Cosmetic surgery is usually chosen by people who are unhappy with the way a certain part of their body looks. They turn to cosmetic surgery to improve their physical appearance and to boost their self-image.
Reconstructive surgery, which has a longer history than cosmetic surgery, corrects a physical deformity or dysfunction (e.g., a cleft palate) or repairs damage done by an injury or previous surgeries (e.g., mastectomy). Reconstructive surgery is generally covered by health insurance, whereas cosmetic surgery is usually not covered.
Together, cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries fall under the larger umbrella of plastic surgery.
The perception of cosmetic surgery (also known as aesthetic surgery) has definitely taken a positive turn, and it's becoming more acceptable for people to be open about their choice to alter their appearance. Nowadays, you can turn the television on during prime time any night of the week to watch reality shows that follow the average Joe through some process of physical transformation. Some procedures are major, such as liposuction, and some take no longer than 30 minutes at the doctor's office, such as Botox® injections. It is no longer frowned upon to want to adjust and enhance what Mother Nature has given you. Some may even say it is a necessity for success.
There is an increasing trend to give plastic surgery as a gift, for couples to get cosmetic surgery together, and even for people to travel abroad for plastic surgery vacation packages, also referred to as medical tourism. However, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) warns that travelling abroad for plastic surgery can be risky – you may not get a qualified surgeon or an accredited facility, and you may be more at risk of complications.
What people are looking for
Internationally, the most frequently performed cosmetic procedures include breast augmentation, liposuction, eyelid surgery, and rhinoplasty (nose reshaping).
Cosmetic surgery has traditionally been viewed as something mostly women did, but men are now also choosing it to improve self-image – cosmetic surgery for men accounts for almost 13% of procedures. Men aim to maintain and regain their youthful look and to achieve a toned-looking body. To achieve these results, men may choose procedures such as nose surgery, eyelid surgery, breast reduction, and liposuction.
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