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Cosmetic Surgery
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plastic surgery

Plastic surgery dates back ancient India where the first recorded rhinoplasty ("nose job") in 600 BC was performed on patients disfigured by war injuries.

Although crude by today's standards, the technique involved using a skin flap from the cheek or forehead. The ancient Greeks and Romans were also known to perform ancient plastic surgery techniques such as repairing torn ears that were lost in the arena or in battle.

Centuries would pass before improvements were developed, however, aided only by more effective anesthesia methods that finally tipped the 'pain vs gain' equation that made a plastic surgery an acceptable option.

By the 20th century, techniques were greatly advanced once again by war -- as doctors began to address an astounding number of disfiguring injuries suffered by soldiers during World War I, and again in World War II.

My mid-century, with the rise of antibiotics to help fight off infections often seen following procedures, plastic surgery blossomed into what is today a multi-billion dollar business worldwide.

While plastic surgery techniques continue to aid in correcting deformities (such as cleft palates and other facial disfigurements), elective cosmetic surgery is most in demand today in what amounts to a worldwide multi-billion dollar market.

Joan Rivers, post cosmetic surgery
The late comedian Joan Rivers became
a classic example of the 'cat eyes-
big lips' look of modern
cosmetic surgery.

Cosmetic surgery pros and cons

And, as it becomes more affordable, cosmetic surgery is not just for the rich anymore.

In a socially accepted practice first pioneered by the social and Hollywood elite, cosmetic procedures among the general populace has risen more than 50% in the last decade.

Why? Proponents of cosmetic surgery argue that its benefits to enhanced self-esteem and better emotional health are often worth the price. They also add that, in a youth-obsessed culture, employment opportunities are also increased by presenting a vibrant, youthful appearance.

But fooling Mother Nature may have its drawbacks. For example, leaking silicone breast implants, Botox for treating wrinkles and other questionable substances continue to raise concerns over their long-term health effects.

Meanwhile, even fashion and image consultants argue that it doesn't take much to reveal more than a little touch-up to their eyes and lips. The often alarming result? An industry that reveals a ham-handed approach to making everyone -- Hollywood stars included -- look exactly and conformingly the same.

Cosmetic surgery on the rise

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports nearly 12 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States in 2010, with more than half being typical surgeries such as breast augmentation, liposuction, and eyelid surgery.

Nonsurgical procedures such as hair removal and Botox injections were also high on the list.
And, it's not just the United States where demand has increased.

In the UK, Germany, France and other European countries, cosmetic procedures amount to $2.2 billion dollar business. While the practice is becoming more common in Korea and Japan, it is India -- the birthplace of plastic surgery techniques -- that leads the way in sheer numbers for demand in cosmetic procedures, second only to mainland China.

It is not too far a stretch, therefore, to make the assumption (as many social pundits already have), that most everyone on the planet will have one or more cosmetic procedures performed in their lifetimes -- and in the not too distant future.

Just up ahead, click for more information on some of the most popular cosmetic procedures being performed today, along with features stories and top related resources around the Web for more information:

Breast Enhancement Eyelid Surgery Reconstruction
Buttock Implants Facelifts Rhinoplasty
Chemical Peels Lip Augmentation Tattoo Removal
Cosmetic Dentistry Liposuction Tummy Tucks



Who Gets Plastic Surgery?

Favorite Faces in Plastic Surgery
Plastic surgery is more than an exercise of vanity by the rich and famous. Hollywood stars may be the most familiar face lifts, but the truth is that women and men from all walks of life and all income groups turn to cosmetic surgeons to fix problems and make people feel better about themselves...

Top Celebrity Faces Through the Decades

Favorite Faces in Plastic Surgery
Who do women - and men - want to look like most? In the 1960's it was Elizabeth Taylor's face that most women wanted, and ten years later came the Farrah Fawcett Look. Find out who else scored high as a favorite male or female face - decade by decade - in highlights of celebrity beauty findings...


More about plastic surgery around the Web:

MedlinePlus : Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery - One-stop browsing for related news, updates and a directory of links to treatment options, procedures, photos and diagrams, rehabilitation and recovery, teens and plastic surgery, stats and research, related glossaries and dictionaries.

Cosmetic - Searchable database of cosmetic surgeons in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Singapore, information on buttock implants, BOTOX, facelifts, rhinoplasty and more, with related photos, first-person stories, news and features.

iEnhance - U.S. and international locate-a-doctor search, facts and info on plastic surgery, dermatology, cosmetic dentistry and laser vision correction, before and after photos, related story articles, video presentations, a related plastic surgery forum.


This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.

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