Very close to 11.9 million underwent cosmetic, both surgical and non surgical, procedures last year. The figure stands at 1,425,900 for the top 5 surgical procedures. Even the trend lines show that there has been a continuous growth in the plastic surgeries performed in the last 7-8 years. The figure stands at over 8 million for all plastic surgeries put together.
Why Is Plastic Surgery Gaining Popularity
A brief look into what plastic surgery can do, should explain its popularity. Principally, there are two classes of plastic surgeries.
1. Reconstructive surgery, which helps cover-up destructive effects of diseases and accidents in addition to traumas, surgeries etc include tissue transplantation like bone, muscle and skin. Common of these types of surgeries are breast reconstruction, contracture surgery for burn injuries, cleft surgery on lip and palate. To give you an idea, breast reduction and lip reconstruction costs you between $1,700 and $5,500.
2. Cosmetic surgery, whose popularity as depicted by the 11.9 million people, is a major route for personal enhancement. As the name suggests, the procedure aims to enhance the cosmetic appearance. Top cosmetic surgeries in demand are mammaplasty or breast augmentation which is different from mastopexy which is breast lifiting. Other most popular cosmetic surgeries in the list are tummy tuck, buttock augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty (nose job) etc.
Are Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery the Same?
Any doctor is legally allowed to do a cosmetic surgery but not plastic surgery. Critics are up in demands that the two be legally distinguished as cosmetic surgery is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. It is true that those who have not undergone the statutory 5-7 years of residency training or more in surgery are reinventing themselves as ‘cosmetic surgeons’, looking at the lucrative market.
Historical Evolution of Plastic Surgery
American Society of Plastic Surgeons cites evidences to indicate ancient Indian surgeons’ exploitation in the field at around 800 BC. It was around 19th century that it evolved to its present form. First American plastic surgeon was Dr. John Peter Mettauer who performed cleft palate operation in 1827. World War I had catapulted plastic surgery into a new realm.
The word plastic in plastic surgery may confuse a bit while it doesn’t use it at all. It is derived from the Greek word ‘plastikos’ which means molding to give shape. Now you know why the terms plastic and cosmetic surgeries are used interchangeably.