New epidemic of a new time: Cosmetic surgery
Reported March 30, 2009
ANKARA – An ever growing list of people opting to have cosmetic surgery multiple times has been linked to continuous media dissemination of a standardized form of beauty, says a specialist in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder any more. As the media has exposed a standardized beauty concept to the masses, more people have started to knock on the doors of aesthetic surgeons in a quest to put on an idealized form. “As aesthetic concerns increase, a group of people who can only become happy by constantly undergoing surgery has appeared,” Assistant Professor Gökhan Adanali, a specialist in plastic and reconstructive surgery and a doctor at Ankaras MESA hospital, said during an interview with Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.
Adanali said some people visit aesthetic surgeons holding a photo of a famous figure, but “rejecting an operation on these people” is not a solution.
“The issue has a psychological aspect as well. Thus, we lead many patients to psychiatrists. A good surgeon is not the one who knows who he will operate on, but the one who knows on whom he will not operate,” Adanali said, citing his clinic director in the United States.
Adanali, a doctor with 19 years of experience in aesthetic surgery, said at first, only people with high incomes wanted to undergo such surgeries. “However, many people from different segments of society are aware of these surgeries now and they also want to benefit from them,” he said.
lthough there are no certain statistics about the money Turks have spent on aesthetic surgeries, Adanali said the number of aesthetic surgeries has drastically increased.
A drastic increase in multiple aesthetic surgery cases
“The rate of aesthetic surgery within plastic surgery was around 20 percent in 1997. However, it has recently increased to 50 percent,” Adanali said, according to his observations.
He also highlighted the importance of private clinics in aesthetic surgery. “In private clinics, aesthetic surgery composes 80 to 90 percent of plastic surgeries,” Adanali said. There is an abundance of plastic and aesthetic surgery clinics in Turkey and those clinics vary according to their prices, he said.
“There is no fixed price list on the subject in the world. The prices change in line with the quality of materials used for the surgery,” Adanali said, adding that the quality of materials and the doctors experience are the two most important points patients should pay attention to. Adanali said Turkey is one of the leading countries in terms of successful aesthetic surgery operations.
“Turkey has very successful aesthetic surgeons,” Adanali said, adding that this makes aesthetic surgery one of Turkeys leading specialties in health tourism.
“Indeed, prices for these surgeries are very low in Turkey when compared to European countries while the quality of the service is very high,” he said. Aesthetic surgery operations have diffused through many segments of Turkish society and rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, operations have become the leading aesthetic procedure in the country.
“We are unlucky in terms of the appearance of our noses when compared to Western people, because hook noses are very common among Turkish people, especially among Black Sea people,” Adanali said.
He said breast reduction and breast lifts are the second most common surgeries due to high child bearing rates in Turkey and the accompanying breastfeeding. Ear surgery and liposuction are also very common surgeries.
While drawing attention to beauty concerns in aesthetic surgery operations, Adanali said the reason for all these surgeries was not necessarily purely aesthetic. “Some aesthetic surgeries have curative effects as well,” he said.
Breast reduction surgery is an example, on the grounds that large breasts may cause serious back and shoulder pain. Adanali also responded to a question about the general concept that many aesthetic surgeons scrutinize people to find flaws to be fixed.
“Indeed, the more you are involved in this profession, the more you move away from it in your daily life. When I first entered my specialization, I used to scrutinize people around me but now I do not take my business home,” he said.
As a result of the financial crisis, Adanali said there was a decrease in aesthetic surgeries as well. He said the number of patients did not decrease at MESA, the capitals first hospital to be accredited by the Joint Commission International, but there did appear to be a decrease in the overall number of aesthetic surgeries. “When a financial crisis arises, not plastic surgeries, but aesthetic surgeries decrease. As the economy recovers, the demand for aesthetic surgeries rises again,” he said.