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Plastic surgery is defined as the medical practice that alters the body form. Plastic here means reshaping or sculpting and is derived from the German word “plastike” which is interpreted as the art of modeling malleable flesh. Cosmetic surgery is not synonymous to plastic surgery, although, both can be used interchangeably because they are related. Both tend towards body enhancement. The difference is this: cosmetic surgery can be done to all parts of the body to improve physical appearance, beauty, body proportion or perfecting the structure of the body. Examples are nose, chin and face lift, breast, hair replacement and butt enhancement WHILE plastic surgery is carried out to reconstruct or repair the body defects or imperfections which occur as a result of diseases, birth abnormalities, burns, injury or accidents. During the plastic surgery, the damaged tissues and skins are being repaired. Examples are burn repair surgery, hand surgery, scar revision surgery, removal of birth marks. Both sexes undergo plastic and cosmetic surgeries but it is more done by women.
Common Form of Plastic Surgery
There are various forms of plastic surgery. The popular ones are skin graft, tissue expansion and flap surgery. In tissue expansion, the tissues close to the affected area are being expanded through a device known as the expander. The expander is like a balloon and is being inserted under the skin where it is being filled with water in order to stretch the skin. In skin graft, some portion of some healthy skin of the body is being cut to replace the damaged parts of the same body. This method is used to treat deep wounds, cuts and burns. The flap technique is a surgical procedure involves the movement of healthy tissues from one part of the body to the injured or imperfect part(s). These tissues used as flaps must be rich in blood supply and must be replaced within their active durations. Complications arise when dead tissues are used and another surgery will be carried out to remove the tissues and to carry out the proper one.
it also comes in various forms. The popular ones include
(I) Breast surgery: breast enlargement/argumentation (implants are placed behind the breast) , breast reduction (fat, skin and tissues are removed), reshaping sagging breasts/breast lift(removal of skin to make the breast stand)
(ii) Facial surgery : face of lift (fats are removed, muscle tightened to reduce dropping jaws and neck), forehead lift (facial wrinkles are removed, eyebrows are sharpened and lifted), eyelid surgery( removal of eye bags, muscles of the eyelids to reduce or remove the bulging eyelids), facial implants, lips argumentation(implants of some materials into the lips to make them fuller), nose surgery(removal of nose tissues and cartilages to make it look pointed)
(iii) Liposuction: removal of excess body fats to improve the shape of the body.
(iv) Tummy tucks: removal of the fats in the abdomen so as to make the stomach flat.
(v) Butt enlargement/argumentation: injecting body fats into the buttocks to make them firm, round and big.
It is absurd but we need to know that some men also enhance their physical appearances. The popular ones are:
(I) Penile enlargement or elongation: fats are injected into the penile shaft to make it thicker and longer.
(ii) Butt enlargement: body fats into the buttocks for more volume.
(iii) Hair transplant: hair is being restored to the bald areas by transferring hair from the patient’s follicles.
(iv) Chest and Abdominal Etching: involve the sculpturing of the chest and abdomen so as to have an athletic body build, six – packs, flat tummy etc.
(v) Eyelid surgery/face lift/nose jobs: men also shape their noses and enhance their faces to retain youthful appearance and to avoid aging.
(vi) Calf implants: done on the lower legs to make it broad in men with thin legs.
(vii) Breast reduction (Gynecomastia): This is done my men with hormonal disorders that result to enlarge and feminine breasts. Fats and the glandular tissues in the breast are removed by liposuction.
Why do people enhance their physical appearances?
There are many reasons for change in body parts. The first is to look beautiful, elegant and to improve self confidence. Many people with birth abnormalities are always teased by people around them, friends and school mates. They feel they are unlucky to be created with big noses, flappy ears, big lips, baggy eyelids, big stomachs, webbed fingers, bald hairs, birth marks on the face and lots more. Many husbands tease their wives of their sagging breasts, weight gain and big stomachs. Some of these women are being forced to go for cosmetic surgeries so as to please and keep their men. Some people feel intimidated with their abnormalities thus admiring beautiful people around them. They wish to have pointed nose, slim figures, body curves and equal body proportion. Their self-esteem and lack of self satisfaction lead them into both cosmetic and plastic surgeries later in life.
People carry out cosmetic surgeries because it is in trend. Many celebrities and the rich in the world today are products of cosmetic and plastic surgeries. It is saddening because both young and old people look up to these “celebs” and in order to be like their role models, they also venture into the practice either to look like them or to be in vogue. Those who could not afford the high cost of these surgeries bleach off their skins ( read about the effect of bleaching on your skin here) . Also, people, both men and women undergo plastic and cosmetic surgeries to reduce aging and to look younger than their real ages. Some do it for professional reasons. The society also promotes physic enhancement surgeries by its definition of beauty, Media shows, television programmes also preach it by bringing plastic surgeons and their patients on air. Comparisons between the physical appearance before and after are being made. Viewers through these reality shows are being tempted into the practise.
Many risks and complications accompany both surgeries. They become worse when are performed by quack doctors or when there are counter reactions between the patient’s health, body composition and the desired surgery. Some physical risks include severe pain, discomfort and skin bleeding, skin infections, skin scarring, discolouration and the inability of the repaired skin to heal up. There might be complications in body parts transfer called skin grafting. Excessive loss of blood can lead to death if emergency blood transfusion is not carried out or if the compatible blood is not available in the hospital’s blood bank. The former first lady of this Nigeria is a good example of this kind of complications; Stella Obasanjo lost her life to cosmetic surgery. Also, the late king of Hip Hop, Michael Jackson is a case of series of surgery gone wrong. Failure in one surgery can also lead to continuous surgeries, which is not healthy for the skin and body. Some people even look worse than their former appearances when the surgeries are not successful.
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