More people going for genital plastic surgery

Life was good for 24-year-old Sapna Awasthi (name changed) till her parents made their intentions clear that she would have to marry a man of their choice. She was in a live-in relationship with her boyfriend for five years and talks of marriage with a man of orthodox mindset brought its own share of worries for her.

With marriage still a year away then, she immediately Googled for the best and affordable plastic surgeons in the Capital. Within eight months of appointment at Lok Nayak Hospital, she had undergone hymen plastic surgery for the ‘restoration’ of her virginity.

Dr Padam Singh Bhandari, plastic surgeon at the hospital, who performed this surgery, says Awasthi’s was not an isolated case of people opting for genital aesthetic surgery with five people having undergone this surgery at his hands over the last two years. He has also performed vaginal tightening surgeries for eight women over the last three years.

According to Dr Bhandari, awareness has greatly helped people open up about those plastic surgeries that were earlier a taboo. “Earlier women spoke to me in private about breast implants. Now they openly ask me even in the out-patient departments,” he said.

Over the last few years, this has had a impact on the number of people opting for sex change and breast implants. In 2012, India was ranked fifth worldwide in terms of number of cosmetic surgeries.

“While there were hardly any enquiries about sex-change surgeries a decade ago, now we perform 35-40 such surgeries a year,” said Dr Richie Gupta, cosmetic surgeon at Fortis Hospital. 

Over the last couple of years, demands for vaginal tightening, hymen plastic surgeries and implant insertion in penis for healthy sexual life have also been pouring in, he added.

Demand for plastic surgeries has also seen a spurt in medical tourism with people from Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria and gulf countries visiting the Capital for getting a makeover.

But though Delhiites are slowly waking up to the wonder of plastic surgery, the economically weaker sections in Delhi are yet to benefit much. The long waiting periods of up to one year and lack of privacy in government hospitals often ward them off.

“We give priority to emergency patients such as those with cancer who need to undergo removal and reconstruction of jaws and those who need limb implantation,” said Dr Bhandari.

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