Cosmetic Surgery: Risks and Side Effects
Socially adapted: cosmetic surgery is increasing. Image: © V&P Photo Studio
Cosmetic surgery is ancient. However, over the past two decades, they have been booming to an unprecedented level – with critical side effects. The first operations for aesthetic reasons we know from the ancient Egyptians about 3000 years ago. They were used to counteract facial deformities, but the results were disastrous. The Hindu doctor Sushruta described 600 v.u.Z. to reconstruct in detail the efforts of the physicians, noses and earlobes, which had been cut off as a punishment in the then Hindu justice.
Plastic surgery developed in Roman times, but suffered a decline in the Middle Ages. A rebirth occurred in the Renaissance with texts in Turkish and Italian, which show a great deal of knowledge about the reconstruction of noses and the breast formation in men.
Socially adapted: cosmetic surgery is increasing. Image: © V&P Photo Studio
Plastic surgery appears at the end of the 18th century Having reached Europe, at that time, it was progressing slowly but steadily, and the techniques were refining as well as the medical devices. Cosmetic surgery, however, remained a secondary task of plastic surgery, and the results were aesthetically catastrophic for many years.
Cosmetic surgery in the modern age
Cosmetic surgery as an independent discipline did not emerge until modern anesthesia in the mid-19th century. During this time, however, she was greatly expanding, and the surgeries became more and more secure because the surgeons could concentrate on their work without paying attention to the fact that the patient was not in pain.
Face lifting, eyelid and ear surgery developed around 1900. The methods were slow to progress as the doctors secretly performed them, and this type of surgery was not accepted by the scientific community or the public.
Before World War I, cosmetic surgery was considered unethical and immoral. Nonetheless, some plastic surgeons have been practicing the hidden, and most of them have denied being involved in such operations.
Many “cosmetic surgeons” of that time did not have any medical education, simply did what they thought was right, and often experimented with patients to try out new procedures. Yet, that time has created the foundations for what we call today cosmetic surgery.
In World War I, surgeons massively tried to make faces shredded by grenades and bullets look reasonably human again, but the results were often even more terrifying than the disfigurement caused by the injuries. War wounded were, ethically in the worst way, to “guinea pigs”.
Some of the patients were unable to articulate themselves, doctors thought they were intellectually and emotionally dead, and cut them like artists on soapstone sculptures. Abrupt movements of her limbs were considered unconscious convulsions of the nerves as in a pig after the bolt shot, the body once again spreads signals.
By coincidence, a presenter realized that these supposed nerve pulls were Morse’s signals. The unfortunate man had been a radio operator before: he could no longer speak, but implored the surgeons, who cut his body without stunning him, to leave him alone – with his fingers.
In such a terrible way the doctors learned a lot, especially the Second World War then brought huge progress in plastic surgery. Surgery as such has already expanded immensely through the lessons that physicians have gained in treating war injuries, but also through the discovery of penicillin and new anesthetics.
Surgeons brought their experience in general surgery, which they had made during the war, into cosmetic surgery, but these developments remained secret for the time being because the press and the public were hostile to this intervention.
In the 1950s, cosmetic surgery was the privilege of the rich and famous, who used the aesthetic benefits of surgery but wanted to keep their secret. It did not remain hidden, however, and where Hollywood stars were the model, the public soon followed.
In the 1960s, the media became aware of technical innovations in cosmetic surgery, and public opinion toppled. A major influence on the changed sentiment was the introduction of the silicone breast implant in 1962, which brought the dream of an enlarged bosom within reach.
Another important development that demonstrated the aesthetic potential of the field was the discovery that the endoscope (a small telescope with an attached camera) could be used for operations that left only small scars on the surface of the skin.
Perhaps the greatest impulse for public perception came with the possibilities that emerged in the 1980s from the injection of the lips, which has become the most popular procedure for cosmetic procedures to date.
The history of such cosmetic injections began with the manipulation of botulinum toxin after its discovery in 1895. The next key development was the introduction of injectable collagen, followed by various other fillers. Most recently, it has been possible to manipulate lasers and heat energy, making cosmetic methods more diverse today than ever before.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
The acceptance of cosmetic surgery is subject to social and psychological factors: self-assessment, body image and conformity work effectively to accept cosmetic surgery.
Individuals sometimes think that they can achieve the ideal of themselves through cosmetic procedures, though this is never necessary. Therefore, a psychiatric examination is recommended before anyone undergoes cosmetic surgery.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) in the US is called a disorder of “imagined ugliness”. Those affected are obsessed with looking bad in their physical appearance, and this disorder can not be explained by other mental illnesses. BDD is a serious disorder characterized by the notion of an imaginary defect in appearance or an excessive fixation on a slight physical deviation from the “norm”.
The majority of sufferers believe they are suffering from a deformity that could be corrected by a cosmetic treatment and are focusing on these “defects” rather than seeking psychiatric help.
From time to time, almost every person is dissatisfied with his appearance, but these thoughts come and go and are forgotten. For someone with BDD, however, this thought of deformity causes a lot of stress and does not go away.
Patients who suffer from BDD also delve into obsessive behaviors or mental acts, they disguise themselves, they constantly compare themselves to others, which is always negative for them, they constantly make sure that they look “good” and if so Annoyed to say so, the people believe they are liars – the surgery seems to promise salvation. Those affected often have an underdeveloped inner view and tend to commit acts of violence against their surgeon.
Because of their behavior, BDD patients often have broken relationships, living alone and avoiding social situations in which their perceived defect could be detected. BDD is often associated with social phobias and fears of being judged negatively by others.
The BDD syndrome is therefore a mental disorder and not a physical abnormality. However, some people are plagued by real malformations, and even serious doctors consider cosmetic surgery to be useful in relieving them of the associated suffering.
Large warts on the face, drooping lips and drooping eyelids, extremely protruding ears, extremely protruding horse teeth, but also obliquely overgrown noses after a nasal fracture, crooked pelvis, a shortened leg, deformed skull bones, scars as a result of injuries, or a staphylococcal disease are but a few Abnormalities that can deprive individuals of social life – just as extreme overweight.
Cross-cultural stereotypes such as those of the withered crooked nose, drooping lips, and warts on the face indicate that certain abnormalities are generally considered ugly.
Suffering is also subjective here, but unlike BDD it has an objective reason. However, there are people who live with such abnormalities and refuse to surgically lift them. Some of them have such a strong sense of self-confidence that they do not care if they meet the standards of beauty, others live in a milieu culture where they do not even think of undergoing surgery for aesthetic reasons.
In her parable of Frankenstein’s creature, Mary Shelley has shown the fate of an individual living in a disfigured body: Doctor Frankenstein is so obsessed with creating artificial life that at some point he no longer cares whether the body parts are as in the beginning thought, well formed, and he sews a creature from different body parts together.
Not only does the creature have no family, its appearance also makes people flee. A blind old man becomes the first and only friend the artificial man finds. Expelled from all, he flees into the Arctic and directs the hatred of the marginalized against Frankenstein, his creator.
Until a few decades ago, “normal citizens” usually put themselves under the knife only because of particular abnormalities, which can also be easily resolved, including in particular protruding ears and particularly large curved noses.
These are not monstrous outbreaks, as in the horror film, but understandably those involved no longer had the desire to wear nicknames like “Dwarf Nose” or “Prince’s Ears” throughout their lives.
On the other hand, regular surgery in order to “optimize” the body is a phenomenon of the past two decades in Germany.
Ethnic cosmetic surgery
Since the rise of cosmetic surgery at the turn of the twentieth century, individuals have used cosmetic surgery not only as a way to change their appearance, but also to minimize physical abnormalities that, they believe, mark them as “different,” which means different than the dominant or desired ethnic phenotype.
Ethnic plastic surgery intends to make the appearance of an individual look more or less like another ethnicity. Such ethnicizing cosmetic operations are not new: some Jews in Germany changed their appearance when the Nazis came to power, as did some Irish in America in the 19th century, in order not to attract attention in societies that mistakenly took the shape of their ears and noses Looked at indicators of inferiority.
In Central Europe in the 19th century, the “Other” was the Jew. Stereotypical images circulated that represented the Jewish body as different, deformed, and pathological. Jews in these devaluations had flat feet (which rendered them incapable of military service), disgusting skin diseases (“Jews scratching”), protruding ears with fleshy earlobes (“Moritz ears”), characteristic noses (“Jew’s nose”), and, of course, deformed genitals.
These racist traits were associated with social stigmata of weakness, disease, and degeneration, and constructed the outward appearance as an obstacle to assimilating Jews into “Aryan society.”.
The anti-Semites used established stereotypes of anti-Semitism, the problem of the Jews haters was that these “characteristics” were rarely seen: One of the most respected doctors in Germany, Rudolph Virchow, declared as early as 1879, after extensive comparisons of skull shape, eye and hair color, that there are no races in the scientific sense.
But the anti-Semites needed their physiognomic stereotypes, for in the nineteenth century the German Jews emancipated themselves; they were able to work in more and more occupations, and the vast majority wanted to assimilate themselves fully into society: they wanted to be Jewish Germans like Catholic or Protestant Germans, and the anti-Semites invented physical marks to separate the Jews again.
The plastic surgeon Jacques Josef, himself an assimilated German Jew, developed surgical methods that allowed Jewish patients to become “ethnically invisible”.
In the US, cosmetic surgery became popular in a major wave of migration around 1900. The first nose operation was John Roe’s “pug nose,” a nose form that was subordinated to Irish immigrants and associated with allegedly negative character traits, such as dog-like obsequiousness Term “pug”).
European immigrants to the US, Jews, Italians, and Eastern Europeans have undergone nose surgery as have white Americans who feared to look “Jewish.”.
After World War II, cosmetic operations became popular in Korea, China, Japan, and among Americans of Asian descent; they operated on the eyelid crease to get “western eyes”. African Americans had their noses and lips operated on and their skin bleached.
Plastic surgery is more common today than ever before. Twice as many members of ethnic minorities as ten years ago change their appearance with the scalpel. From 2005 to 2013, Asian-American Asian surgery increased 126%, African Americans 56%, and Hispanics 84%.
Ethnic cosmetic medicine is usually based on the typically attributed and caricatured face shapes, in the case of Jews these are the noses, in Asians’ eyes and noses, and in African Americans noses and lips. Nevertheless, no body part is sure to be branded racist.
Patients with BDD are well advised to consult a psychiatrist instead of cosmetic surgery. However, when people are forced to undergo cosmetic surgery because they are victims of racist projections, society is challenged to counteract racism.
Cosmetic surgery is increasing globally, but what is considered a blemish is very different in each country.
Iran is the land of beauty surgery, and Iranians are mainly operated on by their noses. The classic “Persernase” already show statues from the time of Dareios II – an aquiline nose with impressive nostrils, often associated with strong cheekbones. Europeans often see these noses not only as “typically Iranian”, but also as distinctive as they are beautiful, and particularly suitable for the “oriental facial features”, dark hair and dark eyes.
In Iran, however, small and straight noses are the ideal. In no other country in the world do you see so many women with a nose bandage after a fresh operation as in Tehran or Isfahan. Many of those who have been treated also bleach their skin and dye their hair blond to look “western”.
Other operations are popular. For example, older wives often have their labia muscles tightened, and in both sexes, dental aesthetic corrections are much more of a social standard than in the West.
Breast surgery is not the top priority in Iran, unlike in the US or Brazil, for example, and the focus on the face is on the political system. The face is the only part of the body that women can openly show. Anyone who, like women in Germany, attracts attention with a daring décolletage or tight hotpants, ends up in Tehran at least in prison.
Individual strands of hair, bright lipsticks and mascara emphasize the face as well as the operated nose.
Officially, prostitutes do not exist under the rule of the Islamist mullahs, in reality they exist naturally, and they manipulate their bodies even more than pornstars in Europe. Breasts, buttocks, hips, armpits, eyelids, lips – the ideal of the perfect body escapes nothing.
Especially breast augmentations are often performed. Picture: Bilderzwerg – Fotolia
On the eastern Mediterranean, on the other hand, fat is in the first place, especially at the hips and buttocks. The female curves, which come to the belly dance to advantage, especially young Lebanessinnen perceive as stressful.
In the war-torn country, this joy of slender body shows a break with Arab-Islamic traditions in which full-bodied women represented the patriarchal ideal of good cook and mother. The slim yet feminine body stands for the freedom to enjoy one’s life and to escape the traditional role.
In Western countries, pubic hair shaving has been almost standard among young women for only a few years. Why this is so, the sexologists argue: Critical voices in the Freudian sense suspect a partial castration (as well as the circumcision in men), to present itself as an infantile being without the secondary sexual feature pubic hair, which submits servile to any rule.
Other researchers see the genitals more and more out of the level of the hidden walk in the outer presentation, where the hair now just as little proliferate as the beard in men. This is supported by the fact that Western porn stars almost always shave their pubic hair, and often the male performers.
Also, the spillover of American ideas of hygiene, in which female pubic hair is considered “dirty”, probably influenced the trend among young women, the body hair completely dispose of.
Anyway, in Korea it looks the other way around. Luscious pubic hairs are seen here as a sign of fertility, and more and more patients have head hair transplanted into the genital area.
Capitalism is booming in China, creating as much a middle class as the super-rich. Under Mao, cosmetic surgery would at best have fallen under “bourgeois decadence.” Today, instead of the fascist discipline of the “blue ants,” self-optimization prevails in the corporate competition; the body becomes a profitable product.
Long legs are seen as the female ideal of beauty among the usually short-legged Chinese, and many resort to a brute-force procedure to increase their chances in the work and marriage market: surgeons saw their lower legs and then drag them out.
The record holder in cosmetic surgery is Brazil with a whopping 1.49 million interventions in 2013. In the first place is the suction of fat, then the enlargement of the breasts with silicone and the tightening of the breasts, but also hair transplants are very popular.
The US lead hung with the injections: every fifth injection of botulinum toxin takes place between Alaska and Mexico.
The perfect body?
Studies in the US show that the trigger for surgery is usually the media-mediated beauty ideal, and as the celebrities are malnourished, healthy women can approach this “ideal” only through manipulation.
Not only cosmetic surgery, but also eating disorders such as anorexia and bulemia are spreading in the industrialized countries.
Michaela Schaffrath, aka Gina Wilde, took porn out of the dirty corner and became a star and an actress in “normal” media as well. She wrote about her transformation from the “ugly duckling”, with which no boy wanted to dance in the dance school, to Sexidol and frankly told where surgeons had helped.
Female porn actresses are almost always self-operated, except in so-called amateur productions, which attach importance to everyday life. A wasp waist with ball-shaped and firm giant breasts are by nature extremely rare for women.
Error of cosmetic surgery
Cosmetic surgery is booming in recent years. For a high percentage of people, they are a selectable way to look and feel better. Others are not so happy and the operations are followed by disfiguring accidents or illnesses. Whatever the reason for this, many procedures are routine today – but in the end surgery is still surgery and therefore carries a risk.
People trust plastic and cosmetic surgeons to help them look better, and the value of a positive self-image should not be underestimated. However, if a mistake occurs during a cosmetic procedure, the result may be the exact opposite of the desire: deforming injuries or even death. In the US, the term “plastic surgery zombies” or “Frankenstein’s monster” is circulating for those affected by such accidents..
Celebrities and strangers resort to plastic surgery, for aesthetic reasons, and because they feel unattractive. Today, there are surgical changes for virtually every part of the body, including pontine implants, breast implants, eyelid surgery, buttocks, and non-surgical procedures such as forehead, cheek, chin, and lip injections, chemical facial scrubs, and body reshaping.
Although cosmetic surgery is considered the easiest way to shape the look, there are very real risks and limitations of this surgery. The dark side are the failed operations, either out of incompetence or lack of experience. This side of plastic surgery, about which the society is reluctant to speak, causes, in addition to the “monster appearance” often diverse wounds and foci of infection.
Cosmetic surgery became the best friend of the celebrities. Since celebrities are constantly in the public eye, the media are taking a closer look at their looks. In an attempt to preserve a youthful appearance, the band of stars pilgrimage to the clinics.
It’s an open secret that only originals like Robert de Niro in Hollywood can afford to renounce beauty ops. Even in the days come actors who play old people, it should look “fresh”: age spots, bags and orange peel skin disrupt the career, even if the computer retouched today. But too much surgery or the wrong methods can also prevent the entry on the “Walk of Fame”.
Especially the failed operations of the stars increase the requirements of the Yellow Press. The supermodel Janice Dickinson, for example, hit the headlines because she made a big mistake by putting herself under the knife too often. The doctors did not make a mistake, but after Dickinson had, among other things, the face lift, manipulate the breasts and spray the lips, she looked like a doll.
Especially in the US, the problem is often less of a real accident, in which, for example, an implant slips, or inflates when injecting the upper lip like an overbite, the implanted jawbone obliquely, etc., but a series of implants, the individual appear artificial.
To perfect hemispherical bosom at some point no longer natural, sprayed lips look like plastic, Botox in the forehead and cheeks tightens the skin, but “smooths” but also the individual facial features.
Donatella Versace is known as a successful fashion designer and at the same time for her extreme plastic surgery that changed her face significantly. With cosmetic surgery, she enlarged her lips to twice the normal size, and today her oversized lips are the first thing people notice about her.
In such extreme cosmetic surgery, the limit to body modifications, that is, changes in the body to become another person, can barely be drawn; the most famous example is Michael Jackson, who reversed his appearance from that of a “typical” African-American with dark skin and broad nose to nasal surgery, where he kept his dark skin to a white man with a small snub nose and almost feminine features.
Some plastic surgery can even cause death. The human body is very susceptible to infection in surgery – every operation is an open wound, and the more cosmetic operations a person undergoes, the more of those wounds he has, and the greater the danger of germs becoming infected.
Miss Argentina Solange Magnano was an Argentine model and a beauty queen who won the Miss Argentina crown in 1994 and later founded her own modeling agency. She died of complications of a cosmetic surgery on her butt.
Cosmetic surgery is part of humanity’s cultural heritage. As with jewelery, clothing or make-up, people have always used their technical skills to present their bodies in a way that suits them or a set standard. However, these norms are very different in the respective cultures.
Photoshop and cosmetic surgery today make it possible for the models present in the media to make real people look imperfect, and young women in particular need strong self-confidence in order to avoid being misunderstood.
In any case, when mental instability triggers the desire for a cosmetic operation, a social environment is more important than the surgeon scalpel, an environment that integrates those involved and shows them that real friends recognize them even if they do not have the body of Michaela Schaffrath.
In general, however, it is the free decision of every adult person to decide on his own body. However, today this not only means the freedom to perform cosmetic surgery, but also the freedom of cosmetic surgery.
When a molar on the temple or a tooth gap becomes a career obstacle, and spraying the forehead with Botox at 45+, we are heading for a new totalitarianism that tramples on the individual value of each unique human being. (Somayeh Khaleseh Ranjbar)
Jan Stanek with Hayley Treacy, 2007, 10 Years Younger.
This article contains only general information and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.
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