Cosmetic procedures are becoming more and more common as the quest for youthfulness and perfection is on the increase. Reality TV shows, magazines and social media often sell unrealistic images of the perfect body and face, however perfect results cannot always be achieved through diet, exercise and lifestyle alone.So what’s the difference between cosmetic, plastic and medical surgeries?
All of the above procedures are carried out by trained professional doctors with a medical background in a range of fields.
A medical surgery is one that is necessary for prolonged life or quality of life.
Plastic surgery is a procedure that is carried out to repair damage caused by accidents, previous surgeries or from deformations and birth defects. Both of these types of procedure are usually covered by the NHS in the UK.
In contrast, a cosmetic procedure is a type of surgery that is non-essential and is done for purely cosmetic reasons. These surgeries are usually for reasons of self-esteem, to enhance or improve the look of the patient’s face or body, and they are not usually covered by the NHS.
Cosmetic procedures available include, amongst others, breast enlargement or reduction, breast lifts, tummy tucks, face-lifts, liposuction, gastric bands, chin, cheek or brow implants, chemical peels and rhinoplasty (reshaping of the nose). In addition, some of the most popular procedures right now are non-invasive type surgeries such as dermal fillers. This is an injection used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, laughter lines or creases in the face, and can also be used to plump out lips and cheeks. The popularity of this type of cosmetic enhancement has soared as it is a fairly fast procedure, taking less than an hour to complete and having instant results.
Whilst most surgeries of this type are successful, there is always a risk of something going wrong or a new problem arising from the surgery that may need further correction at a later date. Some people experience depression after a procedure, disappointed that the result is not what they expected, while others are so pleased that they become obsessive after a successful surgery, wanting to ‘correct’ more and more areas on their body.
The potential risks and complications of having cosmetic surgery should always be carefully considered before committing to the procedure. Some carry higher risks than others.
Whilst the results of a cosmetic procedure may not be immediately obvious to others, psychologically the effects on the patient can be life changing. Outwardly the patient’s appearance may not have changed a vast amount, but for someone who has lived with an perceived ‘imperfection’ that has caused distress or depression, having it corrected can be a major boost to their self esteem, self confidence and quality of life.