Plastic and cosmetic surgery is a growing trend in the medical industry and widely influences the growth of medical tourism. The various procedures classified under plastic and cosmetic surgery encompasses the reshaping and altercation of appearance of the human body. The objective of cosmetic surgery is to change the aesthetical condition of the part of the body that does not look pleasing, but performs its intended function normally. However, plastic cosmetic surgery also has its risks and complications. The discussion will highlight the different forms of cosmetic and plastic own surgery along with the risks that come along with it. Furthermore, the agreement to perform related procedures was reached upon by both the surgeon and the patient; there are still implications into going under the knife in order to achieve satisfactory physical features. Although cosmetic plastic surgery may enhance an individual’s looks, the complications and side effects can be more detrimental than the surgery itself.
Breast augmentation can be described as a procedure where the female’s breast size is increased through implants. The procedure is being carried in order to create fuller breasts and in severe medical conditions such as breast cancer, the procedure helps in reconstructing the affected area. Breast implants are often made up of silicon gel; fats drained from liposuction, or water-based fluid encased in silicon membrane. Incisions are often made udder the arm, below the crease or under the colored skin near the nipple (Vitug and Newman, 2007). Despite the aesthetical value that breast augmentation creates, it will continue to age and change in appearance as a result of weight loss or gain, and aging. The common problems encountered with breast augmentation are the rapturing of the implant encasing, which leaks to the muscle tissues that may cause serious infections (Vitug and Newman, 2007). In addition, augmentation may cause difficulties in terms of interpreting the mammogram and breastfeeding.
As the name suggests, the surgical procedure is being done to extract excess fats from under the skin in order to achieve the desired body shape and weight. Using the vacuum suction called Canula, body fats are being extracted from under the skin. The thin hollow tube is being inserted under the skin through a small incision. Other procedures may also include an ultrasonic probe, which breaks down the fats into manageable pieces in order to make it easier to remove via the canula (American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2008). Liposuction can be done in almost the majority of the body sections including abdomen, calves, neck, thighs, arms, buttocks, back, hips, and face. The first step in the process is to for the surgeon to evaluate the skin at the suction site because it is important to determine if the skin is elastic enough contracts after the procedure. Otherwise, the skin will appear baggy. The treated section of the body may look bumpy or will show discoloration on the skin, which is a result of the loss of cellulite that acts as pitting for the skin (American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2008). Although the results of the procedure can be achieved immediately, it is still not permanent because fats may still build up in the treated area when the patient gains weight.
The procedure is also referred to as abdomen reduction or tummy tuck where the loose skin and fats are being surgically removed in order to achieve a tighten the abdominal skin. The procedure has a drastic aesthetical effect as it can make a patient’s abs look flat (Shiffman and Di Guiseppe, 2012). The causes of the flabby skin in the abdominal area varies from stretching due to pregnancy, excess fats e removed from liposuction, and poor skin elasticity. Having stretch marks after giving birth is among the reasons that female patients under the procedure, as for male patients, the procedure us a preparation for abdominal muscle development in order to achieve a six-pack abs. Incisions are normally done between the pubic hair and the belly button. However, provided that the procedure can significantly add more appeal in the abdominal area (Shiffman and Di Guiseppe, 2012). The sutures created by the incision are likely to remain, but the scarring varies from person to person.
Baggy eyelids are one of the reasons that people would agree to undergo the procedure in order to tighten the skin. Sagging of the eyelids occur as a natural process of aging, but for some people it caused by disease, and some are born with dropped eyelids. The aesthetical condition of the dropping eyelids can make an individual look tired and older. However, with blepharoplasty, the physical appearance of the dropping eyelids can be reversed (Bunn, 2013). The procedure is synonymous to face lift, but the only difference is that the latter uses an injectable solution that tightens the facial skin to remove visible wrinkles. Eyelid surgery, on the other hand is a procedure wherein excess skin is being removed (Bunn, 2013). The procedure may cause the patient blurry vision, double vision, having teary eyes, sensitivity to light, and make the areas surrounding the eyes to look bruised. For some patient, the effects of the procedure vary from scarring that lasts a lifetime or repeat surgeries because of recurrences of the dropping eyelids.
The advent of technological advancement also paved the way for innovative methods in performing plastic cosmetic surgery with the use of laser. The use of CO2 laser encouraged several surgeons to apply the technology in various procedures including wrinkle, hair, acne, hair, and scar removal (Thorne et al., 2007). The technology is often used as a treatment method to address skin-related conditions particularly for patients that are reluctant to endure a long recovery period caused by incisions. Laser surgery encompasses the purpose of removing dead skin cells and tightening the skin. As the heat from the laser passes by the skin tissues, the dermal collagen contracts resulting to skin to appear rejuvenated (Thorne et al., 2007). However, laser handling needs more precision than traditional medical procedures because the damages on the skin become apparent when the laser intensity increases.
Also referred to as a “nose job,” it is among the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery performed on patients who wish to have a more pronounced and improved nose appearance. The procedure is being done to improve the aesthetical condition of the nose, which includes adjusting the angle between the upper lip and the nose (Haeck et al, 2009). It is also being performed to reshape the tip of the nose, straighten the bridge, to decrease or increase the size of the nose (Haeck et al, 2009). Normal surgery enables the patient to return to normal activities after only seven weeks after the procedure. The surgery is rather progressive, as the desired appearance may not be achieved in a single procedure. The patient will have to wait for a year to have a follow up procedure and through the course of several surgeries; the final appearance of the nose can then be achieved.
The risks and complications involved in plastic cosmetic surgery vary to the type of the performed procedure. Dissatisfaction regarding the outcome of the procedure is among the possible outcomes that could reverse the positive psychological effect that the cosmetic surgery tends to provide. All surgeries medical or cosmetic has its share of risks and complications and one of them is the risk of infection. Improper use of equipment including the lack of sterilization harbors the possibilities of acquiring infection (Capone and Sykes, 2012). Like any other medical procedure, cosmetic and plastic surgery uses anesthesia, but not all patients are immune to anesthetic allergies. Allergies with anesthesia vary from temporary, mild to severe. Anaphylactic shock may occur as a severe symptom of an allergic reaction to anesthesia, which could lead to death (Capone and Sykes, 2012). Other symptoms include headache, nausea, chipped teeth, sore throat, vomiting, and urine retention.
Blood clots in the leg caused by prolonged inactivity during the cosmetic surgery procedure may manifest a few days following the surgery. The clotting may cause the leg to hurt and swell. However, the critical risk involved in blood clotting is the dislodging of the blood cloth that could go to the lungs and the heart causing cardiac arrests (Clin, 2001). Excessive bleeding, on the other hand is an apparent risk in contrary to clotting. Bleeding may lead to hematoma or the collection of blood under the skin. It creates an appearance of bruising causing the healing process to slow down and swelling of the areas surrounding the incision (Clin, 2001). General risks are also attributed to cosmetic plastic surgery. For example, the risk of infection will require the patient to take antibiotics, which could cause allergies to medication.
The more severe risks and complications involved cosmetic surgery procedures are not limited to infections, but also chemical reactions to the external matters used. For example, the use of silicon implants has long been prohibited because of its long-term effect in the body. It includes decay of the surrounding muscle tissues when the silicon gel leaks because of the implant rapture (fda.gov, 2013). The same goes with materials for nose implants and rear implants. Low-cost surgeries tend to offer amazing results, but the materials used including implants are not safe and, therefore, being rejected by the body. News of cosmetic surgeries gone wrong are circulating and in some cases, the patient undergoes life-threatening conditions due to severe infections caused by the foreign materials inserted in the body.
On the other hand, laser surgery, which is regarded as the safest procedure to perform due to less blood, also encompasses a number of risks and related complications. For one, non-appropriate wavelength goggles used during the procedure is likely to cause blindness for the patient. Furthermore, the intense heat from the laser beam causes the blood vessels to rapture (Nouri, 2008). Scarring can be caused by incisions made by the light beam obtained from skin blisters and postoperative crusting. Skin burns up to third degree of severity is also likely to occur in mishandling of the laser equipment exposing the nerves and causing them to explode (Nouri, 2008). The complications caused by laser surgery vary according to the handling technique of the surgeon, and the effects of the aforementioned risks are likely to last a lifetime.
Aiming to look good depends on each individual’s perception of aesthetic beauty. However, for those that not confident about their physical features may also consider other viable options such as regular exercise and balanced diet. The reason for obesity and gaining weight is inactivity causing the build up of fats in the body. It is important to consider that eating the right food and ideal serving controls the amount of fats that enters the deposited in the body. Eating foods that are rich in vitamins can promote healthier skin and body cells that in return rejuvenates the body tissues and slows down the process of aging.
Plastic surgery may enhance an individual’s looks, but there is also a greater need to consider the risks and complications involved in the procedures, as they are more important than the surgery itself. Feeling good and looking good may boost confidence and reinforce a positive outlook, but the risks and complications are far more depressing than dissatisfaction of one’s physical aesthetics because long-term health encompasses life-long benefits than good looks.
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