Imagine if you could alter any part of your body and change what you consider flawed. If you knew the risks attached, would you think they were worth the price? How far will be too far?
In a world where the idea of beauty is ever-evolving, being perceived as beautiful is the new business. It pays, literally. Beauty, no longer relative, now equals respect, power, attention, and fame. And men and women alike are not spared.
In today’s world, beauty no longer exists in the eye of the beholder, having evolved into something much more physical, for lack of a better word. Something much easier to get. Something that can be bought easily. Something a trip to the Surgeon’s office could birth.
Any look is achievable with a little bit- or a lot- of plastic surgery and you need just look around for evidence. It is no surprise, therefore, that when people hear the words ‘plastic surgery’, they automatically imagine celebrities like Joan Rivers who pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to recapture the youthfulness of their body that time had blurred.
Plastic surgeries cost quite a bit, so, if you would be using a healthcare plan, you would need to ensure that it is comprehensive enough to cover it.
Plastic surgery is beyond just the transformation, there’s more to it than meets the eye and this article is all about the unspoken about aspects.
Types of Plastic Surgery
Unlike its popular counterpart, reconstructive surgery is aimed at a reconstruction of body parts suffering from deformities originating from birth or injury.
Cosmetic plastic surgery on the other hand is the most common category, performed with the main purpose of enhancing cosmetic appearance. It involves altering a part of the anatomy that already looks and performs normally to make it look more appealing.
Plastic surgery is a medical specialty that involves the restoration or alteration of parts of the human body. In layman’s words, it is the fix-up using transfer of bodily tissues either for treatment or cosmetic reasons.
A History of Plastic Surgery
Contrary to popular opinion, The word ‘Plastic’ in its name does not refer to actual synthetic plastic. Instead, the term originated from the Greek word ‘Plastikos’ which means the art of modeling or sculpting.
Although the modern development of plastic surgery is perceived to have taken place just over the past 20 years, Plastic surgery is proven to have been around for a long, long time. It dates as far back as the BC, through the 1400s, and has survived and evolved into what it is now.
It is safe to assume, then, that humans have been in the pursuit of self-reform, lusting after perfection, since forever. The earliest documentation of the use of surgical means dates as far back as 3000-2500 BC.
In India, Reconstructive surgery techniques were carried out in 800 BC using skin grafts and is the earliest documented evidence of reconstructive operation on humans.
The nose, for reasons unknown, was the one part of the body that received the most attention in the early years, even though facial surgery at that time was considered too dangerous. The nose surgery was pioneered by Ancient Indians and this process was nothing short of cutting edge, made further difficult by the absence of today’s anesthesia.
Ever since, surgery has been performed by Egyptians, Romans, and British physicians at various points in time in history.
Although the next significant documentation of Plastic surgery was thanks to the first American plastic Surgeon, John Mettauer, who performed the first surgery in 1837, plastic surgery wasn’t introduced until 1942 following the Battle in Britain.
Since then, having gone mainstream, plastic surgery continues to evolve and grow in popularity. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, ASPS, members reported performing more than 17.7 million surgically aesthetic procedures in 2018.
Over the years, physicians have worked on various parts of the body and now, procedures are made available for all parts of the body ranging from blepharoplasty or Eyelid lift to buttock augmentation, also sometimes called the Brazilian Butt Lift or BBL for short. So regardless of the trend, if you wish to look skinny or curvy, there are numerous options to help you achieve that.
The Upside of Plastic Surgery
Plastic surgery, although a double-edged sword, works amazing wonders psychologically and physically on people who decide to take the risk of going under a knife.
Psychologically, successful plastic surgery gives the patient a mental boost. Solving what is perceived as a problem with their body will make them less conscious, anxious, and generally, much more confident than they ever were. This new-found confidence will be evident in every area of their life.
It might even go as far as pulling their drowning romantic relationship out of the water. Physically, it improves the health and overall quality of life. It takes away discomfort. Consider the case of a woman suffering from breast cancer.
The surgeon removes the cancerous cells and operates to give her a breast lift. Not only does he save her from a life-threatening situation, but also takes away a bit of the stigma and gives her the much-needed self-confidence to integrate back into society.
It also inspires a healthy lifestyle and an improved diet regimen. Most people would most likely take better care of their body after surgery and they would be conscious about it.
The Downside of Plastic Surgery
While there are upsides, it should be known and fully understood that plastic surgery, no sugarcoating it, could be life-threatening. All invasive surgeries are risks.
In as much as getting plastic surgery done is a personal choice, before making up your mind about getting that killer body, there are some things worth knowing.
No matter how you look at it, cosmetic surgeries are real surgeries. Although the majority of its procedures are done without adverse effects, things could go wrong real quick. The chances of this happening are increased while undergoing certain high-risk procedures.
An example of this is the popular Brazilian Butt Lift. It involves the transfer of bodily fat taken from one part of the body and transferred to the buttocks to enlarge and improve its overall shape.
This particularly hyped procedure has gained popularity for the wrong reasons as it was cited as having the highest death rate. We are talking as high as one in 3,000 people. That’s a whole lot of numbers and should give you a pause. If it doesn’t, then you should read on.
There are a lot of things that could go wrong on the operating table and during the healing journey. These things are the elephant in the room; we know they are there but apparently, no one is talking about them.
From implant rejection where your body simply refuses to accept the foreign objects introduced to organ damage, here are some things to consider before you set up that appointment:
1. Blood Loss
This is one of the most common concerns. As with any invasive surgery, loss of blood is expected.
This can quickly spiral out of control on the operating table and lead to a drop in blood pressure, organ failure which may result in the body shutting down.
Though this is a rare possibility, it remains a point to consider before choosing to go under the knife.
Although postoperative care is introduced soon after a procedure, infection is one of the most common types of problems patients face.
This could be caused by the doctor’s carelessness or it could be due to an allergy the patient had no idea they had.
This could lead to the patient being confined to a bed or in extreme cases necrosis and sepsis. Infections could be internal and severe.
3. Nerve Damage
Oftentimes, people experience a change in sensitivity of areas operated on. This could begin with the tattletale signs of tingling and could often end up as a feeling of numbness in the areas affected. This could be temporary or it could be beyond repair.
4. Organ Damage
Liposuction, which is the removal of body fat, can be dangerous for the organs. When the surgical probe comes in contact with any internal organ, it could lead to the perforation of that organ.
If the perforation is not immediately fatal, repairing them will require additional surgical procedures.
Outside of this list, other health risks like seroma, hematoma, and deep vein thrombosis are also things to consider.
As with any kind of surgical procedure, pain is expected to be felt immediately after leaving the hospital and a little while postoperative.
These pains may be in the form of nausea, vomiting and headaches, and inflammation of the area where the procedure was performed. Over time, these pains can go away.
What wouldn’t be said to you is sometimes, there is a probability it won’t and might become a part of your daily life.
As with the case of individuals suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, an illness that leaves the sufferer with a perceived bodily flaw that might be minor or imagined, a plastic surgery procedure could worsen things.
Instead of the confidence that comes with the procedure, all that is left is the feeling of anger, resentment, and disappointment, and the wish to go on and on, all over again. This could lead to an obsession for plastic surgery as no result, no matter how extreme, is ever enough.
Along with these are the holes the financial costs such procedures leave in your bank accounts. In the quest for perfection, many people lose both themselves and the thousands of dollars they’ve worked for all their life.
There is also the possibility of ending up with a botched result. Keep in mind such botched results would require additional procedures to fix or prove to have no salvation at all.
There’s a lot of things that could go wrong. The chances of things going south are doubled by going to an unqualified doctor.
The Bottom Line
On the upside, plastic surgery complications are rare given they are performed by a licensed, experienced surgeon. According to a 2017 review, it was discovered fewer than 1 percent of 26,032 cases suffered from complications. These are more common in smokers, older adults, and people who suffer from obesity.
Talking to your doctor about what could go wrong will help you manage your expectations and reduce complications.
At the end of the day, it should be understood that beauty is abstract and should not be defined by today’s standards.