Everybody wants to look good; that is a fact. Social media's influence has been so strong and intrusive that privacy is arguably an ideological relic. As a result, a wide array of beauty soultions, including the now-burgeoning practice of invasive cosmetic surgeries, is being offered right here in Jamaica.
And in keeping with the spirit of new-year, new-beginnings Under The Dryer decided to shed some layers and went under the 'scalpel' of Dr Norman Morrison, a 20-year-long practising plastic and reconstructive surgeon, along with his dermatologist partner, expert in skin laser technology and dermatology, Dr Althea Banbury, for some insight.
Today we present the facts and realities of invasive cosmetic procedures: affordability, nature of difficulty and purpose.
Believe it or not, cosmetic surgeries are not all that expensive. Price depends on the type of surgery you want, the time and equipment it will involve.
“The most expensive is the facelift. If you are doing the upper and lower eyelids, it would be costly because they take time. Prices vary depending on what you have to do [...] the materials we'll use and the duration,” explained Morrison.
More affordable would be “[a] liposuction of the abdomen, the back, sides and a BBL (Brazilian Booty Lift),” — the latter, Banbury pointed out, many Jamaicans do not need — each taking up to four hours to complete.
The list also reflects the most commonly requested procedures in Jamaica, Morrison noted.
You may also think cosmetic surgeries are easy but that, too, could not be farther from the truth. A part of the process involved in having a surgery is the required psychological work because endless corrections could result in physical and beauty complications. “We can refer to Michael Jackson,” Banbury pointed out.
And persistent self-hate, which in some scenarios is the real problem, over time becomes something self-inhibiting, Morrison and Banbury advised.
“Step away from the mirror. Stop scrutinising your body. Love yourself. You can always make corrections, but there's nothing wrong with what you already have,” Banbury said.
On the plus side, though, there is some truth to the belief that 'black does not crack', they both explained.
“Black people rarely need a facelift. Most of the ones I've done [were] in New York and they were with people of fair skin — Spanish or Caucasian, [but] our skin is thicker and we age well,” Morrison said.
“And the melanin gives us more protection from the sun's rays which is the main problem; exposure to the sun will cause damage to the skin,” Banbury added.
Some imperfections are genetic too which cannot be corrected without a surgery — reducing nose size, for example.
“If you think your nose is too wide there's no pill or cream that will make it any smaller. It's going to be a reduction in the width of your nose through rhinoplasty,” Morrison said, which is also the true function of cosmetic surgeries: to correct imperfections.
Preparation also does not relate exclusively to the mind: one's physicality is crucial. This is the case because health inhibitors, smoking, drinking or being over/underweight, are conditions that can cause complications during or after a surgery.
“Nicotine is a vasoconstricting agent; it makes the arteries smaller. In patients who smoke we find that wound healing is delayed and [the] skin does sometimes, based on the operation, die. You have to stop smoking for at least a month before and after surgeries until you heal,” Morrison explained.
“Alcohol, too, because it affects the liver and a lot of the anaesthesia we give is metabolised in the liver, so you can't be alcoholic and want to have a cosmetic operation.”
If you consider going under the knife, remember: making a few corrections here or there is not a problem. Notwithstanding, be very careful: discern the reason, whether it be a beauty enhancement or the encouragement of a harmful – and lasting – psychological burden, then decide. Of course, do not forget to contact Drs Banbury or Morrison at Skin Solutions if that decision is a yes.