Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Overview
What is cosmetic plastic surgery?
Cosmetic plastic surgery is done to change your appearance. For some, it may mean redesigning the body’s contour and shape, smoothing wrinkles, or eliminating balding areas. Others may choose varicose vein treatment or breast augmentation. There are a number of cosmetic surgery procedures that men and women can choose from to create an image that makes them feel more confident and comfortable with their appearance.
Although health insurance rarely covers the cost of cosmetic procedures, the number of people deciding to have cosmetic plastic surgery continues to grow. The top cosmetic surgeries are breast augmentation, liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, tummy tuck, and facelift.
What are the most common plastic surgery procedures?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the most common cosmetic procedures (invasive and minimally invasive) are listed here by their common or descriptive names. The medical term for the procedure is in parentheses:
- Breast augmentation or enlargement (augmentation mammoplasty)
- Breast implant removals
- Breast lift (mastopexy) with or without the placement of an implant
- Buttock lift
- Chin, cheek, or jaw reshaping (facial implants or soft tissue augmentation)
- Eyelid lift (blepharoplasty)
- Facelift (rhytidectomy)
- Forehead lift
- Hair replacement or transplantation
- Lip augmentation
- Liposuction (lipoplasty)
- Lower body lift
- Nose reshaping (rhinoplasty)
- Thigh lift
- Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)
- Upper arm lift (brachioplasty)
- Botox injections
- Cellulite treatment
- Chemical peel
- Plumping, or collagen or fat injections (facial rejuvenation)
- Laser skin resurfacing
- Laser treatment of leg veins
- Vaginal rejuvenation
Cosmetic Surgery Market Statistics – 2031
Source : https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/cosmetic-surgery-market-A16492#:~:text=The%20global%20cosmetic%20surgery%20market,11.6%25%20from%202022%20to%202031.
The global cosmetic surgery market size was valued at $67.3 billion in 2021, and is projected to reach $201.0 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 11.6% from 2022 to 2031. Cosmetic surgery is voluntary procedure, which is performed to reshape their body, body contouring and improve the physical appearance of patients. Cosmetic procedure involves unique discipline of surgical and non-surgical techniques which aims to improve person’s appearance. Cosmetic surgical procedure includes different type of surgeries like breast augmentation, rhinoplasty (Nose reshaping), liposuction, facelift, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). Along with that there are some gender specific cosmetic surgeries, in female genital cosmetic surgery includes numerous procedures, including hymenoplasty, labia majora augmentation, vaginoplasty, labiaplasty and G-spot amplification and in male breast reduction (gynecomastia surgery). Cosmetic surgeries can be performed when the body reaches the full adult size. Generally, in a male, at the age of 15-16, cosmetic surgeries can be performed and, in a female, at the age of 14-15, cosmetic surgeries can be performed.
Botched cosmetic procedures on the rise, says campaign group.
Government accused of ignoring evidence about unqualified ‘ghost’ practitioners who do serious damage to their clients.
There has been a big rise in untrained, unscrupulous, and untraceable “ghosts” making thousands of pounds a month administering Botox or fillers in people’s homes and abandoning clients when things go wrong, a campaign group has said.
The issue is a critical one, an expert has said, which the government has failed to address in its proposed new legislation to introduce a licence for non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
“We’re very disappointed that the government has ignored the evidence we gave them about these ‘ghosts’ and the serious and permanent damage they do to their clients,” said Ashton Collins, director of Save Face, a national, government-approved register of accredited non-surgical treatment practitioners.
During lockdown, said Collins, there was a dramatic rise in adverts for “at home” cosmetic procedures on social media. The only contact clients have with these practitioners is their social media account and a mobile number.
“These laypeople have literally no idea what they’re doing: at best, they might have watched a few videos on YouTube,” said Collins, who submitted evidence to the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) on what should be in the new legislation.
“After a couple of days, when things start to go wrong and the client needs their help, they disappear, shutting down their social media accounts and disposing of their untraceable pay-as-you-go phone,” she said.
“They disappear, leaving clients, who have quite often suffered serious and permanent harm at their hands, to desperately seek help from someone who might be just as unscrupulous,” said Collins.
“They, of course, simply open a new social media account and get a new mobile phone – then go on to target further clients. They have no fear of being caught because they can’t be.”
Sajid Javid, the health secretary, has said that people administering Botox or fillers will be required to have a licence under new laws after an “unacceptable” rise in reports of botched cosmetic procedures in the UK. “Far too many people have been left emotionally and physically scarred” when things have gone wrong, he said.
The legislation to protect against rogue practitioners will make it an offence to perform such non-surgical work without a licence. It will aim to bring in consistent standards that people carrying out non-surgical cosmetic procedures must meet, as well as setting out hygiene and safety standards for premises.
In the Commons on Tuesday, Laura Trott, Conservative MP for Sevenoaks, asked Javid how the “proposed licensing machine will keep pace with the rapidly changing landscape of these treatments?”
Javid said the “details of the regime will be set out in regulations, meaning it will be flexible, it will be agile and it will change in response to changes in the cosmetics industry”.
Minister for patient safety Maria Caulfield said the amendment is the “next step on the road to effective regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures in England”.
She added: “The spread of images on social media has contributed to an increase in demand for cosmetic procedures such as Botox and fillers.
“While these can be administered safely, we are seeing an unacceptable rise in people being left physically and mentally scarred from poorly performed procedures.”
The all-party parliamentary group on beauty, aesthetics and wellbeing carried out a year-long investigation into the industry.
Carolyn Harris, the group’s co-chair, said: “We found that the regulation of cosmetic treatments remains fragmented, obscure, and out of date, meaning anyone can carry out any treatment, anywhere, with next to no restrictions on what qualifications they must have to do so.
“This has left consumers at risk and undermined the industry’s ability to develop.”
Harris welcomed the proposed new legislation but added: “A licensing framework set in law is an important step in the right direction, however this must be underpinned by mandated national minimum standards for practitioner training.”
Save Face has seen complaints increase from 378 in 2017 to 2,083 in 2020. In one of the most serious cases, a woman said she had such severe wounds from treatment that she contracted sepsis and ended up in hospital in a coma for five days.
But the number of complaints was likely to be the “tip of the iceberg”, said Collins: “There are lots of severe medical side-effects that come along with these treatments – but because they’re classed as beauty treatments, anybody can do them.”
Of the treatments complained about, 86% were carried out by beauticians, hairdressers, or laypeople, with 81% of complainants finding their practitioner on social media.
Clients were often unaware of the risks, said Collins: 93% were not warned about serious complications and thought the treatments were low-risk beauty treatments; 83% did not give informed consent’; and 84% were ignored or blocked by their practitioner when they tried to seek help.
Brazilian butt lift: Behind the world’s most dangerous cosmetic surgery
The BBL is the fastest growing cosmetic surgery in the world, despite the mounting number of deaths resulting from the procedure. What is driving its astonishing rise?
The quest was simple: Melissa wanted the perfect bottom. In her mind, it resembled a plump, ripe peach, like the emoji. She was already halfway there. In 2018, she’d had a Brazilian butt lift, known as a BBL, a surgical procedure in which fat is removed from various parts of the body and then injected back into the buttocks. Melissa’s bottom was already rounder and fuller than before, and she was delighted by the effect, with how it made her feel and how it made her look. But it could be better. It could always be better.
On a recent afternoon, Melissa visited the British aesthetic surgeon Dr Lucy Glancey for a consultation. Glancey had performed Melissa’s first BBL at her clinic on the Essex-Suffolk borders, a suite of rooms boasting shining white cupboards, a full-length mirror and drawers stuffed with syringes. As she waited for Melissa to arrive, Glancey showed me a picture of Melissa on the beach in Dubai, wearing a palm-print bikini and posing in a kind of provocative crouch – arms, breasts, thighs, and buttocks all arranged for optimum effect. “Look how good she looks,” said Glancey, admiring Melissa and her own work. “I said to her, I don’t see what else we can do.”
When Melissa walked into the room, she didn’t exactly resemble her digital self, but then, who does? She’d swapped Dubai-luxe for Suffolk-casual – blue jeans and a pink sweater. After a quick chat, Glancey – dark blue scrubs, coral toenails – asked Melissa to take off her clothes. Together, doctor and patient stood in front of the mirror and stared.
“OK,” said Glancey. “Which side do you prefer?”
“This side,” said Melissa, indicating her left flank.
Glancey proceeded to work her way round Melissa’s figure, considering its contours with bracing candour.
“You’ve kind of gained here,” she said, pointing at Melissa’s midriff.
“But here,” said Melissa, pressing the dip she could see in her right buttock, a flaw she’d noticed while on holiday. “Can you see?”
Like anyone inspecting their own body, Melissa could see things no one else could see. She wasn’t seeing just its current form in the mirror, but multiple versions: her former body, her desired body, her digital body. In her teens, nearly a decade ago, when Cara Delevingne’s thigh gap had its own Twitter account, Melissa had wanted to be thin and flat like everyone else. Then fashions changed. Explaining why she got her first BBL, Melissa, who is white, said she had wanted to fill out a pair of jeans and appeal to the kind of men she liked. “I felt attracted to black men and mixed-race men, and they liked curvier women,” she told me.
The surgery, which can cost up to £8,000, also helps her earning potential. Most of the time, Melissa works in a gym, but she also makes money on the side modelling clothes on Instagram. “When you’re looking at what gets the most attention and what gets the most likes, they’re always girls of this shape,” she said.
Melissa’s digital body, enhanced by the photo-editing app Facetune, acts as a kind of blueprint for her future physical body. She told me that her friends sometimes edit their pictures on dating apps to the point where they’re unable to meet up with anyone, as the version of themselves they’ve advertised is too far removed from reality. “If you’ve had a BBL, it’s like you’ve already edited your body in real life,” Melissa said, “so you don’t have to edit your pictures.”
A decade ago, Glancey rarely performed BBLs. Now, in the course of a week, she does two or three and receives about 30 inquiries. Since 2015, the number of butt lifts performed globally has grown by 77.6%, according to a recent survey by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. It is the fastest-growing cosmetic surgery in the world. When Glancey scrolls through Instagram, she sees it everywhere: beach-ball buttocks mimicking the most famous bottom in the world, a bottom so scrutinized, so emulated, so monetized, that it no longer feels like a body part, but its own high-concept venture, its own startup turned major IPO. (It will probably sue me.) The popularity of the BBL, Glancey told me, is down to one woman: “Her impact,” she said of Kim Kardashian West, “really is her body.”
Dr Mark Mofid, a leading American BBL surgeon, also noted the influence of Jennifer Lopez and Nicki Minaj, alongside a glut of imagery on social media that “had really popularised the beauty of feminine curves”. But achieving such beauty can be risky. In 2017, Mofid published a paper in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal which revealed that 3% of the 692 surgeons he had surveyed had experienced the death of a patient after performing the surgery. Overall, one in 3,000 BBLs resulted in death, making it the world’s most dangerous cosmetic procedure.
In the past three years, three British women – Abimbola Ajoke Bamgbose, Leah Cambridge and Melissa Kerr – have died as a result of complications arising from BBLs in Turkey, the most popular destination for UK patients seeking cheaper aesthetic surgery. Elsewhere, there have been many others: Joselyn Cano in Colombia, Gia Romualdo-Rodriguez, Heather Meadows, Ranika Hall and Danea Plasencia in Miami. According to local reports, in recent years, 15 women have died after BBLs in south Florida alone.
Melissa knew the risks. When she had her first BBL, in 2018, it happened to be the week of Leah Cambridge’s death. That same year, the British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery recommended that British surgeons refrain from performing the surgery altogether. Not being a regulatory body, it couldn’t enforce a ban, though some surgeons voluntarily stopped. Still, Melissa felt safer having the operation in the UK. She trusted Glancey and, after all, she’d been through the process before – she knew what to expect. She’d have to take a few weeks off work to recover, but it would be worth it. Soon there would be no asymmetries, no dips, no flaws; she’d have a Facetuned bottom made real. A body edited. Perfection.
While the fashion holds, the perfect bottom is a taut orb, like a bauble wrapped in skin. “Sticky-outy” is Glancey’s preferred term. Working in concert with the perfect breasts, the perfect bottom turns the body into the shape of an S. “It’s the classic hourglass figure,” said Melissa. “That’s what you go after.”
The perfect bottom is also an angle: 45 degrees from the base of the spine to the top of the buttocks. In that sense, the perfect bottom is really the result of having the perfect spine, the kind that naturally protrudes at its base.
For those lacking the optimum degree of vertebral wedging, there are options. You can have implants or inject filler. Or you can have a BBL, which fulfils two briefs in one mission, removing fat from places where you don’t want it and putting it where you do. The BBL, like Robin Hood, takes from the rich – the wobbly belly – and gives to the poor: the flat, bony bum.
The BBL began in Brazil, birthplace of aesthetic surgery and the myth of the naturally “sticky-outy” bottom, the kind seen in countless tourist board images of bikini-clad women on Copacabana beach. The surgery itself was pioneered by the Brazilian doctor Ivo Pitanguy. In a country rich in plastic surgeons, Pitanguy was known as “the pope”. He performed a variety of procedures and was rumoured to have prettified celebrities from Frank Sinatra to Sophia Loren while offering poorer patients subsidised treatment in his Rio clinic. Beauty, Pitanguy believed, was a human right, though he recognised that its pursuit could be a troubling process. “The most important thing is to have a good ego,” Pitanguy was often quoted as saying, “and then you don’t need an operation.” A nice principle, but not the one that made him enough cash to buy himself a private island, Ilha dos Porcos Grande, or Big Pigs’ Island, off the coast of Rio.
Brazil remains the global centre of cosmetic surgery, in part because of Pitanguy’s legacy: free or low-cost cosmetic procedures are still available in the public health system. Not being a luxury commodity, the practice of cosmetic surgery saturates society at every level. Such accessibility has a darker side – Brazilian surgeons are “known worldwide for producing new techniques,” Jarrin told me, because “they have these low-income bodies to practise on”.
In the UK, by contrast, purely cosmetic surgery is only practised privately. Glancey’s clinic occupies a floor above an NHS GP surgery. Entering the building, then, are two very different sets of patients: those who pay and those who don’t. Glancey’s patients are making a consumer’s choice: they want something, and provided it’s possible and safe, she sells it to them. Still, Glancey insists on calling them patients rather than clients: “Yes, it’s voluntary,” she said to me, a little fiercely. “But it’s still medical, it’s still surgery.”
Beauty has always been a matter of cruel chance: you’re born that way. We all perform appearance-enhancing tricks that we’d haughtily never place in the same category as cosmetic surgery – teeth-straightening, eyebrow-threading, Spanx. Recently, I found myself staring into the mirror, wondering how much it would cost to laser into oblivion a constellation of brown sunspots on my cheek. (Too much.) Wrestling nature can be a life’s expensive work, and so perhaps the cheapening and therefore democratising of cosmetic surgery is a middle finger up to evolution. We can all be beautiful now and reap the associated aesthetic and financial rewards.
Melissa was mystified by her own desire, but it came to her the way desires usually do – you see something you like, and you want it for yourself. Surgery can change the way you see your body. No longer is it a gradually decaying biological event, but a project that can be constantly improved, like a kitchen. The problem is, what happens when you’ve built the perfect kitchen, which is blue, and then everyone decides that the perfect kitchen should actually be red?
“When someone requests extremely large buttocks,” Glancey told me on the phone one evening, “I always explain to them that fashions could change.” She tells them to opt for a more conservative look, otherwise when the coveted body shape does inevitably switch again, they’ll just need more surgery.
In any case, no matter how much work you do to it, the body remains alive, organic, unpredictable. Even the Kardashian West bottom might not for ever look as it does today, swathed as it was recently in a dress printed with an image of Kardashian West’s own face (2.1m likes). However hard we try, no one can inhibit nature entirely. Gravity and time will have their way with an ageing BBL, as they do with everything else. Even the perfect bottom will sag; even the perfect body will die.
- Melissa’s name has been changed.
Now, a note from this author:
THE ETERNAL QUEST FOR SKIN-DEEP BEAUTY:
Let’s be very honest – all of us are guilty of vanity, in some way or another. We desire eternally to project to the world the best visible and physical version of ourselves. ‘Looking good’ makes us feel good about ourselves; it raises our self-esteem and confidence levels and it changes the way in which other people perceive us. Physical beauty makes us look immediately attractive and striking to ourselves and especially to others – it garners other people’s attention, in no small way, and makes them see us in a more positive light. Remember the saying – “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.”
All of us indulge in ‘harmless’ beauty treatments, from time to time; treatments such as face bleaching, eyebrow threading and shaping, upper lip and chin threading &/or waxing, facial treatments, depigmentation facials, body hair waxing/shaving, the painting of one’s nails, manicure, pedicure, etc. It includes in the gamut various forms of laser beauty treatments to have an “ageless” look, including bikini-line hair waxing &/or laser treatments. We visit the hairdresser to have a ‘clean’ look after hair trimming, hair shaping, hair styling, hair dyeing. Any form of beauty-enhancing treatment is time-consuming and more importantly, it is expensive. The cost can range to many thousands of dollars – based on the type of treatment involved. This includes the booming, multi-billion-dollar cosmetic surgery industry. It’s just one of the many things that further divides our society from the “haves” and the “have nots.”
The ‘harmless’ beauty treatments that I have earlier referred to are often minimally-invasive but are certainly not without the added cost of pain and high expense. Many of these beauty-enhancing procedures like waxing, threading, laser treatments, etc. are painful, but we do it because external, physical beauty matters more to us than the pain itself. Any form of surgery, especially cosmetic surgery, is physically invasive and not without its fair share of risk and complications – the latter being not only life-threatening, but such surgeries can unfortunately often be fatal too. Yet few ‘patients’ take good cognizance of this fact – it’s just one more case where vanity matters much, much more than even life itself.
The main problems arise from the fact that cosmetic surgery is a relatively new field of surgery – while the person operating might be a medical doctor (or just a “quack,”) many of them do not possess the correct and requisite medical qualifications to be called surgeons – much less, plastic surgeons. Just another example of the fact – “A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE CAN BE A DANGEROUS THING.”
Such ‘doctors’ are often found to lack the required level of expertise, specialization, years of requisite work experience and proper know-how to carry out such risky procedures. The latter is sometimes carried out literally in ‘offices’ that are supposed to pass off as registered clinics – which they are certainly not. The office/so-called clinic is, quite often, highly ill-equipped for such invasive procedures, showing a flagrant disregard, amounting to total indifference and absolute callousness for the patient’s safety, hygiene, privacy, etc. –to name just a few of the glaring ‘discrepancies’ discovered by the press and media, quite by chance, through leaked videos and WhatsApp messages.
The following shocking details came to be public knowledge – surgical instruments are barely sterilized as per the proper standards and the ‘office’ is barely cleaned properly by the staff nurse- since the surgeons insist on carrying out such procedures on patients back-to-back, on as many clients as possible, on any given day. Disposable instruments are often found to be shockingly re-used – this unhygienic, risky practice goes against the very principle of ‘discarding correctly after a single-use.’ Dirty linen and used, soiled surgical instruments are often dumped in a corner, in a back room, away from prying eyes. When an audit or inspection is due to take place of ‘the surgical premises,’ the ‘doctor’ demands that his staff remain completely silent and oblivious to the prevalent, ongoing malpractices for fear of serious repercussions and it was also discovered that medical records get conveniently ’back-dated’ when it so suits their illegal purposes.
Why do such things happen? Of course, you know the reason – boastful, brash, loud-mouthed, self-centered and egoistic ‘doctors’ are more concerned with ‘promoting themselves’ and their so-called commendable work on their social media accounts – however, they miraculously disappear from the face of the earth, at the first sign of trouble. THIS EGOISM AMOUNTS TO NARCISSISM – believe it or not. Besides the fact that such individuals refuse to take responsibility for their wrongs, it is only the greed for more, more and more money and the lust for power that drives this industry endlessly forward. When – if at all – will it ever stop? Who knows? Not anytime soon, for sure.
Clients (or patients, as they may prefer to be called) seeking such invasive procedures are poorly informed about the many risks and complications involved in such surgeries – for example, these include blood clots, a high risk of infection, scarring, nerve damage, organ damage and organ perforations, blood loss, hematoma, seroma, anaesthesia complications, excruciating and chronic pain, loss of the quality of life and dissatisfaction with one’s changed appearance due to thoroughly unrealistic expectations – to name just a few. Let’s not forget the loss of life itself as being one of the greatest risks involved.
Before such risky, invasive procedures are even undertaken, the patient is forced to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement which is essentially a ‘gag order’ to ‘buy’ their silence when things go wrong. When the latter inevitably occurs – as is often the case – a ‘refund’ is sometimes reluctantly offered – but not without the Non-Disclosure Agreement, protecting the doctor, being signed by the coerced patient first. Not helping matters at all, is the occurrence of several loopholes in the law protecting the doctors – with little or no thought for their thoroughly disadvantaged clients. When the clients themselves (or their families and friends) decide to speak up against such malpractices, they find themselves up against little or no sympathy, sometimes even from the courts of law. They are forced to reluctantly approach the press and media as a means of publicizing the wrongs that they have suffered and use it as a means of preventing other innocent victims from falling into the same trap. After all, being fore-warned is being fore-armed.
Even worse, is when clients decide to go abroad to seek financially cheaper treatments than those offered in their own home countries – that’s really a case of being PENNY WISE AND POUND FOOLISH – to say the least. It makes things much worse than what they already are – regret in hindsight) inevitably sets in. People should realize that if it is too good to be true – then, that is exactly what it is – too good to be true.
Finally, what is left to state? The world is chaotic and has gone completely awry because we have lost sight of our priorities. Active choices and decisions emphasize on the importance of physical beauty – a beauty that is no more than skin-deep. We have forgotten how to be good human beings because if we had our priorities right, we would know that inner beauty is everlasting; it shines from within a benevolent person. It goes well beyond the parameters of the inevitable ageing process.
Firm skin and toned, sculpted bodies are bound to fall prey to loose, drooping and sagging skin over a period of time; to wrinkles as one grows older and the skin loses its natural (or artificial) elasticity. No amount of invasive surgery can stop or deter the ageing process. It is part of God’s creation – it forms part of the Circle of Life. Ageing from youthfulness to being elderly and wizen is part of Nature’s Way. Ageing is about becoming shriveled, shrunken, and withered. It is about becoming weaker and more wasted as time passes by on its inevitable journey – starting from birth till death. Ageing might not be pretty but that’s the way it is. We are suffering the consequences because we have all willfully chosen to defy and battle Nature – the latter will always hold its sway, in the end. Why don’t we choose to age gracefully? Isn’t the eternal inner beauty of the soul more important than the superficial, skin-deep beauty that so many thousands of people fruitlessly seek? It should be – but it sadly isn’t the case. Skin-deep beauty is as fickle as a passing ship in the night – visible on the horizon for a short while before disappearing completely from sight.
Set your priorities, in life, right.
You will find that our world becomes a much better place to live in – that’s all I can truly say.