The tragic case of model Luana Andrade, who passed away at the age of 29 following complications from a cosmetic procedure, brings to the forefront the urgent need for stricter regulation in this field. The biggest problem is many youngsters are seeking to correct their looks through surgeries. (Image: By Arrangement)
From Jahnvi Kapoor to Shanaya to Suhana, the young ones who are viewed as role models have gone insane to better their features. Putting further pressure on young girls to artificially enhance and adhere to a social expectation of what characterises beauty.
"Cosmetic surgery, ranging from rhinoplasty to breast augmentation, has become increasingly popular among individuals in their late teens and early twenties. To undergo such invasive procedures at a young age is not without serious implications. Young adults should exercise caution and restraint when considering cosmetic surgery, as the effects of these procedures are often irreversible, and there are inherent risks involved," says Dr Trishna Gupte, clinical cosmetologist and Trichologist, International trainer and Head of academics, founder, The Cosmo-Square clinic, ISCA.
Time to ban or limit procedures?
Surprisingly, there has been no consensus on safety. An outright ban on cosmetic surgery is not a practical solution. "When performed correctly and ethically by trained professionals, such as qualified dermatologists and plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgery can have significant positive outcomes for patients," says Dr Nishita Ranka, Internationally acclaimed dermatologist, Medical Director & Founder of Dr. Nishita’s Clinic for Skin, Hair & Aesthetics.
"The issue becomes critical when procedures are performed by unqualified practitioners. This form of quackery, in which individuals with no dermatological or plastic surgical training undertake complicated treatments, is extremely dangerous. Stricter controls and oversight are required to ensure that these surgeries are only performed by competent, licenced specialists," she adds.
"Young patients frequently arrive with expectations fueled by images they see online, unaware of the risks or the fact that these images are frequently manipulated or unrealistic. It is critical to have open and honest discussions about the realistic outcomes of cosmetic procedures and the risks involved," says Dr Nishita Ranka.
One of the key worries about the rise in cosmetic surgery among young adults is the possibility of psychological and emotional consequences. "People may seek cosmetic enhancements too soon, without fully contemplating the physical and emotional effects of their actions, due to pressure to meet perceived cultural ideals of beauty and perfection," says Dr. Trishna Gupte, adding, "They must recognise that once a cosmetic surgery procedure is performed, it is often impossible to fully reverse."
"Before resorting to cosmetic surgery, young adults should consider non-surgical options, such as fillers and other options, allow people to make small changes to their look without committing to permanent surgical operations. Embracing non-surgical alternatives can allow young adults to explore their options and gain a better understanding of their desired outcomes before pursuing more permanent changes through cosmetic surgery," says Dr Trishna Gupte.
Understanding the risks
Pre-existing diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, or even a smoking habit can all interfere and cause complications, endangering the patient’s health and life.
"I emphasise the importance of a thorough medical evaluation before considering any cosmetic procedure in my practice, and this is a sentiment shared by many in plastic surgery. This assessment is more than simply a formality; it is a critical step in assuring patient safety. Patients must be fully informed about how their current health status may affect the surgery and healing process," Dr. Nishita says, adding, "Part of our ethical responsibility, whether as dermatologists or plastic surgeons, is to assess when a cosmetic procedure is not in the best interest of a patient. This decision can be based on a variety of factors, including the presence of pre-existing health issues, the patient’s unreasonable expectations, or when the dangers of the surgery outweigh the potential benefits. It is our responsibility to counsel patients against surgery when they request operations that are deemed hazardous."
Ethics and aesthetics
Stricter regulations, patient education, and a commitment to ethical practices are required. "As medical practitioners, we must respect these principles and put our patients’ health and realistic expectations first," says Dr Nishita.
Lack of Regulation:
One of the primary issues in the field of cosmetic surgery in India is the lack of strong regulation and control.
These range from mild problems such as infections and scars to serious life-threatening diseases and even death, as tragically demonstrated by Luana Andrade’s case.
The legal framework in India needs to be tightened in order to penalise unqualified individuals, who perform cosmetic surgery. This would entail not just imposing penalties but also criminal prosecution in cases of egregious negligence.
Luana Andrade, a Brazilian influencer and reality TV personality, died tragically after a botched operation to remove fat off her knee. Two hours into the surgery, she encountered a "respiratory event" and went into cardiac arrest. Surgeons quickly stopped the procedure and performed tests on the patient, who was found to have suffered from severe thrombosis, a condition in which blood clots block veins or arteries.
Rise of demand
Technology has aided in the development of operations, introduced new processes, and drastically reduced the down time required for various treatments, influencing one’s ability to perform walk-in or same-day surgeries. Botox to relax wrinkles, fillers for those beautiful lips to enhance one’s pout and reduce laugh lines, lasers for glowing skin, micro blading as a procedure to improve the aesthetics of the brows, and body contouring devices to put you in the right shape... are all classic examples of technology at its best." Dr Pallavi Sule, Dermatologist & Aesthetic Physician.