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Cosmetic Surgery Risks: Understanding The Potential Dangers And Harm

By Lachmi Deb Roy

Most stylish women look the same these days. Taut skin, frozen features, stereotyped expressions, similar pouts; it is as if their faces have been photocopied. The villain behind all this is nothing, but cosmetic surgery.

Botox Treatments

With the new age craze on imaging, packaging and beauty, more and more woman are obsessing over their looks and opting for surgical procedures starting from breast transplantation to designer vaginas. Societal pressures have created a standardized creation of beauty. With innovative techniques, cosmetic surgeons can reshape your face to your heart’s liking.

Smitten by the faces popularized on the fashion ramp and in popular magazines, city girls are thronging to beauty clinics and not hesitating to go under the surgeon’s scalpel. The patient is thrilled and the surgeon is proud of his creation and thinks of himself as an artist. And the end result is that everybody starts looking like beauty clones.

Societal pressure has created a standardized criterion of beauty. A round face, high cheek bones, beautiful skin and complexion, full lips and high and firm breast. Each era has a certain social standard of beauty that evolves with time.

“Keep in mind that social pressure is very strong. The majority of women are those who want to adhere to the feminine ideal of our times: The blond, smooth skinned beauty. Fashion is completely dictated by a strong desire to be a part of a group,” says Page three socialite, Chaaya Momaya.

55-year old Malini Roy from Kolkata has had a face lift. She has also taken Botox injections. The result is that there is not a single wrinkle on her face. Her face is as charming and appealing as a mask. Her friends have nicknamed her the ‘Mummy’. But she is completely satisfied with the way she looks.

Cosmetic Beauty Treatments: The Temptations And The Risk

  • Botox

The pain is just like an ant bite. It is a protein injection by which one can erase out stubborn wrinkles, frown lines, smile lines and crow feet. It helps in weakening the muscles that cause wrinkles. The lines vanish dramatically, though initially to see the real difference one has to wait for some time.

The Risks

The side effects are caused because of the solution that has been injected. A slight discomfort from the needle may lead to a small bruise and may even lead to drooping of an eye. There may be slight discomfort from the needle and a chance of small bruise.

The other common side effects are respiratory problem, it may even give you a very artificial frozen look, dry mouth, difficulty in smiling and swallowing and there are chances of affecting the speech as well. In some cases the toxin can spread to the non-injectable places leading to difficulties in breathing and swallowing.

  • Face Lift

It is done to tighten the skin and to stop the skin from sagging. While doing the face list the skin is tucked under the hair line to hide the scar. This operation gives a lift to the facial tissues and makes the face look smooth and toned.

It reduces saggy skin and repairs loose facial muscles and it even erases lines to give a firmer look. One could opt for full face lift or lifts on the brow area, lower face or neck only. The effect of face lift has a guarantee of maximum ten years.

The Risks

A face lift make loose skin taut and can clear fold sand lines, but there are several side effects attached to it. The face may look swollen for quite some time. The soreness and the scars may take quite some time to heal.

The surgery may raise the position of your hair line and may lead to the ear lobes hanging. Temporary hair loss around the incision is also one of the possibilities. It can lead to damaging the facial nerves and even weakening the muscles.

  • Facial Fillers

By this process fillers are inserted in the cheek and the lips which restores are fuller and youthful looking appearance. Injectable fillers may be used alone or in conjunction with a resurfacing procedure, such as laser treatment, or recon touring procedure, such as facelift. This procedure is done under local anesthesia where fillers are inserted under the layers of the skin to fill and plump up creased, wrinkled and sunken areas.

Injectable fillers may be used to give a fuller and plumper look to you face or may be conjunction with a resurfacing procedure, such as a laser treatment can also be used. Age, genetic, skin type, life style pays a major role in the ultimate success of the procedure.

The Risks

You could develop an allergy or a normal infection like soreness and skin peeling off, abscesses and the most scary part is it may leave scars.

  • Breast Augmentation

It involves surgical placement of an implant to increase the size of the breast and for enhancement and right shape. In this case small incisions are made around the breasts, in the arm pits and around the nipples.

Increasing the size of the breast leads to the increase of the self confidence of women. The procedure gives you the larger and fuller breast you always wanted and can immensely increase your self –confidence for women who suffered from low self – confidence because of the size of the breast.

The Risk

Capsular contracture calcium deposits implant shifts, bleeding, scarring and even infection. The detection of cancer is difficult because of the breast implant taking a mammogram is extremely difficult.

Then the need may arise to remove the implant for which another surgery is required. Though there was a concern over breast augmentation leading to breast cancer, but this link has not yet been proved.

  • Rhinoplasty

It basically correction of a dream nose. The procedure involves straightening the nose, reshaping the tip of the nose, reducing or adding to the size of the nose and even changing the angle between the nose and the upper lip.

It can erase injury marks on the nose and correct a birth defect. It can even improve your breathing difficulties if you are suffering from it.

The Risks

Scarring and an irregular looking nose are the dangers involved. But the most serious side effects are nose bleeding and breathing problems. Other side effects are reduced sense of smell and numbness around the nose area. But if you are really desperate to increase your face value then getting a dream nose is what you should be heading for.

  • Liposuction

This procedure helps to give the body the desired shape by removing fat from specific areas like tummy, hips, this, butts, knee, upper arms, chin, cheek and the neck and back area. It is an effective way of removing stubborn fat from areas which sometimes do not respond well to exercising and dieting.

Though liposuction is definitely not a healthy way to get a designer body, but it helps in removing stubborn areas of fat to which traditional weight loss methods just does not respond.

The Risks

There are numerous reports of death because of liposuction. After the procedure there could be life threatening infections. It may lead to embolism which is a condition where the fat is loosened and enters the blood through blood vessels ruptured (broken) during liposuction.

It is possible to puncture or damage internal organs during liposuction. The area becomes sensitive. The skin tends to become necrotic. Fluid imbalance is another thing which is caused by liposuction and this may lead to heart or kidney failure.

  • Tummy Tuck

The process involves tightening the muscles of the abdomen the lower and the middle part. It tightens the sagging skin which generally happens after child birth. It also removes excess fat from the tummy. It gives you a flatter tummy and makes you look toned.

It gives you a flatter abdomen and sometimes a smaller waist and tones and tightens the tummy. It is mainly for women who have jiggling muscles on the tummy because of child birth. One may reduce weight, but there may remain a large amount of hanging skin which does not get toned up even with a lot of exercises.

The Risks

There could be blood clotting, permanent scars, heavy bleeding, and infection. Severe complications though the cases are rare, but can lead to bleeding, lung problem and even death. The surgery may lead to permanent numbness of the abdomen. It can also lead to skin tissue death or necrosis.

  • Vaginoplasty

Vaginoplasty is popularly known as vaginal rejuvenation where the vagina is made tighter by removing vaginal lining and decreasing the diameter of the vagina. It enables to increase the friction making intercourse more fun.

Due to child birth the vaginal muscles tends to get loose, but by doing this it tones up the vagina. It rectifies the stretched vaginal muscles which happens mainly after child birth. It gives one more control of your vaginal muscles.

The Risks

The most common form of risk in this kind of surgery is bladder infection. It can lead to inadequate emptying of the bladder. And later the scars can lead to tenderness and pain. It takes as much as eighteen months for the scarring process to be definite.

  • Hymenoplasty

The surgery involves replacing the hymen for social and religious reasons. It gives an intact and tight hymeneal ring. The surgery involves reconstructing a hymen to restore its virginal state suited to the individual needs and expectations of the patients.

The Risks

It can lead to pain and over sensitivity as any kind of surgery in this area is dangerous because it is very delicate with too many nerves and vascular bundles. It may even lead to the risk of effecting sexual response because of the damage of the nerves.

Lachmi Deb Roy is a lifestyle freelance feature writer and has been a journalist for the past ten years. She is a mother of a six year old and writes for MedIndia and several national and international magazines like – ‘Femina’, ‘New Woman’,’Gurlz’ and ‘Parent and Child’. She has worked with leading publications like-‘The Asian Age’, ‘The Week’ and ‘The Deccan Chronicle’.

Image: Ambro /




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