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Plastic surgery, and cosmetic surgery, while being two closely related medical specialties, having similar roots, and being practiced by mostly the same professionals, have become increasingly different in their scope and purpose over the past few years.
To answer the question — no, plastic surgery isn’t always for cosmetic purposes, but the $64 billion global market for cosmetic procedures far outpaces the surgical subspecialty where it traces its roots. As a result, many trained plastic surgeons choose to practice in cosmetics owing to the demand, and higher earning potential.
That being said, however, cosmetic procedures have started crossing the threshold, from being a mere materialist vanity to a revitalizing coming-of-age procedure that helps individuals become more comfortable, and confident in their looks.
People are increasingly accepting the fact that looks do matter, and the fact that a simple procedure can help them stand out in the job market, increase their self-worth, and even improve prospects in the dating scene is being considered a blessing of the current day and age. After all, why should a lottery of birth determine how you are treated, and how you lead the rest of your life?
How To Find The Right Plastic Surgeon?
Despite decades of advancements, plastic surgery as a field still remains at nascent stages, and for every duck to swan transformation you hear on Youtube, Instagram, and in the media, there are a few botched jobs, disappointments, and revised surgeries.
This makes it absolutely critical to find the right plastic surgeon, someone who has years of experience, endorsements from patients, and a track record for achieving the desired results.
The lax regulations and the lucrative market for such procedures have resulted in a steady inflow of inexperienced practitioners relying more on marketing, than on garnering a stellar reputation for their skills.
For instance, Dr. Eric Halvorson of plastic surgery Asheville NC spent over a decade working on comprehensive cancer reconstructions, after nearly a decade of surgical residency, before setting up his practice. While all surgeons do undergo extensive training, their post-residency experience gets cut short with the desire to start earning the big bucks.
Many patients interested in cosmetic surgery often make the mistake of going for the most affordable, or someone close to their location. Given the IPs and closely guarded secrets that dominate this sector, you are better off going to specialized experts, with their own unique procedures.
Cosmetic surgery has become even more specialized in recent years, with practitioners going deeper, and developing expertise in just a handful of procedures, which remains essential for good quality results. This means, the doctor you visit for a facelift, may not be suitable for a rhinoplasty, or breast augmentation.
What Lies Ahead For This Industry?
With cosmetic surgery no longer being the purview of celebrities or the super-rich, many young professionals, and even school leavers have started opting to go under the knife, for what has increasingly become a rite of passage, towards a charming, and more successful adulthood.
The industry has undergone monumental changes over the past decade alone, and will likely be unrecognizable towards the end of this decade. This includes newer, and innovative technologies, and more daring surgical procedures aimed at fundamentally overhauling the looks of a person, along with better pricing, that remains within the reach of the middle-class, and young Gen Z professionals.
Augmented reality (AR), AI-enabled predictive software, cool sculpting, radiofrequency skin rejuvenation, and hybrid breast augmentation are a few of the many innovations redefining this sector. Additionally, trends such as ethnic looks, the body positivity movement, and social media continue to influence the direction of this budding sector.
Cosmetic surgery may have strayed from its honorable roots in reconstructive, and corrective plastic surgery, but where it’s headed is no less honorable.
After all, imagine a world where we will no longer be judged by the features we were born with, and you can look good, and feel good with a simple procedure. Such is the world envisioned by the innovators, and visionaries in this space.