Summer vacations in an archipelago like the Philippines are often spent on the beach, frolicking in the water, enjoying the sun and surf, or idling the time away on the sand just watching other people have fun. To many people, the coming of summer means a return to the gym or health club in order to whip one’s body back to shape, shedding excess pounds, burning the fat away, in order to look as good as possible in skimpy bikinis or swimming trunks.
For many who do not have the time nor the motivation to spend hours working out in the gym, cosmetic surgery offers a quick solution to the problem of how to look good in swimwear without having to exercise. The popularity of cosmetic surgery coupled with its increasing affordability has made cosmetic surgery a viable option for many who desire an attractive body shape.
What better way is there to get curvy or flat contours other than liposuction? In 2005, it is estimated that more than 270,000 people underwent liposuction in the U.S.A. alone, making it the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure. Such big numbers indicate a desire of a large number of people to have an attractive figure. For men, this generally means having a flat abdomen coupled with straight flanks on both sides. Women on the other hand undergo liposuction to get thinner waistlines and to remove localized fatty bulges that are most difficult to get rid of even with rigorous exercise. Areas where fat deposits are the hips, thighs, abdomen, and buttocks, as well as on arms, knees, calves, upper torso, neck and under the chin.
Liposuction is a safe procedure when done by a well-qualified plastic surgeon. Patients with young, healthy elastic skin who have localized areas of fat are the best candidates for liposuction. This procedure can be done on an outpatient basis, if the fat to be removed totals 5 liters or less. (For amounts greater than 5 liters, it is recommended that patients stay a night or two in the hospital). After liposuction is performed, patients are advised to wear compression garments for 2 weeks, in order to prevent accumulation of blood (hematoma) or serum (seroma), and to enable the skin to adhere to underlying tissues.
There may be some swelling and bruising after liposuction, but these usually subside within 6 to 8 weeks. Patients are advised to restrict their activities for the first two weeks following surgery. Sports activities are resumed gradually on the third postoperative week. Direct sun exposure of liposuctioned areas should be avoided until all bruising has disappeared, usually within 2 to 4 weeks. This schedule for gradual resumption of normal routine should be kept in mind by those who would like to be active on the beach by the time summer starts.
The second most popular cosmetic surgery procedure is breast augmentation. Current norms of beauty regard women with full shapely breasts and thin waists as more attractive than those with breasts of lesser dimensions. It is no secret that women with bigger breasts will get more admiring looks from men compared to those with flatter chests. Do you still wonder why “Baywatch” is the most watched television show all over the world?
Following breast surgery, patients may have minimal to moderate pain which is controlled by painkiller medications. Antibiotics are also prescribed to prevent infection. Patients are advised bed rest and limited activities for the first few days after surgery. Sutures are removed in 5 to 7 days. After one week, massage of recommended to keep the breasts supple. There may be numbness around the treated area but this is usually temporary. There may be swelling and discoloration, but these disappear in a few days. Scars from the incisions are initially pinkish in color but this will gradually fade with time. Patients who wish to undergo breast augmentation should schedule their surgery around a month before summer starts in order to allow time for recovery and resumption of normal activity.