There’s a surgery for that!

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

Our pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with how we look seems to be spi­ral­ing ever higher, at least if you con­sider the new ar­ray of pro­ce­dures that plas­tic sur­geons are de­vis­ing. From our ear­lobes to our calves, the busi­ness of cos­metic surgery is boom­ing. Or per­haps, we should say, bulging.

There’s “boot bulge” surgery, for ex­am­ple, which has taken off in pop­u­lar­ity among women whose large calves make it dif­fi­cult to zip up tight-fit­ting boots, ac­cord­ing to re­ports. Of course, that’s not to be con­fused with the “booty bulge” pro­ce­dure that is trend­ing among those in pur­suit of a big­ger bot­tom line. In fact, the num­ber of peo­ple hav­ing fat trans­ferred from other parts of the body and into the but­tocks and hips rose 58% be­tween 2012 and 2013, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­cently re­ported.

Per­haps your prob­lem area is a bit smaller. Take the is­sue of droop­ing ear lobes, which some are adding to their list of con­cerns about grow­ing older. “Youth­ful ears have vol­ume. My ear­rings look like they’re sit­ting on a pil­low,” one pa­tient told ABC News about why she opted for “eartox” surgery, which uses fillers to plump up aging lobes.

Amer­i­cans un­der­went more than 15 mil­lion cos­metic pro­ce­dures and spent $12.6 bil­lion in 2013, the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Plas­tic Sur­geons says. Its 2013 re­port de­tails ev­ery­thing from up­per arm lifts to cheek im­plants.

There are many rea­sons peo­ple seek cos­metic pro­ce­dures, but they may not be gen­er­at­ing the hap­pi­ness peo­ple ex­pect. “We have be­come a ‘fix it’ cul­ture, one that is in­creas­ingly us­ing sur­gi­cal so­lu­tions to avoid liv­ing with im­per­fec­tions. Yet, im­per­fec­tions are a part of real life,” says Vi­vian Diller, a New York City psy­chol­o­gist and au­thor of the 2010 book “Face It: What Women Re­ally Feel as Their Looks Change.” Some­times surgery is a rea­son­able so­lu­tion that can be life-al­ter­ing in a pos­i­tive way. “But a good psy­cho­log­i­cal eval­u­a­tion of ev­ery pa­tient is key to the ul­ti­mate sat­is­fac­tion,” she says.

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