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Plastic Surgery: Why Are Americans so Eager to Change Their Appearances?

Plastic Surgery: Why Are Americans so Eager to Change Their Appearances?

by December 25, 2019 Beauty

Cosmetic surgeons know if you seek to change your life, your love life or your career with plastic surgery, you need more emotional adjustments than physical. But if you’re looking to change your appearance to please yourself, feel confident or to turn back the clock a little, cosmetic surgery may be for you, according to the surgeons I interviewed recently.

Cosmetic procedures, surgical and non-surgical are more popular and socially acceptable. In a recent study by the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, a year saw 7.4 million Americans, 6.3 million women, alter their appearance medically. Noses, the most frequent target, are 76% of the procedures. Then comes liposuction, eyelid lifting, female breast augmentation and facelifts.

Surprisingly, the same study said 20,000 men had breast reduction surgery – up 84% in eight years. About 44% of patients are 30 to 50 year-olds. A third are repeat customers. In our 20’s we have noses done. Thirty to 40 year-olds choose liposuction, 50-60 year-olds seek eyelid surgery most often. Nearly 450,000 people over age 65 elected to have a cosmetic procedure performed. With more teens asking for change, adults coming in droves, and baby boomers turning fifty at one every seven seconds, plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic surgery find their calendars bulging.

In that American Association of Plastic Surgeons study (2000), surgeries were up by 198% over eight years. More women, 476% more, chose breast augmentation. Most popular among women are breasts, liposuction and face lifts. Men change their eyes and/or noses, and have hair replacement or breast reduction most often.

Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery are not interchangeable terms. Cosmetic surgery refers to reshaping normal structures to improve appearance and self-esteem. Reconstructive surgery is performed to correct abnormalities. Insurance carriers cover reconstructive procedures for functional restoration, but usually not cosmetic changes.

What’s out there? ASPS, on their website, describes these:

Absominoplasty or tummy tuck. Major surgery to flatten abdomen by removing excess skin/fat. Breast augmentation. Balances size of breasts or improves body contour with inserts. Breast reduction. Removes tissue to make breasts smaller. Chemical peel. Non-surgical. Corrects wrinkled or blemished skin. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). Removes fat/skin from eyelids to correct droop or puffiness. Facelifts. Reduce facial creases, jawline slackness and fat around neck. Hair replacement. Existing hair used to fill baldness over several sessions. Candidates must have some healthy hair growth. Laser skin resurfacing. Enhances appearance of healthy skin but won’t completely remove large flaws or reverse aging. Liposuction. Removes fat deposits at face, abdomen, buttocks, or thighs. Requires that patient control weight after surgery. Nose surgery (rhinoplasty). Enhances appearance, offers improvement, but seldom perfection. Dr. Bradford Roberg, M.D., specializing in cosmetic surgery with Northern Illinois Plastic Surgery Center told me cosmetic surgery’s goal is to make reasonable changes. A subtle change can profoundly impact self-esteem.
“Miracles don’t happen – even significant changes don’t make miracles,” says Roberg. “Remember, results are mostly permanent.”

When a surgeon alters the structure of the nose or face, it’s permanent. You’ll age, but you’ll look proportionately better, say experts, for the rest of your life. Liposuction is permanent if you maintain weight, and rejuvenation can last variable lengths of time.

Roberg says, “We can turn back the clock but can’t stop it.”

Understanding that many of these procedures are permanent, some are major surgery and many are invasive,means you have to make an educated choice, have the right motivation and choose your doctor very carefully.

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