Express News Service
KOCHI: At the outset, let us first debunk two of the most common myths in this field. Firstly, plastic surgery has nothing to do with the material plastic:
It is derived from the Greek word Plastikos which means to mould or to form. Secondly, this vast field is not just about glamour and fashion: In fact, it isn’t only for the rich at all. Plastic surgery is one of the most diverse specialities in the field of surgery dealing with burns, hand surgeries, brachial plexus or nerve surgeries, reconstruction after cancer or trauma, correction in children born with congenital deformities, facial fractures, transgender surgeries and vascular anomalies (deformed blood vessels)
Getting back to the topic at hand, every woman going through pregnancy experiences innumerable physical changes during the journey. Nature is so accommodating that the abdomen stretches, leading to irreversible tears in the deeper layers of the skin which manifest in the form of stretch marks and lax skin. Another effect is on the breasts. Pregnancy results in initial engorgement of the breasts and later on, deflation once the period of lactation ends. Arms, thighs, flanks and buttocks change similarly.
Most women do not foresee these natural, sometimes unpredictable changes. Exercise is a great way to strengthen the muscles and get back into shape after pregnancy but some of these changes are irreversible.
Most patients come to us complaining about the inability to wear the clothes that they used to wear. Having worked in various parts of India, I have noticed that the concern for the restoration of a youthful figure isn’t just limited to the cosmopolitan cities like Mumbai and Delhi where mothers want to go back to wearing dresses, but even in Kerala where sometimes women are embarrassed to drape a saree or salwar. This is where plastic surgery plays a major role.
In a conservative society, many women are slightly reluctant to undergo plastic surgery due to the stigma which surrounds it. Yet, I have also always noticed how these surgeries are extremely confidence-boosting and life-changing. So back to the next popular question, are these procedures safe? They absolutely are if conducted by a certified plastic surgeon in a well-equipped hospital. Our society has always worshipped motherhood and a woman’s ability to bear children, isn’t it time we care for the repercussions they have to experience as well?
(The author is a consultant cosmetic and plastic surgeon at Sunrise Hospital, Kochi)