Dr. Varsha Bundela on Craze of ‘Desirable Looks’ through Cosmetic Surgery
- JWB Post
- June 10, 2015
Cosmetic surgery is a growing practice these days. There is always a general debate about the appropriateness of cosmetic surgery and the risks involved. JWB chats about this choice women make with Jaipur based Dr. Varsha Bundele, Cosmetic Surgeon from Vivan Hospital.
JWB: For what kind of surgeries patients mostly approach you?
Dr. Varsha: Patients usually come in for correction of the facial profile, especially rhinoplasty (surgery of nose). Quite a few of them also come for removals of the localized fat collection (liposuction). Some women opt for breast augmentation and reduction also.
JWB: Would you say that this tendency of opting for cosmetic surgery is more prevalent in females as compared to males?
Dr. Varsha: Not really. Male patients are equally conscious of their facial profiles, and the percentage of males and females opting for surgeries like rhinoplasty is almost equal. A number of male patients goes for Gynecomezia Surgery, which essentially involves reduction of enlarged and protruding male breasts which tend to give men a feminine look.
JWB: Have there been instances when you refused to perform surgery?
Dr. Varsha: Yes. Breast surgery is not recommended unless there is some serious reason like a burn scar on the breast that can hamper its proper development. To perform surgeries like rhinoplasty and genioplasty (surgery of chin), a patient has to be at least sixteen to seventeen years old, so that the development of the face can be complete.
JWB: What percentage of plastic surgery cases do teenagers account for?
Dr. Varsha: Teenagers account for 10-20% of total plastic surgery cases. However, if looked at aesthetic surgery specifically, the number would approximate to about 8-10%.
JWB: You have been in this profession for past several years. Has there been any significant difference in the quantity and form of patients?
Dr. Varsha: With increasing incomes and the enormous exposure provided by media, there has definitely been an increase in the demand. However, it depends on us to counsel them on pre- and post-operative complications and explain the emotional as well as the physical implications that comes with plastic surgery.
JWB: What are the possible reasons for such a trend among the youth?
Dr. Varsha: The huge importance that is given to physical appearance these days is unbelievable. Plastic surgery is becoming more acceptable as they are becoming sensitive about their appearance and self-image in public.
JWB: Do people really understand the permanence of procedures?
Dr. Varsha: Plus there are risks and stress related to realistic expectations. It all has to be discussed carefully. Our foremost job is to detect unrealistic expectations.
JWB: Are there guidelines available to help plastic surgeons with the psychological assessment of patients?
Dr. Varsha: When you evaluate a patient, it is not just the physical examination; it is also an assessment of patients’ emotional and mental health and stability. The consultation is a 2-way street: The patient assesses the surgeon to determine whether the surgeon is competent, caring, and appropriate for them, and the surgeon assesses the patient for appropriateness for the surgery.
JWB: Should the number or type of cosmetic procedures that are available for teens be limited?
Dr. Varsha: Some types of procedures simply are not appropriate. For instance, we generally do not perform breast implants until at least 18 years of age, and silicone implants cannot be done until patients reach 22. It is unusual to perform breast reduction before 15. An exception may be made for young patients with dramatically uneven breast development.
There are several procedures that are increasingly performed on teens. For example, liposuction in teenagers is discouraged, but some patients have specific medical conditions that make it appropriate. Obviously, it should not be done until nonsurgical approaches have been tried.
You should never do surgery – at any age or in any patient – unless the benefits outweigh the risks, and the improvement that is possible is greater than the costs and risks of surgery.
JWB: Should there be legal limits?
Dr. Varsha: There is no legal prohibitions because there are often special medical circumstances.
JWB: Do patients ever have regrets about their cosmetic surgery later?
Dr. Varsha: There are always a small percentage of patients, at any age, who have some regrets after the surgery is done. That is why doctors need to try to evaluate “How are you going to feel about this in 2 or 3 years?” and not just “What do you want today?”
Photography by: Nupur Agarwal