Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is not just for the rich and famous, although it seems more and more if you are rich, and in the spotlight, you’ve “had work done.” The tabloids LOVE it when a celebrity gets work done. “OMG did you notice that Cameron Diaz has less smile lines around her eyes?

But the practice of altering one’s appearance is only one aspect of plastic surgery.

“Plastic” does not refer to the substance used in manufacturing toys. If you have plastic surgery, you will not end up having any foreign substances in your body (with the exception of augmentation). The word refers to its origins. The Greek plastikos means to form or to mold – in other words, to change.

Before we get into the reasons people give, I have categorized the types of plastic surgery into reconstructive and cosmetic; there’s a bit of overlap, as some reconstructive surgeries can be considered cosmetic and vice versa.

Reconstructive or Reconstructive/Cosmetic?

1. Accidents can leave people scarred or deformed. Car wrecks, workplace mishaps, lab experiments gone wrong, falling, animal bites, burns, sports, etc. can wreak havoc on the body and sometimes both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery is necessary.

2. Birth defects and birthmarks such as cleft lips, ear deformities and skeletal deformities can cause severe physical and emotional handicaps. Reconstructive surgery – often a series of surgeries done as the person grows – corrects birth defects and restores normal functioning and appearance.

3. Cancer. Reconstructive breast surgery is common among women who have undergone a mastectomy. Although the procedure is not necessary from a medical standpoint, it helps ease psychological trauma.

Cosmetic or Reconstructive/Cosmetic?

1. Massive weight loss. A person who has lost a huge amount of weight quickly will have a lot of excess skin that refuses to shrink. Removing the excess skin is a way to correct the appearance of the damage caused by obesity.

2. Vanity/Self esteem/Self-image. People love to judge others for getting cosmetic surgery. This is a fine line… there’s really no difference between altering one’s appearance using makeup, fake nails, fake eyelashes and using more permanent methods like plastic surgery. If it makes you happy and it doesn’t hurt anyone, there’s nothing wrong with it. Boob jobs, nose jobs, tummy tucks and butt lifts may seem frivolous to some but can make all the difference in the world to someone who suddenly feels beautiful – or handsome – many men get “work” done too!

Non-surgical cosmetic procedures like laser hair removal, skin sanding/laser peels to remove scarring, lasers to remove birthmarks and using Botox to relax certain facial muscles also fall under “self-improvement through medical procedures”.

Not all women want to go bigger. Some are blessed, or cursed, depending on their point of view, with an overabundance of breast tissue. This can cause pain, deep shoulder ruts from bra straps digging in and inability to participate in sports. In some cases it’s medically warranted, in others it’s vanity. Even men get breast reductions. Moobs are out! Add or subtract, the ultimate objective is to make a person happy and able to function in life the way they want.

Plastic Surgery Controversy

One area of controversy surrounding plastic surgery is an increased use among teens. Some want birthmarks removed; others hate their noses and others are severely scarred from acne. Breast augmentation is usually not allowed until a woman is over 18, and procedures such as nose jobs need to wait until the person has stopped growing (late teens). Doctors screen teens to be sure the teen is mature and responsible enough to undergo the surgery and that they’re doing it for the right reasons (looking like their favorite movie star is not accepted as a reason).

“Why I did it” surveys vary by demographic. Hollywood stars will tell you that it’s an essential career move while anyone who has had a severe accident will tell you that it’s for health reasons. In no particular order, the Top 10 reasons are:

1. Turn back the hands of time

2. Look like a beauty, not a beast

3. Look smokin’ hot (sometimes like a person one admires)

4. Erase mistakes (like scars due to an overzealous sense of immortality)

5. Get rid of too much “me”

6. Make more of “me” in the right places

7. To make my partner happy (WRONG REASON!!!)

8. To fix what’s broken (reconstructive surgery)

9. To make sex better (because I’ll look and feel sexier)

10. To be happy with my looks (comfortable in my own skin)

Whatever your reasons, weigh the options carefully, realize that any surgery presents risks, and that the results may cover up a bigger problem. Definitely do not have plastic surgery to please your partner. You are who you are, not a clay model for someone to play with. Respect yourself and be true to who you are.

If plastic surgery will make you feel like a beauty and not a beast and you feel in your heart that it’s the right course of action, then do your research, find a reputable surgeon and let the transformations begin!


How long after surgery can I fly?

by on February 21, 2012

What complications can flying cause?


How long after surgery can I fly?

It’s natural to want to jump right back into your life’s activities after surgery. And in many cases, you can ease in to normal activities fairly quickly. However, air travel may not be such a great idea for a while.

Air travel is not something that usually comes up in post-operative instructions that patients receive. If you’ve had chest, abdominal, neurological or ear/nose/throat (anything on or near the head) surgery, doctors recommend a minimum of 10-14 days before allowing air travel.

The head and the lungs are very sensitive to pressure changes while healing. Most jet flights are pressurized to about 8,000 feet (2,400 meters) and this is a significant change in atmospheric pressure that can adversely affect a head or abdominal surgery site.

Less complicated or invasive surgeries, for example appendectomies or arthroscopic procedures require less time between surgery and flying.

Don’t Risk Complications

You certainly don’t want air travel to cause complications – surgery and recovery are traumatic enough! But the risk of complications does arise if you fly too soon and don’t take some simple precautions.

One of the biggest risks associated with air travel is deep vein thrombosis or DVT, which are blood clots in the veins of the legs.

Many patients develop these during their hospital stay (from lack of movement and the resulting poor circulation) – and air travel, especially long flights, can make things worse.

The relative immobility of air travel can cause circulation to slow. This can cause small clots to cluster together into larger clots, as well as allowing clots to grow.

Even if the patient doesn’t develop clots in the legs, any abdominal surgery, especially those lasting more than 1-2 hours, can predispose the body to formation of many small clots in deep veins. Many of these dissolve naturally, but since there are no symptoms prior to a clot causing a blockage, you may be unaware that you have a clot.

Thrombosis can be lethal, and strike with little or no warning as clots break loose and travel into the heart, lungs or brain.

Don’t Risk Infection

Another risk is infection. Airplanes are notorious for being “flying petri dishes” as many people fail to take even basic precautions and fly when they are sick.

Your body is already under a tremendous amount of stress due to the surgery, and chances are your immune system is taxed to its limit. Introducing bacteria and viruses during air travel can be extremely dangerous!

Precautions For A Safe Flight

When you finally get clearance to fly, take these precautions to make your flight safe, comfortable and healthy:

  • Make sure you’ve been mobile before the flight. Exercise helps dissolve small clots and improves circulation so that new clots don’t form.
  • Take aspirin or a stronger anticoagulant if there is ANY suspicion that clots may be present.
  • Stay hydrated but avoid caffeine and alcohol; hydration helps prevent thrombosis. Also stay away from sugary drinks, as sugar is known to interfere with the immune system.
  • If possible, walk the aisles or move to the lavatory area where you can stand and stretch your legs.
  • Wear compression stockings. These help promote circulation in the legs and also help prevent thrombosis.
  • If possible, get a bulkhead seat where there is more leg room – but avoid the exit rows, because if you sit there, you are required to assist the crew in case of an emergency.
  • Make sure any medications you need to take inflight are easily accessible so you don’t strain yourself or pull out stitches trying to pretzel yourself under the seat to reach your pills!
  • Sit near or over the wing of the airplane. Airplanes act like giant seesaws, and the ride is the smoothest in the middle. This is especially nice when you have tender body parts that don’t feel good being jostled!
  • Take an early morning flight. Morning air is generally significantly calmer than afternoon air – meaning less turbulence and less bouncing about.
  • Bring sanitizing wipes and wipe down your arm rest, seat belt buckle and tray table. Although the lavatory is cleaned after every flight, the passenger areas are NOT wiped down, and bacteria can live for several hours.


What is Virtual Surgery and How Does This Benefit Patients?

February 12, 2012
Virtual Surgery

If you’re preparing for surgery of any kind, or if a loved one will be operated on, chances are good you’re nervous – maybe even terrified. And the anxiety keeps building from the time you schedule the surgery until the moment the anesthetic starts to take effect. The anxiety stems from uncertainty. Things could go […]

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Can Abdominal Surgery Cause Diverticulosis

May 16, 2010

What is diverticulosis? Diverticulosis is the condition of the bowel or sometimes referred to as the colon which presents as pockets in the bowel which has been caused by weakness of the muscle layers in the colon wall.  These pockets are more common in the sigmoid colon, which is a common place for increased pressure. […]

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Surgery Anxiety – How to cope

May 13, 2010

If you’ve been told that you have to have surgery … whether it is minor or major … you will have had that rush of anxiety.

I don’t know about you, but my biggest fear was that I wouldn’t wake up from anaesthetic.

It doesn’t matter how many surgeries you have … there is still a level of anxiety that is associated with it.

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Life After Hysterectomy

January 22, 2010

My mother had a hysterectomy when she was around 45 – and she said to me, “I don’t understand why women feel as if they are no longer a woman, and believe their husband/lover won’t want anything to do with them anymore?” She also said it was the best thing she had done! I have […]

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After Gallbladder Surgery – What can I eat?

January 18, 2010

Yes, you can eat bacon after gallbladder surgery … find out how here …

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Recovery After a Hysterectomy

July 3, 2009

Recovery after a hysterectomy – its true – you can reduce your recovery time from 6-8 weeks to 3-4 weeks.

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Gallbladder – Fair, Fat & Forty

June 28, 2009

You’re not fair, fat and forty – what makes you think you’ve got gallstones?

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Butterfly Healing Magic

June 19, 2009

This photo was taken on Great Keppel Island which is located east of Rockhampton, on the central coast of Queensland. We went for a week’s holiday to Great Keppel Island to recuperate after surgery. During our walks around this beautiful island, we were overwhelmed with the vision of millions of Blue Wanderer butterflies flying in […]

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