Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery – Positives and Negatives


There are many different plastic surgery procedures available to those who would like to alter certain aspects of their bodies. Plastic surgery has been around in some form or another for many years, but has only been in extensive use in the 20th and 21st century. The top three cosmetic surgical procedures in 2004 Liposuction (325,000); nose reshaping (305,000); and breast augmentation (264,000). In addition to these procedures there are many other options for other areas of the body. In this article I plan to explore some of those cosmetic surgery options and give background information on those procedures as well. These numbers clearly show an increasing trend to have cosmetic surgery procedures performed for aesthetic, as well as reconstructive reasons.

We’ll start by exploring the number one plastic surgery procedure, Liposuction. In the last year alone, 325,000 Liposuction procedures were performed on both men and women of all ages and race. Liposuction is a procedure that can help to sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas, including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, cheeks, neck, chin and upper arms. Liposuction is not a substitute for regular good diet practices or exercise but rather a further refinement in addition to diet and exercise. Recently a number of new techniques in liposuction have been developed, including the ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty (UAL), the tumescent technique, and the super-wet technique. These new procedures are helping many plastic surgeons to provide their patients with more precise results and quicker recovery times. Not all patients will be able to use the newest techniques but your doctor can discuss which techniques are the best for you based upon your medical history and various other factors.

Liposuction is best performed on Normal weight individuals with firm, elastic skin who have excess fat in certain areas of their body. Liposuction carries a greater risk for people with medical problems such as poor circulation, severe lung or heart disease, diabetes, as well as some other conditions not listed. It is always best to let your doctor know your full medical history so that he can accurately assess the correct procedures for your body as well as safely and effectively treat you. In your first consultation, your plastic surgeon will most likely evaluate your health, determine where your fat deposits lie and the elasticity of your skin, and develop a plan that is right for you and your body.

Rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping, is another commonly performed technique in which the nose is reshaped, altered, or straightened for both reconstructive and aesthetic reasons. This procedure is often used to correct breathing problems in the nasal region as well. There are two options for the incision in this type of plastic surgery, There is open rhinoplasty and closed rhinoplasty. Open rhinoplasty is performed by making a small incision across the columella, between the nostrils, in addition to incisions on the inside of your nose. This surgery is often performed in the most complicated cases. In the case of closed rhinoplasty the incision is inside of the nose helping to promote a speedier recovery as well as reducing the amount of swelling. Rhinoplasty can change the shape of your nose by recontouring the underlying cartilage and bone into the desired shape. Plastic surgeons today have the ability to make your nose shorter, longer, thinner, and straighter. Most of the incision in nasal surgery are made internally so there is no visual scarring on the exterior nasal cavity. Healing times vary with the type of incision but healing from nasal plastic surgery generally occurs within a few weeks after surgery.

Breast Augmentation cosmetic surgery is another very popular procedure and one that has been widely publicized by women around the world. Breast augmentation is surgery to enhance the size or shape of a woman’s breast for reconstructive or aesthetic reasons. Some of these reasons include, but are not limited to, enhancing the size of the breast for a woman who feels that hers are too small, correcting a difference in breast size, reconstructing the breast after surgery, and a reduced breast volume after pregnancy. Breast size can be increased during surgery by the insertion of an implant behind each breast and can effectively increase the bustline by a cup size or more.

While if you have a problem associated with a developmental problem, trauma or cancer, reconstructive surgery is almost essential to allow you to lead a ‘normal’ life, aesthetic surgery performed for cosmesis is slightly different both in terms of the reasons for surgery as well as in terms of your own expectations of the results of surgery! In such case, it is important to remember that there is very little in this life that comes without risk, and there are dangers associated even with plastic surgery. While plastic surgery for cosmesis is safer and more predictable today than at any other time in man’s history, it is important to recognize that there are risks associated with such surgery, just as with anything else in life! Most of us have been reminded by elderly relatives that our lives could be cut short any day simply by crossing the street; this adage is usually quoted to remind us to live each day to the full, and to do the things that will bring fulfillment to our lives, despite the many risks inherent. So, while it is important to cross the road, it is important to do so SAFELY! Similarly, while every human being has a right to demand to look better, it is important to evaluate the pros and cons of such a decision carefully.

Most disturbingly, there is also an element in the human condition that clings to the tenet that ignorance is bliss, that it won’t happen to me anyway, and perhaps there is something to be said for that belief. Constantly thinking of the possible dangers of life will only immobilize us with fear. We would never take a chance on anything; never seek to better ourselves, or our world. This is, I believe, the primary reason why so many people go into plastic surgery dangerously under-informed and even uninformed. This is the primary reason why I believe so many ‘quacks’ are sprouting across the world. Plastic surgery procedures can be lucrative for the physician and for centers and as in so many other things in the world, anything lucrative invites many folks wanting to make a fast buck! Surgery may not be a solution for everyone and for every condition and information is the key, I believe, to making a balanced decision regarding whether surgery should be undertaken, and where and with whom it should be undertaken.

They say that knowledge is power, and the making of an informed decision is only possible with all the facts to hand. Perhaps you will choose to continue on your desired route but is is prudent to do so after having a detailed informative discussion with your surgeon and understanding clearly the risks and dangers of plastic surgery. Moreover, you will be making a decision based on something real, rather than the foolhardy belief that things cannot go wrong. After all, it has to be an informed choice taken by you after considering the pros and the cons carefully, given that it is your body and your life! So, do not blame the ‘doctor’ or the procedure, instead choose the right doctor and the right procedure for you – Make an informed choice!

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11 thoughts on “Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery – Positives and Negatives

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  5. Excellent post. Usually exponents of a trade only discuss the positives of the same. But, it is great to see a plastic surgeon actually discuss the negative aspects of plastic surgery!In a world where there are doctors like Doctor 90210 and plastic surgery is almost romanticized, it is a very healthy trend that we have doctors like you which dont force people to become even more 'plastic'! Will follow your blog regularly!

  6. Excellent blog! Very informative indeed. What I love is how you write about stuff in such a dispassionate way – You present both the positives as well as the negatives and that is so rare in today’s world where everything seems to only have positives!

    Will definitely follow your blog carefully and ask others to as well.

    • Thanks Shane for your valuable comments. It is important to be honest because only then is one believable! Like everything else, plastic surgery too is not a free lunch – It is a decision which has to be carefully considered.

      I will try to stay true as I go along as well. Thanks.

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