In today’s world, whether we like it or not, appearance is important. An unsatisfactory appearance, which can be a result of any of a number of factors, can have severe consequences on the day to day life of the individual.
The major factors that have an impact upon appearance are heredity and aging. When it comes to genetics, of course, different people have different experiences. Everyone’s features are different, and in some cases these features are a source of trouble for the individual. Facial features aren’t the only thing affected by heredity. While most people may have the idea that body shape can be largely controlled via diet and exercise, the fact is that some people accumulate fat more in some areas than others. This means that, even with a healthy diet and extensive, targeted exercise, most people have a hard time eliminating excess fat from particular areas; common ones include the abdomen, thighs, and below the chin. Aging, naturally, is something that affects everyone, and time makes its mark on virtually every area of the body.
In many cases, cosmetic surgery is the only way to tackle these issues effectively. Luckily, the progress of technologies and techniques means that cosmetic surgery is actually a not inconvenient way of tackling these issues. Virtually all aesthetic issues can be addressed using cosmetic surgery.
Cosmetic surgery isn’t as new an idea as it may seem. It was first developed in India around 2000 BC. Surgery for aesthetic purposes crossed a major threshold in terms of popularity with the development of the Hollywood film industry; as today, many film actors and actresses achieved their “sculpted” features at least in part through cosmetic surgery. Now, a wide variety of procedures are practiced around the world, and are priced in such a way that millions of people have been able to undergo cosmetic surgery in the last few years alone.
In the US alone, in the year 2008, over 1,760,000 cosmetic surgical procedures were performed (all statistics collected by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery). 90 percent of patients were women, but the proportion of men undergoing cosmetic surgery continues to increase yearly as well, which may be at least partly because corresponding stigmas have become less pronounced and males are now expected to be concerned about their appearance as well. The top procedures for women in terms of popularity are breast augmentation, liposuction, blepharoplasty (cosmetic eyelid surgery), abdominoplasty (also known as a “tummy tuck”), and breast reduction, while the most common procedures for men are liposuction, rhinoplasty (cosmetic surgery for the nose), blepharoplasty, gynecomastia, or male breast reduction surgery, and hair transplantation.
People aged 35-50 years are most likely to seek cosmetic surgery; this shows that aging is the biggest factor leading to people taking an interest in cosmetic surgery, perhaps because genetics or features present from birth are usually taken care of at a younger age. Over 70% of individuals state that they are not embarrassed to say that they have received cosmetic surgery, which indicates that cosmetic surgery is a socially accepted practice.
Each type of surgery for cosmetic purposes takes its own amount of time and requires attention to its own concerns. Similarly, the amount of time needed in order to recuperate from a given operation corresponds to the extensiveness of the procedure itself; some operations call for no more than two weeks of rest before the patient can get back to his or her previous daily activities, while certain procedures call for several months of recovery time. During the recovery period, the patient is required to adhere to the instructions outlined by the surgeon with respect to how to treat the area (which may involve applying dressings, compression garments, ointments and so on), what kind of activities to avoid (strenuous exercise or physical activity must usually be avoided for two weeks at the least), wardrobe considerations (after any type of surgery, loose-fitting clothing is almost always recommended; following a face lift, the patient should wear button-down shirts as opposed to pull-over articles of clothing such as t-shirts and sweatshirts, as these can cause damage to the recovering face when being put on), as well as dietary and other considerations (smoking, for example, must be ceased after any type of surgery).