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We currently live in a society where people are obsessed with the way they look. Where you stand on this issue can depend on a number of factors. Of course, everyone likes to be reasonably presentable, especially if we have an important meeting or are going on a date. But at the same time, this pride in your appearance can quickly turn into a dangerous obsession. Record numbers of people now suffer from body dysmorphia – a debilitating condition where people have a warped view of their own body. Suffers might see themselves as abnormally large or overweight or could become obsessed by the size of their nose. Whatever it is, many people who are unhappy with their appearance – BDD or not – now turn to cosmetic surgery. A staggering 1.7 million cosmetic surgical procedures were performed in the United States in 2015. The most popular was a breast augmentation, closely followed by liposuction and nose reshaping. Strangely, eyelid surgery came fourth on the list, and the fifth most popular procedure last year was a tummy tuck. Clearly, there are a whole range of procedures readily available – and plenty of people willing to go under the knife.

But undergoing plastic surgery is not without its risks. Most surgeons are extremely well skilled and trained in what they do, so unless you go to a bogus doctor your procedure itself is likely to be fine. However, it is post-surgery that most patients find that their problems arise. Hematoma is a common risk in many kinds of cosmetic surgery, from facelifts to breast augmentations. It is essentially a pocket of blood near the surgical area that resembles a large, dark bruise. Treating them can require even more, painful surgery. You also face potential infection and nerve damage after having any form of cosmetic surgery. 15% of women who undertake a breast augmentation permanently lose sensation in their nipples. Liposuction is also responsible for organ damage, which can again, lead to further complications. If you are considering any form of cosmetic surgery, you will need to take all these things into account. It is best to sit down with your doctor and discuss any fears or concerns you may have. However, medical advancements now mean that you might not need to get plastic surgery at all. Non-invasive procedures are now outdoing the need for cosmetic surgical procedures. In fact, they actually overtook surgical procedures in 2015, in terms of how many procedures actually happened. If there is any area of your body you’re not happy with, consider both the surgical and the non-invasive procedure before making a decision.

Breast augmentation v breast lift

Except for a few circumstances, breast augmentations generally involve the patient going up a few cup sizes. It is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the whole world – but unfortunately it doesn’t come cheap. You can be expected to pay up to $11,000 in the US for a breast enlargement. This cost covers everything from the implants themselves to the anesthesia fees and the facility fees. The operation itself usually involved the surgeon making an incision in the breast and then placing the implant inside. It sits either in front of, or behind your chest muscle. One in position, the incision is then stitched up and covered with a dressing. Recovery can be long and painful. You may need to take some time off work and it is recommended that you do not drive for a week. You are also not advised to wear a regular bra for up to three months after surgery – stick to sports bras instead. Unfortunately, even though the initial results can be good, there are many things that can go wrong with implants. Your implant could rupture in your breast, which causes small tender lumps to form. As a result of this, your implant will have to be removed. In some situations, the implant can also rotate inside your breast, causing an abnormal shape. Other more serious problems include blood clotting or an allergic reaction.

Breast lifts, on the other hand, are far less invasive. They are still expensive, but you minimise your risk of having a lot of the complications that come with a surgical procedure. Doctors techniques will vary as it is still a fairly new procedure, but a common non-surgical breast lift involves the following. Fat from other areas of the client’s body are deposited into the breast, and then stem cells are injected.  If you are wanting to increase your breast size drastically, a non-surgical breast lift may not give you the results you crave. But, if you are only interested in going up a couple of cup sizes, the results can last for many years. Plus, the recovery time is essentially non-existent, so you can get back to your normal life pretty much straight away.  

Surgical teeth straightening v fillings

When asked what is the most attractive physical aspect in a potential partner, most people tend to say ‘good teeth’. If you have been unhappy with your teeth for a while, you may be considering various forms of surgery or procedures to fix your smile. The typical way to create straighter teeth is with a brace, but many adults consider them embarrassing and don’t want to wear one. It is for this reason that cosmetic teeth straightening has risen in popularity over the last few years. For this procedure, the patient is given an anesthetic and the dentist will use an electro-surge device to remove parts of the gum. Once this has happened, he or she will then reshape the gum so that the teeth are ready for new veneers. The procedure tends to be split into three separate sessions, each one taking around an hour. Another method for minimising the appearance of gaps in teeth is bridging. This procedure involves crowns being attached to the tooth, and then the tooth itself being drilled down to close the gap.

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If you want to take a less extreme approach to straightening out your smile, there are plenty of less invasive options available too. This cosmetic dentist can offer a wide range of procedures with minimal recovery time that can both whiten and straighten out your smile. If the gaps between your teeth aren’t too pronounced, simple veneers can minimise the appearance of any misalignment. Veneers are typically custom made to fit your tooth perfectly and are usually made of stain resistant porcelain. You may feel some discomfort during the ‘etching’ process, but you are unlikely to incur any lasting damage or pain to your gums. If you are needing a full set of veneers, the process can double up as a whitening treatment by picking veneers that are whiter than your actual teeth. White fillings are also useful for filling small gaps in crooked teeth. This procedure is extremely routine in dental surgeries and will only take one appointment. If cared for properly, white fillings can last for around fifteen years.

Rhinoplasty v dermal fillers

Many people are unhappy with the shape of their nose. Whether it’s too long, too wide, or too pointy, millions of people go for a rhinoplasty every year. Occasionally they can be performed for medical reasons. An example of this is if the patient has difficulty breathing. But, for the most part, rhinoplasties are carried out for cosmetic reasons. The cost of the procedure can vary greatly depending on how much work you want doing . But it’s not just the price that may put you off. Rhinoplasties can be very painful procedures with a painful recovery to boot. The surgery itself can involve breaking the bone to rearrange the cartilage, or removing some of the bone itself. Once completed, you will need to stay in hospital for a few days to recover and it is recommended that you stay off work for two weeks. It can also take up to six months for all of the swelling to completely disappear. As you can see, it is not a decision which should be taken lightly.

To avoid the cost and pain of rhinoplasty surgery, more and more people are now opting for dermal fillers instead. This is a non-surgical procedure which involves temporary filler being injected into the nose to alter its shape. It takes just minutes to complete the procedure and you will notice results almost immediately. Another positive thing about dermal fillers is that you have more autonomy over the result. As opposed to placing your trust in the hands of a surgeon. The results are natural looking, so if you wanted a more severe result first time round, simply requests more filler next time. Regular rhinoplasties are irreversible without yet more surgery. This can often be even more painful the second time around. Therefore, dermal fillers are becoming a viable option for people who are unhappy with their nose but who want to avoid the trauma and cost that a surgical procedure could bring. The only disadvantage is the results not being permanent, but you should only need to get the procedure re-done every 12 months.

Remember, surgery is a great medical advancement – but it comes with so many risks. Re-evaluate whether you REALLY need it and consider beauty treatments and non-surgical options.

Sarah x