Aesthetic surgeries are becoming more common among youngsters in India and doctors say it is mostly to keep up with the trend of trying to look good on social media.
The most recent report of International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) shows a 19.3 percent increase from 2020 in total aesthetic procedures performed by surgeons worldwide in 2021. The ISAPS global survey 2021 also shows a continuing rise in aesthetic surgery with a 33.3 percent increase over the last four years. The total number of procedures performed in India were 7,74,672 which accounts for about 2.5 percent of the total aesthetic surgeries done worldwide.
Social media as an influence
Dr. Annapurna, aesthetic surgeon in Bengaluru said that the recent surge in aesthetic surgeries owes to the fact that people want to look presentable on social media. “Youngsters these days are very much under the influence of instagram. They want to look in a certain way, like a particular celebrity or influencer, and come to us in the hope that we would give them their exact desired look.” said Dr.Annapurna
The Indian Journal of Paediatric Dermatology in their 2021 study said there has been 30 percent rise in cosmetic surgeries in children under the age of 18 over the past decade. One of the leading factors includes bullying by peers and perception of poor body image.
Sudipa B, 23, a beauty blogger who does not support aesthetic surgery shares how pressurizing it is to be presentable on screen. “Definitely it is a huge pressure on not just beauty bloggers but on everyone. I felt a bit insecure and demotivated when I started my journey as a beauty blogger with acne prone skin. People usually go for plastic surgery to look good, but I would rather go for makeup instead of surgery.”
When looking good becomes an essential factor
Dr. Annapurna also said that people undergo aesthetic surgeries for various other reasons, too. Surgeries are performed to treat skin complications or physical disproportionality but often people who want to be operated are driven by their personal insecurity, influence or as a coping mechanism from their physical conditions. However said Annapurna, “It can change their lives for the better.” She said that the rate of aesthetic surgery has increased in Bengaluru, especially post pandemic. “We come across around 40-50 patients a month. A few wanted liposuction in order to remove body fat they gained in lockdown,” added Annapurna.
Changed for better
Apart from enhancing body features through skin tightening, face-lifting, whitening or filling, aesthetic surgery has also transformed one’s looks.
Jitendra G, 35, businessman said that hair transplantation has changed him into a different person and helped him regain his confidence and self-esteem that he lost five years ago. “I opted for hair transplantation surgery after suffering from severe hair fall for five years, but now I gained back my hair as well as my confidence.”
Rashmi, 25, an Information Technology (IT) professional said that she had very old burn marks on her skin. Her life changed after skin grafting surgery. “I had burn scars on my body from an accident when I was three years old. Since then I have been carrying those with me. But a girl is perceived differently by the society when she looks different. So, I decided to choose surgery and now I am in a much better state,” she said.
Things to be kept in mind
Most people seeking cosmetic surgery appear to be psychologically healthy, however some are not and these procedures can bring some negative outcomes for both patient and surgeon. The problems encountered by patients can lead to requests for reversal procedures, adjustment problems and even depression, states a study.
Dr. K Kumar, professor and Head of Department (HOD)of plastic and reconstruction surgery in Raja Rajeshwari Medical College and Hospital (RRMCH) said people have to be mindful of whom they choose to be operated by. “Certain complicated procedures like the hair transplantation can only be performed by an experienced plastic surgeon and not at any popular clinic. Otherwise the results might not be right and at times can go wrong too.” He added, “As surgeons, we need to speak to our patients about each and every side effect, along with the do’s and don’ts so that he or she remains mentally prepared for the surgery.”
Dr. Shubhankar T, psychiatrist at RRMCH said that most patients often suffer from Body dysmorphic disorder and Bulimia that make them look down upon their body negatively, thereby they change the way they look at themselves.
“In most cases of aesthetic surgery patients are counselled before they are operated on because sometimes patients are not satisfied by the end results or they face difficulty in accepting their new look,” said Dr. Shubhankar.