Changing demographics and growing awareness leads to rise in demand of cosmetic surgery, however, patients also demand to keep the surgery under wrap and even hide it with their partners, due to high price of these services.
In order to impress their significant others, more number of Indians are found indulging in cosmetic infidelity.
A completely depressed 40-year-old woman visits a cosmetic surgeon for getting her breasts corrected. She expresses that the badly shaped breast has ruined her married life and that she needs a well-curved one. On understanding her case in detail, a city-based cosmetic surgeon suggests for breast implant. But the woman requests for signing the consent form with the doctor to keep the surgery a secret. The surgeon is shocked to see the information sheet which says that she hasn’t authorized the doctor to discuss her surgery with anyone else – not even her husband.
As the number of people undergoing cosmetic surgery rises, more number of people feels the need to hide their procedures from their family members and immediate partner.
We have seen patients requesting to hide the details of their surgeries, especially the tummy tucks and breast implants to their significant others. They also request us to perform these surgeries when their spouse is not in town. Their belief is to use the alone time to recover from the surgery so that their spouse will be unknown to the fact that their respective partner has gone under the knife.
Cosmetic surgery has become a new form of infidelity – for both men and women. Many a times, women are ashamed to tell their husbands or loved ones that they would like to get their body features corrected through cosmetic surgery
Even, spending a huge amount on cosmetic surgery is still regarded as a waste of money. The cost of cosmetic procedures is something that some patients choose not to discuss with their spouse. They would rather let their partner think their timeless, flawless youth is all-natural and keep the cost to themselves.
While a surgery can be difficult to hide, especially large operations with dramatic changes such as tummy tucks and breasts implants, but people are successful in hiding less-invasive procedures such as Botox and filler injections.
It is often found that people indulge in innovative ways to hide their cosmetic treatments, such as timing the procedures when their spouse is out of town and making the payments by cash and avoiding the use of credit cards, so that their better half remains unaware of any such transaction. Meanwhile, cosmetic surgeons have also witnessed cases whereby certain procedures had developed complications, ultimately spelling the beans of truth.
A classic example unveiled, where a 24-year-old girl underwent breasts implants while she was dating her boyfriend. She thought that her curvy breasts would keep her love attracted towards her. However, things started getting wrong post-marriage, when the then lover became her husband and expressed dissatisfaction over the breasts implants. ‘The couple visited me, few months’ post-marriage and expressed dissatisfaction over the procedure. The woman wanted the breasts implants to be removed. An arduous effort to counsel her husband was in vain. He wanted the breast implant removal procedure to be performed immediately.
Doctors say that there are very few cases in which the physical changes can be identified. Often cosmetic surgeries go unnoticed. Procedures like Botox or facial filler treatments can be kept as a secret. These procedures are so quick, they can be done on your lunch break and there’s usually no real side effect to it.
Meanwhile, more advanced procedures like microdermabrasion or in certain cases breast implants takes some time to settle down. Surgical procedures take more time to heal and the person needs to plan accordingly.
Taking cue from the increasing number of patients indulging in cosmetic infidelity, many cosmetic surgeons have started offering counseling along with the procedures.
We often explain the patient that they are definitely not in an isolated group when you elect to freshen up your body and face. So don’t be afraid to discuss it with others. You may even wind up with a good referral for other procedures.
All said and done, people in India are doing it to keep their romance alive, to boost their own self-esteem or to look the way society says they should be. Spending money on one’s appearance is still considered as frivolous and even embarrassing. Till the time we do not embrace realistic standards of beauty in all ages and all stages of life, cosmetic infidelity will continue to happen.
The article is written by Dr Vinod Vij, Senior Cosmetic Surgeon, Fortis Hospital and is based on his personal views and research.