Monday, 10 March 2008

The truth about cosmetic surgery


March 10, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 9: "The desire to look better, younger and attractive to the opposite sex is what can be achieved by various cosmetic surgery procedures," says an advertisement of a hospital dealing with so-called cosmetic surgery.
No doubt, every person has a right to look good, but is cosmetic surgery needed for all to pep up one's image? "No", say senior doctors.
"Cosmetic surgery is needed for those in the glamour industry. After all fair image is their bread and butter. But does a physician or a teacher or a shop-keeper need cosmetic surgery? The need for cosmetic surgery arises only in the case of
deformities. Not everyone requires it," they argue.
Cosmetic surgery should not be confused with plastic surgery. While the former is performed to "pep up" the image, plastic surgery deals with rectifying natural deformities.
Cosmetic surgery, particularly the breast enhancement one, is wrought with
complications. The surgical results are not as rosy as they are projected by doctors. The usual complications include skin death or necrosis, asymmetry, slow healing, permanent loss of sensation and skin irregularities. Skin death may follow
an infection or hematoma and is much more likely among smokers. In such cases the skin is excised affecting the cosmetic outcome.
A second cosmetic surgery is required in case of moderate to severe asymmetries. If the cosmetic surgeon errs, the person undergoing cosmetic treatment may actually end up with skin irregularities, dimples, puckers, and divots. Fluid can collect
under the skin and can occur after breast augmentation, liposuction or a
tummy tuck.
However, not many know about the complications the cosmetic surgery throws up. Often the patients are kept in the dark by unscrupulous doctors or hospitals. Statistics show that about 20 per cent of women and five per cent of men in India undergo some kind of cosmetic enhancement procedures during their lifetime. And the percentage is increasing in India.
They point out that plastic surgery is needed in cases of commonest birth defects or congenital deformity involving paring or cleft of the upper lip on either or both sides, cranio facial defects, defects of ears or limb deformities. Facial
enhancement, however, is waste of money for those who actually do not require it.
India, moreover, does not need a large number of cosmetic surgeons. What the country really needs is general physicians, experts in cardiology, general surgery, neurology and other specialised areas where the country is behind other developing
nations.

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