procedures that must be opted for only after a detailed consultation with your surgeon.
g) Nose reshaping or Rhinoplastyis
This is another popular cosmetic surgery among men and women. Surgeons correct the shape of your nose to make it more attractive. However, one must have realistic expectations as a lot depends upon the bone structure of your face.
h ) Liposuction and abdominoplasty
These are one of most sought after surgeries by middle aged women. There are lots of misconceptions as we have selective information about liposuction from tabloids that report about celebrities going under the knife.
Liposuction means removal of subcutaneous fat cells (fat deposits under the skin). This improves the contour or shape of our body. Liposuction is not meant to be a solution for weight loss.
Abdominoplasty is generally advised after liposuction of abdominal area in middle aged men and women. It tightens the sagging skin for effective body contouring.
i) Hair transplant
It is very popular among men with receding hairlines. Many practicing plastic surgeons and dermatologists are performing this procedure.
Surgical procedures and their results vary from person to person. We should not be in that delusional state of mind expecting the surgeon behind that mask to transform our looks dramatically.
There are some basic questions that we must have answers to before we opt for any reconstructive or aesthetic surgery:
• What do you expect? Be realistic ; do not expect to clone the look or body of your idol.
• Who is the doctor? A certified/registered Plastic surgeon will have a super specialist degree- M.Ch (Master of Chirurgiae). In India, this is pursued after M.S (General Surgery).
• What are the potential complications? Understand the extent of risks involved and benefit derived to make an informed choice.
Note from the editor: This article is written for informational purposes only. For medical advice kindly consult a certified medical professional.
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