Hyderabad: Disposable wealth and impending marriage proposals are among the factors driving young men and women to go under the knife, according to surgeons.
There has been an approximate 40 per cent rise in cosmetic procedures in the past five years, mostly driven by people under 30 years of age.
Women between 20-30 years are turning to the procedures as a quick fix for their self-esteem, with liposuction (fat removal), abdominoplasty (tummy tucks), breast surgery and rhinoplasty (nose job) being the most sought after.
Among men, the ages vary more — between 20 to 40 years — with gynecomastia (breast reduction) and liposuction being the most popular procedures.
Easy access to disposable income and the lack of responsibility in supporting a spouse or children, are also emboldening the youth to carve out the best versions of themselves surgically, said Dr M. Shridharan, plastic surgery consultant at Apollo Hospital for nearly 20 years.
He also attributed the boom to an increase in awareness through the Internet and media.
“People have access to everything online these days. Patients who visit me come with complete knowledge of the surgery they want to undergo. They make an informed decision. They research the procedure thoroughly and meet me only after reaching a conclusion,” Dr Shridharan said.
Most of his patients are of marriageable age and do it because they want to look and feel confident.”
Dr Jagdish Jyoti, consultant plastic surgeon at Apollo Hospital for 20 years and a member of Telangana State Medical Council, added that the procedure seems to be popular with people working in the software industry.
He said, “It is about projecting confidence. Among every 10 people, six to seven are software engineers. I was recently approached by the CEO of a multinational who complained that his cheeks were too plump.
“He had to speak at public platforms and wanted a well-sculpted face. He now has sunken cheeks and looks much younger. The procedure improved his self-confidence massively.”
The city’s financial boom is also having a rippling effect on the beauty industry.
Reports published last year showed Hyderabad had the fastest GDP per-capita growth rate of 8.7 in the Asia Pacific region, and third fastest in the world.
According to Brookings analysis of Oxford economics data, Hyderabad ranked third across the world in terms of employment growth rate, behind Chengdu (China) and Manila (the Philippines).
Dr Shridharan, who believes the growing economy is directly related to the boom, said, “The youth start working soon after college. They have money to spend, which they do either on entertainment or on themselves.”
“They are also mostly of marriageable age and looking for a partner. They want to look their best.”
However, cosmetic procedures are a responsible business where the trigger to look better could me more psychological than physical, he warned.
A large proportion of patients can demand unrealistic results, which is why several patients may also be turned away.
He added, “The measure of a successful cosmetic surgery lies in how happy it makes the patient feel.
“We try and understand the expectations of each individual and see whether it can be met. We try to understand if the patient will get what they want, if there is a disparity between the expectation and result, then it is better to avoid it as they will be unhappy."
But the responsibility of getting a safe procedure lies with the patients, he added.
“Instead of researching a clinic, patients must research the doctor and check his qualifications, experience and the hospital he is associated with.
“Everyone wants a low cost surgery but patients must draw a line when it comes to the quality of service as if done wrong, even a simple liposuction can lead to death. A plastic surgeon must have a MCH Plastic Surgery degree,” he said....