Knife treatment craze transcends gender bias

Ankita Chakrabarty/ Zee Research Group/ Delhi

“I want to get the pouty lips of Angelina Jolie,” declares a 26–year-old young female law researcher from Delhi. While she is ever ready to come under the knife for the visible gains, she prefers to stay unidentified for fear of losing out on the originality of her assets.

While few years back such desires would have been outrightly dismissed as wishful thinking, the advancements in cosmetic surgeries at affordable costs has made it possible for Indians to realise their beauty dreams. Not surprisingly, more and more Indian men and women are going under the knife to enhance their physical appearances.

In a beauty obsessed nation, it was just a matter of time for cosmetic surgeries to become a rage. Lipoplasty followed by Rhinoplasty and Blepharoplasty are the top favorite cosmetic surgeries performed in India according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) survey report 2010 published in 2011. Moreover, India with 2,000 plastic surgeons ranks fourth in the global survey with USA and Brazil occupying the top slot as reported by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Identifying the female break up of cosmetic surgeries in India, Dr. Meenakshi Agarwal, director at Face and Figure Aesthetic Plastic and Laser Surgery Centre, says, “Most of the Indian women post pregnancies go for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and for breast augmentation, in the age group is 20-50 years. However, the ratio for rhinoplasty (nose job) both for male and female stands at 50:50 respectively.”

The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) had issued an invitation to the national society of 25 countries to participate in the study.

Lipoplasty rids excess fat from different sites of the human body. In India, 130,480 lipoplasty surgeries have so far been performed. Rhinoplasty which is a plastic surgery form for correcting and reshaping the nose form is also a common cosmetic surgery performed these days. In India, 113,040 surgical procedures for rhinoplasty have been performed. Breast augmentation (for women) and breast reduction (for men) has also have gained a lot of currency in recent times.

Dr. Richie Gupta, senior consultant, plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgeries at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi, says, “Young boys generally in the age–group of 20-40 years go for breast reduction surgeries. Male baldness has also become a common problem in the younger generation, so most of the men in the age –group (20-40 years) go for hair transplant.”

Among the non–surgical procedures botoxdysport and laser hair removal are also much in vogue. 193,100 procedures of botoxdysport have been performed in India. The figure for laser hair removal stands at 69,020 respectively.

Dismissing the common perception that cosmetic surgeries are risky, Dr. Gupta, at Fortis, explains, “Cosmetic surgeries have less side effects if done by proper surgeons. Chances of disasters are less if carried by proper investigations and research.”

Bollywood actors lead from the front when it comes to cosmetic surgeries. It is reported that actors Shahid Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Salman Khan, Shilpa Shetty and Rakhi Sawant have undergone plastic surgeries to enhance their beauty quotient - a quintessential requirement of their profession.

According to the ISAPS survey a surgeon in India charges (Rupees 96,248) for lipoplasty and (Rupees96, 725) for rhinoplasty respectively. Cosmetic surgeries have become affordable and are widely being accepted by all. Dr. Agarwal, at Face and Figure Aesthetic Plastic and Laser Surgery Centre, avers, “Nowadays even the middle class section can afford to go under the knife.”

Highlighting the psychological issues that may come up in cosmetic surgeries, Dr. Sameer Malhotra, the head of mental health department at Max Hospital, Delhi, says, “One has to rule that a person going for a cosmetic surgery is not suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or body image disorder. The person generally suffering from these kinds of disorders is basically looking for perfection and symmetry.”

Blaming the societal attitude towards beauty, he laments, “People generally get motivated by the social hype and tend to undergo such surgeries just to enhance their look which should be avoided.”