The term cosmetic surgery refers to any elective procedure you undertake to change your physical appearance, helping to fulfil your desired look. It has grown increasingly popular across the world, with the number of procedures increasing from 14 million to 23 million since 2010. It is not to be confused with reconstructive surgery. Whilst procedures in this field also change a person’s appearance, it is mainly used to restore function to a person’s body part, whether that be through an injury, a disease or from a defect you were born with.
Common cosmetic treatments
Some of the most common body parts modified through surgery are breasts, eyes, face, ears, nose, hair and abdomen.
Breast augmentation – This surgery is carried out to either increase breast size, to replace an absent breast or to make them symmetrical in shape and size. It involves placing breast implants under the breast tissue or chest muscles, which are usually made of silicone gel or saline. Most patients can leave the hospital on the same or the next day they’re having the procedure but it can take up to three months before full recovery.
Rhinoplasty – Most commonly known as a nose job, this procedure reshapes or repairs the nose. If done for medical reasons, such as to improve breathing, it can be partly or fully covered by insurance but this is not the case for cosmetic reasons. After surgery, the internal dressings remain in place for up to seven days. Your doctor will also tape a splint to your nose for protection and support which stays in place for about a week. Black-and-blue discolouration of your eyelids can occur for two to three weeks after nasal surgery aa well as some temporary swelling which can take several months to completely go.
Facelift – The procedure, also called rhytidectomy, aims to remove features associated with ageing such as wrinkles and sagging of the skin. It helps achieve a more youthful look by tightening the skin, smoothing deep lines and sometimes removing fat. Neck lifts are often done at the same time. Recovery usually takes between 2 to 4 weeks, and sutures are removed 5 to 10 days after surgery. Hair transplant – Mostly performed on men, it is used to improve the appearance of baldness by moving skin from areas with healthy hair growth to the bald area. It is normal for this hair to fall out 2 to 3 weeks following the procedure, as this allows for new hair growth, which most people tend to see 8 to 12 months after the surgery.
Liposuction – This surgical procedure removes fat from specific areas of the body to change your body shape. Fat deposits are removed from directly under the skin by using cannulas, an instrument to suction it out. Ultrasound may also be used prior to breaking down the fat. Recovery time varies depending on the size and location of the area treated.
Abdominoplasty – Also known as a tummy tuck, the surgery removes excess skin from the abdominal area and tightens the remaining skin. It is usually performed when a person can’t lose excess skin through exercise, such as after pregnancy or losing a significant amount of weight. It’s not used as a way of losing weight as it’s usually only recommended when a person has a healthy BMI. For most people, recovery usually takes 4 to 6 weeks.
Blepharoplasty – Commonly known as an eyelid lift, this surgery can be done to reshape the eyelid for cosmetic reasons or to improve the vision of a person. It removes excess fat or skin from the eyelids, creating a more youthful appearance. After the procedure, most swelling and bruising subside in 10 to 14 days, although there may still be signs of surgery after this period.
Why get treatment abroad
As research and development refine and simplify cosmetic procedures, these are becoming technically less complex and less expensive, meaning more patients are accessing them. Prices and treatments can widely vary from one country to another and going overseas present a range of benefits:
• Price – Some of the most popular countries for cosmetic surgery, such as Turkey and Brazil, offer cheaper options than in western countries such as the UK and patients can access the same treatment at a fraction of the price without having to sacrifice the quality of treatment
• Treatment packages – Many countries will offer an all-inclusive package when booking a treatment, arranging first-class accommodation and transport during your stay so you can get the care you need and relax at your destination