Beauty by the blade: All you need to know about cosmetic surgery : Evewoman - The Standard


Beauty by the blade: All you need to know about cosmetic surgery


Tune into any reality show on television and you will get a whiff of just how popular cosmetic procedures have become. Some, like the world-renowned Kardashians, and even Kenyan socialites like Huddah Monroe and Vera Sidika, readily admit to undergoing procedures. Vera Sidika took to Instagram about two years ago to announce her newly acquired breast implants. She has also had her skin lightened. Last year, Huddah admitted to enlarging her breasts by having fat transferred from her bum. But many others are not about to fess up to some nip and tuck. Mary Nyambura*, a 35-year-old banking professional and mother of two has always resented her flat derriere and when she was done having babies, she decided to get butt implants, a tummy tuck and is now saving up for a boob job.
"I am confident now. I always hated my form when I wore those tight fitting clothes. I don't regret the procedures at all. And I am happier now than I ever was," she explains.
Why are the procedures becoming a more common phenomena in Kenya?
"People are more aware of what they want. And the Internet has made it so much easier for anyone to get information. I hear some of my patients say that they feel young on the inside but the outward appearance doesn't match that," says Don Othoro, a cosmetic doctor at Nairobi's Valentis Clinic.
Even though insurance doesn't cover the treatments, the Kenyan middle and upper classes have been queuing for procedures. Dr. Stanley Khainga, a plastic surgeon in Nairobi says, "I have at least 10 patients come in each month to inquire about various cosmetic surgery procedures. Out of the 10, at least four or five of the patients will have a procedure carried out."
Cosmetic procedures are can be either surgical or non-surgical. The term cosmetic surgery is often erroneously used interchangeably with plastic surgery. The former refers to surgical procedures for physical enhancement while the latter is primarily for repairing defects. Both are becoming easily accessible in Kenya, with the costs ranging between Sh250,000 to Sh500,000 per procedure. Treatments that previously were sought out abroad are now readily available locally in major hospitals and private clinics alike, and in fact, people now come to Kenya for treatments.
"The quality of service in Kenya has gone up. Where people previously went to South Africa, London and Paris, they realise now that they do not have to," says Dr. Othoro.
So. Which procedures are actually available in Kenya?

Botox: "This is done to reverse the effects of facial wrinkles such as crow's feet, laugh lines and worry lines, and it is reversible. A treatment lasts between 3-4 months," says Othoro who specialises in non-surgical procedures.
How early is too early to get the procedure done? "It depends on one's needs. And it is up to the doctor to assess and judge the need for a procedure. So you could be 16 or 60, but the doctor should ascertain the need for the treatment," he says.
Dermal fillers: This is a treatment that plumps up the skin delicately filling out the grooves in the face. It is done by injecting hyaluronic acid and lasts up to a year.

Face lift: This is where lines and wrinkles are surgically removed for a youthful appearance.
Approximate cost: Ksh350,000
Neck lift. This is done by tightening up the skin around the neck to erase the wrinkles brought about by age.
Approximate cost: Ksh300,000
Eyelid surgery: This is done to enhance the appearance of the eyes. It can be done to reduce eye puffiness and reduce wrinkles and excess skin around the eyes. Procedure time is about two hours and the downtime needed to get back to normal activities is one to two weeks.
Approximate cost: Ksh200,000
Cheek augmentation. This is a procedure meant to boost the appearance of the cheeks. The surgeon could choose to use a solid implant over the cheek bone or inject fat or a soft tissue filler.
Approximate cost: Ksh300,000
Rhinoplasty: This is the reshaping of the nose to enhance facial harmony and refine appearance.
Approximate cost: Ksh250,000

Breast augmentation. This is a procedure to increase the breast size. It is done by putting in implants. Some women opt to do it to improve breast appearance after weight loss or pregnancy.
Approximate cost: Ksh350,000. This varies depending on how much work is put into it.
Breast reduction: This is for women with heavy breasts. They opt for a breast reduction to either enhance their physical appearance or to deal with the back problems heavy breasts are associated with.
Approximate cost: Ksh350,000
Breast lift: This is done to reduce the saggy appearance of breasts.
Approximate cost: Ksh350,000
Gynaecomastia: This is a procedure carried out on men with enlarged breasts.
Approximate cost: Ksh400,000
Breast reconstruction surgery: This is usually done after mastectomy and can be done on a complete or partial mastectomy where a new breast shape is reconstructed.
Approximate cost: Ksh450,000

There are other minor breast cosmetic procedures carried out on the breast such as nipple reduction and nipple inversion correction.

Hip and buttock enlargement. This is a procedure to firm and shape up the buttocks and hips. Implants are used.
Approximate cost: Ksh450,000
Tummy tuck. This is a procedure where loose flabby skin is excised and the abdominal muscles are strengthened. Many do it after childbirth or after major weight loss to remove the excess skin.
Approximate cost: Ksh450,000

While plastic surgery has been flawlessly done before, shows like E's Botched are credence to the fact that it can also go awfully wrong. And that is why you need to do some research to make the best decision for yourself.

1. Ensure credibility: Make sure that the doctor attending to you is board certified. Ask how many procedures he has done and if possible, speak to a former patient who has had the same procedure done in the same facility. "You have to do your due diligence. Check for the doctor's name on the Kenya Medical and Dental Board. Are they registered with the Kenya Society of Plastic Surgeons? Check the doctor up online, read up on his reviews. Make sure that it seems right, if not, just don't go," advises Othoro.
2. Find out the necessary down time: Some treatments need some downtime for recovery while others can be done during your lunch break. Find out how much time you will need and arrange appropriately. Find out what activities you can or can't do during recovery so as not to impede the process.
3. Access your reasons for doing it: What is your motivation? Do you want to change the size of your boobs because your man wants it done? What happens then if you move on to another relationship? "Do it for yourself, because it will improve your outlook on self and life," advises Dr. Terry Dubrow - a world renowned plastic surgeon - who sometimes carries out psychological evaluations on potential patients to determine suitability.
4. Know the risks involved. "Every surgery has its risks, and you should consult with your doctor beforehand to get a clear picture of what could go wrong. For example, you could have allergies," says Othoro. Sometimes you may not like the end result of the surgery, what do you do then? Do you get a repeat surgery or live with it? Also, know where the scars will be and if there will be any follow up needed after the surgery.

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