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Expert Article: Indian Perception Of Cosmetic Surgery

People in today's world are more health-conscious and are aware of the different medical specialities. Despite the tremendous advancements in the field of plastic surgery, there seems to be limited knowledge among the general public and also among medical professionals regarding the spectrum of plastic surgery. As a medical speciality, plastic surgery is poorly understood by both the general public and some medical professionals as well.

Plastic surgery is the single most diverse speciality in the medical field, dealing with problems from the top of the head to the tip of the toes and with patients ranging in age from newborn to nonagenarian. It is unrestricted by the organ system, disease process and it is rightly called the "Problem-solving speciality ".

Plastic Surgery is derived from the Greek word "Plastikos" meaning to mould/shape and the Roman word "Plasty" meaning to repair, restore and replace. It is broadly divided into two subspecialties- Reconstructive Plastic surgery and Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Our own eminent surgeon Sushruta 600 BC is regarded as the Father of Ancient Plastic Surgery. Harold Gilles is regarded as the Father of Modern Plastic Surgery.

The three main principles of Plastic surgery are- to restore form (anatomy), function (physiology) and aesthetics (cosmesis).

Plastic surgery is well defined as the speciality concerned with restoration, reconstruction, and enhancement of the function and appearance of body structures that are missing, defective, damaged or misshaped. It includes both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery global statistics, nearly 8,95,896 cosmetic procedures were performed in 2018 alone; ranking 5th country in the world in the number of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

Even though plastic and reconstructive surgeons require extensive surgical training and technical skills, they are mostly known for performing cosmetic surgeries. In India, the condition most commonly known to be treated by a plastic surgeon was burns followed by rhinoplasty.

As plastic surgery is a unique speciality that deals with everything from head to toe, it has no organ system of its own. The internet has been the main source of information about plastic surgery. The revolution in various forms of media and social networking channels has made the conditions treated by plastic surgeons more recognizable. Considering new trends in social media and the advertisements that serve to educate students about cosmetic surgery, the use of the internet and social media tools to promote a more accurate and realistic portrayal of medicine should be strongly advocated. Social media are gaining popularity worldwide as being a method used to advertise cosmetic treatments. Social media are integrating into many aspects of daily life in India. It is important to determine the role of these advertisements in influencing the patient's decision to undergo a cosmetic procedure.

Social media platforms are used as methods of communication, education, entertainment, promotion, and lifestyle aspects, such as diet, fashion, and specifically beauty. Beauty used to be advertised almost exclusively through television shows and commercials, but now it has a large presence in advertisements done by social media influencers. A Forbes article shows that a review from a trusted social media figure is the equivalent of a word-of-mouth relay.

Plastic surgery is an extremely competitive speciality. Internet and social media channels are rich sources of information and their use as educational tools should be encouraged. Plastic Surgery has different sub-specialities including hand surgery, faciomaxillary surgery, microsurgery and so on. The general public is not aware of these vast areas encompassed under plastic surgery.

The media plays an important role in educating the public but at the same time, they have portrayed plastic surgeons, that caters only to the rich and that it is a money-spinning enterprise. God has created this wonderful, mother earth and has made it beautiful by making gorgeous landscapes, marvellous mountains, pristine water bodies, breath-taking valleys, rich dense vegetation and species.

On A Final Note...

We Plastic Surgeons are proud and take a little credit in saying this... that "we make people and their lives look and function beautiful". For all the plastic surgery needs and solutions, please get in touch with the nearest Plastic Surgeon.

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