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Surgery gone wild

Nearly 11.5 million cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures were performed in the United States in 2005. Because it has become more affordable over the years, the candidates have broadened from strictly the rich and famous to the average person. Cosmetic surgery itself has expanded beyond simple reconstruction into surgery to enhance and expand natural features.

The most frequently performed procedure in 2005 was Botox injections, and the most popular surgical procedure was liposuction. Americans had more than 3 million Botox procedures and almost a half million liposuction procedures in 2005. The cost of Botox runs anywhere from $200 and $400 per area. Liposuction in one area costs $2,500 to $4,500.

Botox is a trade name for Botulism toxin A. Botulism is a form of food poisoning acquired by eating a food containing a neurotoxin that is produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum. The amount of botulism used in Botox, however, is so small that the risk of infection is slim to none.

Another trend in plastic surgery is the increase in younger patients. Today, 40 percent of American teens say they want plastic surgery. Teens had 174,851 procedures in 2005. The most common non-surgical procedure among teens was laser hair removal.

Nose reshaping is the most requested surgical procedure by teens. It can be performed when the nose has completed 90 percent of its growth, which can occur as early as age 13 or 14 in girls and 15 or 16 in boys.

One of the newest trends in plastic surgery is Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation. LVR is the tightening vaginal muscles or changing the appearance of the vagina. In 2005, 793 procedures were done. Depending on one’s choice of doctor, the procedure can cost between $4,500 and $9,000.

Eyelash transplant surgery is also becoming the new must-have procedure for women and in some cases for men. The surgeon uses a needle to implant 50 to 60 hairs into the patient’s eyelids. Each hair is implanted one at a time, which takes about an hour. The procedure costs around $3,000 per eye. The eyelashes transplanted grow just like head hair, so they need to be trimmed regularly and sometimes curled.

Men are getting some of the same procedures as women. Liposuction is the most wanted procedure in both men and women. Women focus on thighs and hips, and men are trimming love handles and sagging abdomens. Other popular procedures for men are a nose jobs, eyelid surgery, breast reduction, and facelifts.

After the surgery is complete, patients often experience bruising, swollenness and great pain. Sometimes a surgery goes bad. Many women who have gotten breast implants have had leaks or have had the breasts uneven in size.

Perhaps the poster boy for surgery gone bad is the King of Pop himself. Michael Jackson is rumored to have had so much plastic surgery that his nose has actually ceased to exist and has now been replaced with a prosthetic one.

The same rumors apply to his chin and cheekbones. No one knows exactly how much plastic surgery Michael Jackson has had. Michael Jackson’s is also rumored to have lightened his skin tone through a cosmetic procedure. He denies the charges and claims he is losing pigment in his skin due to a skin condition.

Plastic surgery still costs a pretty penny and comes with risk. The patient must decide whether beauty is worth the pain.

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