:: Plastic Surgery Part 2

The Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Thailand was founded in 1971. It is now a member of the International Confederation for Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (IPRAS) and a member of the Asean Federation of Plastic Surgery. At present there are about 230 qualified Thai Plastic Surgeons for the population of 66 millions. These plastic surgeons also are members of the Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons of Thailand which was founded in 1977.

Looking good, especially for women, makes one feel good physically and mentally. Aesthetic sensibility is a phenomenon peculiar to human beings in their persuit of objects and experiences that give delight to the senses. Sources of pleasure vary enormously from one individual to another, since background, parental influence, racial and cultural preferences all have a part in shaping a person's aesthetic standards, and these are of course infinite in kind.

There can be no unanimity over what constitutes the beautiful. One can only reaffirm that beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder. The heavy build of a belly-dancer will be a thing of loveliness in Egypt but exactly not in Thailand where smallness (except the breast) and delicacy are perhaps the most desirable attributes of the female body. The Orientals having Chinese blood, for whatever reason, want to resemble those of the western people. They prefer having an occidental look ie. single eyelids will be changed to double eyelids and saddle nose to a more prominent one. Thus, oriental blepharoplasty and augmentation rhinoplasty are the two most popular cosmetic procedures for young adults performed in Thailand . Nowadays, there are more and more foreign patients coming to Thailand not only for spending their holidays but also for cosmetic surgery which is very much cheaper when compared to the one in their own country. The most popular procedures are facelift, liposuction, nose reduction, breast lift, breast reduction,breast augmentation, blepharoplasties and finally satisfactory results are achieved.

:: Cosmetic Surgery

The goal of cosmetic (aesthetic) surgery can be summarised in plagiarised version of Tagliacozzi's dictum:
“To improve on what nature has given in order to delight the eye, buoy up the spirit and help the mind of the afflicted”. However, in practice, the margin between plastic and cosmetic surgery is ill-defined in that cosmetic surgeon also attempts to improve on certain marks fortune has added to nature. Even today, it happens in many countries worldwide that there are certain doctors who like to call themselves cosmetic surgeons (not well-trained and not qualified plastic surgeons) who do their limited cosmetic procedures by associating themselves with clinics, small hospitals and advertise themselves in magazines, newspapers, radio,
television, and internet to the public. However, minority of cosmetic surgeons (plastic surgeons) also do their advisement.Unfortunately, the outcome and risks of a particular operation were not mentioned to the public.

This can make mattes worse because the ill-informed patients, usually knows little about cosmetic surgery in particular. Furthermore, there are some nonmedical doctors who illegally inject some liquid foreign bodies ( silicone, paraffin, olive oil etc.) for soft tissue augmentation into nose, chin, cheek, forehead, mons pubis, penis etc. These patients will also be ill-informed and led to the quacks by mostly the middle man. Many problems arise for example infection, irregularity of skin, palpable hard mass and these unfortunate patients come to see the plastic surgeons for correction and reconstruction.

However, it is sometimes difficult for a prospective patient to judge whether a cosmetic surgeon is fully competent or not. A patient must therefore rely on a surgeon's reputation and the recommendation of their own doctors or of the respectful patients and be guided to an individual whose background is a qualified plastic surgeon approved by the Thai Medical Council and is a member of the Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Thailand or the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Arthi Kruavit, M.D.

:: Make the Right Choice

Everyone needs to realise that with all of the success stories that we hear about in the media, there are also horror stories of plastic surgery procedures that went bad. Those we rarely hear about, but they are certainly out there. Even though there might be lots of new and what seem to be, quick fix procedures, all of these procedures have risks! Although cosmetic surgery is elective, remember the decision to have any procedure or surgery is a serious one.

Cheaper isn't always better. Be careful of advertising. Television and magazine ads are paid for. Talking to friends and relatives who have had similar procedures and are happy with the results can also be helpful, however get more than one recommendation. Your personal physician can be a good referral and you can call your local well respected hospital to find out whether the surgeon you are interested in has privileges to operate in that facility.

:: Keeping in your mind

Plastic surgery has obvious and often dramatic benefits. It is not for everyone, however. If you are considering plastic surgery, keep in mind the following:

  • Understand the limitations as well as the benefits of plastic surgery. No surgery can achieve perfection, and there is no guarantee that the results will look exactly as you envision them.
  • Have realistic expectations. Plastic surgery can reshape your body, not your life. Although an enhanced appearance after surgery may improve your self-esteem, plastic surgery will not solve career, marital or emotional problems.
  • Time your surgery at a point when you don't feel exceptional stress and when you have emotional support available.
  • Be prepared to tolerate some discomfort during and after surgery, as well as the possibility of scars or other side effects.
  • Understand that, like any surgery, plastic surgery has risks.
  • Be able to pay for or finance the surgery if your insurance does not cover the costs, as is the case for elective, cosmetic surgery.
  • Know that plastic surgery is not suitable for people who are prone to mood swings or erratic behaviour, who abuse drugs or alcohol, or who are receiving treatment for clinical depression or other mental illness.

A special note for those under 18 years of age: You will need your parents' consent for surgery. You also must have achieved certain milestones in growth and physical maturity.