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Wanna look different from what you really are? Want to change your nose, ears, lips, chin, cheek or any other part of the body? Very simple! Just go to a plastic surgeon and he will change your entire look and personality by the various latest technologies such as a face uplift, rhinoplasty, brow lift, mamoplasty, liposuction, and what not. So folks, you need not be upset if you have a blunt nose, a double chin, a protruding lip and innumerable such other anomalies, you can hide them all through this unique branch of medical science called plastic surgery.

Infact, all the above ways of changing one's looks are grouped under cosmetic surgery which is one of the most popular branches of plastic surgery. Plastic surgery can be broadly divided into two parts, says Dr Deepak Nanda, a noted plastic surgeon and a senior resident surgeon in the burns department of the Safdarjung Hospital. They are -- Cosmetic surgery and Reconstructive surgery.

Cosmetic surgery --- is basically ornamental in nature such as the body parts that are already there are beautified by changing their shapes and sizes. For instance, the most popular cosmetic surgery involves changing the shape of the nose which is known as rhinoplasty and changing the shape and size of the breasts in mamoplasty. Nowadays, liposuction has also become quite a popular method to reduce the fat accumulated in a particular part of the body. However, cosmetic surgery is quite an expensive affair in India and only a few such as filmstars, business magnets, fashion models and such other privileged sections of the society can afford it. For example, a simple change in the shape of the nose (rhinoplasty) costs about Rs 20,000 or more depending upon the hospital and the plastic surgeon.

Reconstructive surgery -- This is actually constructing a particular body part or a portion of the body part which is originally not there, say for instance, adding a dimple or a mole or a beauty spot on the face, constructing eye brows, lip palate, etc. Reconstructing a particular body part which has got damaged by fire, concentrated acids, electric shocks, etc and needs a repair can also be grouped under this category.

What exactly is plastic surgery?

The word plastic has been derived from the Greek word `plasticos' which means to mould and plastic surgery is an operation which moulds the various parts of the body with the help of latest technologies such as chemical peeling, computer-aided laser surgery, liposuction, etc, says Dr Nanda.

Chemical peeling or derm abrasion is a technique by which plastic surgeons remove small pox marks and post acne marks with the help of an apparatus called the derm abrader which functions like sand paper to scrape off the superficial layers (epidermis) of the skin mechanically. In this process, most of the time, there is a little injury to the skin while srapping off the superficial layers and blood comes out from that particular part which undergoes scrapping.

Laser surgery or computer-aided laser surgery is the latest technique to remove scars, small pox marks, post acne mark, a mole, birth marks, etc with the help of a laser beam. Depending upon the intensity of the mark that has to be removed, the width and the intensity of the laser beam is fixed. It is a more accurate process without an injury to the blood vessels and hence, there is no bleeding. The scars, small pox marks or the birth marks that have to be removed are exposed to the heat of the laser beam and are removed consequently with more efficiency than chemical peeling or derm abrasion.

Tissue expander :-- This is another modern apparatus used by plastic surgeons to remove a big scar on the skin or to treat and bring back hair in cases of baldness or Aloepecia or for breast augmentation. It is basically used for tissue expansion. The apparatus is generally an inflatable kind of a thing which is put under the normal skin and expanded at regular intervals to stretch the normal skin and replace it with the scarred or bald skin, as the case may be to treat body scars and Alopaecia respectively. Tissue expanders are very expensive and are normally imported from abroad. Infact, patients going for tissue expanders have to provide the apparatus to the plastic surgeons as they are generally not available in government hospitals. The cost of a tissue expander is normally between Rs 20 to 25,000 in India.

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