Instagram face, fillers, face threads. Such terms are becoming a part of our lives. Whether the cause is social media or accessibility the popularity of cosmetic procedures, from less to more invasive, is undeniable. When is it too much and why are women still left with most of the pressure to look perfect?
Dr. Ramin Assassi, a specialist in plastic and cosmetic surgery, has been working in Luxembourg for ten years and in that period he has noticed an exponential growth in the demand for aesthetic surgery. "Every year there are more requests, and the age of patients coming in has been decreasing, " he and other colleagues point to working from home as one of the causes. Indeed, Dr. Assassi explains it allows a full healing period for the patient. Dr. Christian De Greef – President of the Société Luxembourgeoise de Chirurgie Plastique and a specialist in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery – also points out that we have spent time looking at ourselves in tiny cameras that are not always flattering. Overall, there has been an explosion in demand post-lockdown.
An increase in popularity
The uptick in recent years is equally linked to the development of a wider variety of substances and procedures available to patients. "Previously, we only had surgery, but these days there are many different products which allow for different requests, " explains Dr. Assassi, who would estimate a fifty-fifty split in patients who undergo surgery versus those who go for ‘lighter’ procedures such as injectables. However, there is also an interaction between the two. Indeed, some patients will start with a minor enhancement, then end up having a positive experience and courage for more invasive interventions. Others might notice the effect of a less invasive one only lasts so long. "We have women coming in for surgery and then they want to complete the procedure with hyaluronic acid. Others only come for injections at first, then they think – 'I have already spent a lot of money, isn’t it time to do something a little more aggressive?'" says Dr. De Greef.
As is often the case when such services become increasingly popular, fraudsters and cheaper alternatives start popping up. All doctors specialised in plastic surgery warn against such acts being performed by doctors not specialised in that field, or, way worse, by non-medical professionals. While it isn’t illegal for a doctor such as a dentist or an ORL to perform such acts after getting a certification for fillers for example, "that person will never have the same understanding of anatomy as a surgeon would, " explains Dr. De Greef. He adds that some will seek out cheaper alternatives with beauticians, who somehow manage to get a hold of injections. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to complications such as skin necrosis or disfigurement.
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