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Plastic Surgery: Benefits, Risks, Non-Surgical Options, and Global Trends.

Updated: Jun 2

Dr Srinjoy Saha, Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery and Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals Kolkata, India.

What are the main advantages of performing plastic surgery, and how does it help patients lead a better life in the future?

The six main benefits of getting plastic surgery done are here:

1. It enhances your physical appearance.

When a top plastic surgeon performs a cosmetic surgery procedure, it enhances the appearance of your body. Conducted over the head, face, eyes, breast, abdomen, hand, arms, and thighs, it is a boon everywhere. From the toenails to the scalp hair, plastic surgery benefits both these two and anything between them.

2. It magnifies your personality.

Transforming the appearance of a body through plastic surgery is highly beneficial. An attractive and pleasing appearance is critical for success in the modern competitive world.

3. It makes your body lean, trim, healthy, and fit.

The physical well-being of a person reflects in his daily life and activities. A healthy and fit body enables anyone to tackle life's challenges confidently. Removing excess fat and resistance to diet and exercise is one such example.

4. It enables better body function while improving its aesthetics.

Plastic surgery is the only surgery that improves both form and function. For example, rhinoplasty or nose surgery improves breathing problems while enhancing nose shape. Again, breast reduction stops neck pain while reshaping breast contours.

5. It improves your emotional well-being.

A better body shape and fit appearance boost a patient's psychology immensely. Confidence in appearance and personality shines through in all daily activities. A heightened confidence level enables people to perform wonders in everyday life.

6. It amplifies your self-confidence.

Studies have shown that people who consider their looks unfavourable suffer mentally. People who are comfortable with their appearance have less psychological stress. They are more prone to psychological stress and repeated illnesses. Correcting negative features with plastic surgery help people get rid of mental trauma.

Photo of a smiling woman while looking up.

What are the risks associated with plastic surgery, and how can patients prepare themselves for potential complications?

Plastic surgery is popular among patients wanting to enhance their physical appearance or correct a perceived flaw. However, like any medical procedure, there are risks associated with plastic surgery that patients should know. The most common risks of plastic surgery are given below. Also, there are tips on preparing patients for potential complications.

  1. Infection is one of the most common risks associated with any surgery, including plastic surgery. To reduce the risk of infection, patients should follow their surgeon's post-operative instructions, including taking antibiotics as prescribed, keeping the incision site clean and dry, and avoiding contact with contaminated surfaces.

  2. Blood Loss can sometimes result after plastic surgery, which can be life-threatening in rare cases. Patients should be aware of the signs of excessive bleeding, such as swelling, bruising, or pain, and seek immediate medical attention if they experience any of these symptoms.

  3. Nerve Damage is a potential risk of plastic surgery, particularly procedures involving the face or other sensitive body areas. Patients should discuss the risk of nerve damage with their surgeon and ask what steps they can take to minimize this risk.

  4. Anesthesia Complications can occur during plastic surgery, and patients need to know the potential risks associated with such medications. Patients should inform their plastic surgeons of any medications they are taking, allergies, and medical conditions, as this information can impact their anaesthesia treatment plan.

  5. Scarring While scarring is a normal part of the healing process, some patients may be unhappy with the appearance of their scars after plastic surgery. Patients should discuss scar management options with their surgeon before the procedure and follow their post-operative instructions carefully to minimize scarring.

To prepare for potential complications, patients should choose a good plastic surgeon with an excellent track record of success. Patients should also inform their surgeon of any medical conditions, allergies, or medications they are taking and follow their surgeon's pre-operative and post-operative instructions carefully. Additionally, patients should have realistic expectations about their plastic surgery results and take necessary steps to maintain their results, such as maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Finally, patients should be aware of the likely costs to undergo a plastic surgery, including the financial expenses and the emotional and physical toll it can take on them. While the benefits of plastic surgery can be significant, patients should carefully consider whether the risks and potential complications are worth the investment. By understanding the potential risks and taking necessary precautions, patients can minimize the likelihood of complications and achieve the best possible outcome from their plastic surgery procedure.

Photo of the Lister room at RCPSG.

What are the non-surgical alternatives to plastic surgery, and when are they more appropriate?

Plastic surgery can be a significant decision that involves invasive procedures, risks, and recovery time. Luckily, non-surgical alternatives can achieve similar results without going under the knife. These alternatives are less invasive, more affordable, and have a shorter recovery time. Here are some popular non-surgical options for plastic surgery.

  1. Botox: Botox injections are a popular choice for people who want to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and crow's feet. It works by relaxing the muscles that cause wrinkles, resulting in smoother and younger-looking skin. The results typically last between three to six months.

  2. Dermal fillers: Dermal fillers can enhance and add volume to different areas of the face, such as the cheeks, lips, and under-eye area. They are made of hyaluronic acid, a substance that naturally occurs in the body and provides an instant improvement in facial appearance. The results can last between six months to a year.

  3. Chemical peels: Chemical peels are a non-surgical alternative for smoother and brighter skin. The procedure involves applying a chemical solution to the skin to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. The result is a more youthful, glowing complexion.

  4. Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a unique tool to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells, revealing smoother and brighter skin. It is an effective treatment for reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars.

  5. Laser treatments: Laser treatments can address many skin concerns, including acne scars, fine lines, and wrinkles. The treatment works by heating the skin to stimulate collagen production, resulting in a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance.

Non-surgical alternatives to plastic surgery are more appropriate for individuals with mild to moderate skin concerns who do not want to undergo a surgical procedure. While non-surgical procedures have a shorter recovery time and are less invasive, they still carry risks. Patients should carefully consider the potential side effects before undergoing any treatment. It is essential to consult with a plastic surgeon to determine which non-surgical alternative is best suited to address your specific needs.

Photo of a beautiful young woman with freckles.

What is the current state of plastic surgery globally, and how has it evolved?

Globally, the plastic surgery industry has come a long way since its inception over a century ago. Today, it is a multi-billion dollar business constantly evolving with new procedures and innovative technologies. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine are rapidly changing plastic surgery applications and improving their efficacy.

Initially, plastic surgery was more common for reconstructing damaged tissues. However, today, more than 54% of the population in developed countries undergo plastic surgery procedures at least once in their lifetime, according to several studies. The reasons behind people undergoing plastic surgery have also changed over time. Earlier, patients usually got plastic surgery for medical reasons, such as reconstructive surgeries after accidents or illnesses. However, now people undergo plastic surgery more to enhance their physical appearance and beauty.

While some plastic surgery stories make exciting news articles, others have life-changing impacts. Top plastic surgeons around the globe are making a dramatic difference in their patient's lives, inspiring them to achieve more and live more confidently. As the industry grows and evolves, it becomes increasingly competitive, with newer procedures and technologies developing constantly.

Overall, the plastic surgery industry is in a constant state of flux as new advances and techniques are developing at a rapid pace. Despite this, the industry thrives and significantly impacts people's lives worldwide.


This article and the information contained within it are for educational purposes only. It should not be construed or used as a medical opinion or advice. This article does NOT intend to supplement the advice of a trained, licensed medical professional in your area.

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