Going under the knife

CHANGING FACE

Sometimes, that extra-flat stomach or perfectly shaped nose can make all the difference in a person’s life, to the extent where even surgery seems to be a viable option to attain it. Metrolife speaks to a few surgeons to understand why exactly cosmetic surgery is on the rise in the City.

Dr M S Venkatesh, professor at Ramaiah Medical College and consultant at the Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Jayanagar, says that the most common cases he receives include rhinoplasty, or reshaping of the nose and liposuction.

“Obesity is rampant these days due to a sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise. Many patients come in to get their chest and abdomen reshaped,” he explains.

He adds that another common practice involves etching grooves on the abdomen to get a perfect six-pack. “We can’t create muscles, but we can etch a resemblance by redistributing fat to achieve a rippled appearance,” he says.

Dr Naveen Rao agrees that liposuctions have become extremely common. Interestingly, he claims that contrary to popular perception, he receives more male patients than female ones. He cites hair transplants as one of the main reasons that men walk into his office. “Baldness can make a man look ten years older. We get many patients who are in their thirties and forties and a few rare cases of older ones,” he explains.

On the demographic of patients who come to him for treatment, Dr Venkatesh says that the trend is no longer restricted to actors and actresses.

“Several of my patients are ordinary working class members,” he clarifies. Dr Rao adds that the cosmetic surgery industry actually reached its peak around 2009, but witnessed a slight drop during the recession. “This year, demand is picking up again,” he says.

Although cosmetic surgery is a convenient quick-fix for those who want to change their appearance, the fact remains that it carries with it all the risks that any invasive surgical procedure would.

Dr Venkatesh maintains that if the surgery is performed by an experienced surgeon, the risk is minimal. He adds that it is also important for the doctor to be careful while selecting the patient. “Recently, a patient came to me for a scar revision. After a few screen tests, I noticed that his blood sugar levels were high. This had to be controlled before the surgery could be performed,” he explains. This is why cosmetic surgery requires a close doctor-patient relationship.

Pooja (name changed), who visited Dr Venkatesh for a liposuction and tummy-tuck, agrees that this was important to her.  “Dr Venkatesh spent time giving me an idea of the results, and instructions for post operative care to minimise risks. I’m very happy with the results,” she says.

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