Introduction Women can be rather competitive when it comes to their looks. While beauty is entirely subjective, a visually appealing exterior is only sustained by continuous effort, attention and maybe with a little (or more) help from cosmetic interventions and plastic surgery. Celebrities and specialists appear on TV shows every day to talk about the latest, hottest cosmetic procedure that they have tried or are planning to try. Strong women are no longer afraid to admit that they have undergone plastic surgery to enhance their bodies or to correct aesthetic imperfections. And why should they be ashamed? Plastic surgery interventions have been changing people’s lives for the better for more than a few decades now. Different patients have different needs and there are some interventions that used to be inconceivable until a few years ago. With all the recent medical breakthroughs, plastic surgery has become increasingly popular and many plastic surgery techniques are frequently requested and performed. What are the motivations of patients undergoing plastic surgery intervention? The motivation, at its core, is the same for all patients: the desire to feel better in their skin and to get satisfaction and self-esteem by having a body that is close to physical perfection. For certain individuals, the motivation comes from a sense of dissatisfaction that is due to specific aspects of the body, which they find unaesthetic. In other cases, the motivation is attributable to an instinctual desire to fight aging and the changes associated with it, leading to the desire to feel and look younger again. In addition, the opinions of the people around us and the generally accepted social standards of the modern world are important factors that influence an individual’s decision to undergo plastic surgery interventions. What are the most requested plastic surgery interventions? The most requested plastic surgery interventions change from year to year, but lately, the following procedures have maintained their positions at the top of the list: – Breast augmentation – Liposuction – Rhinoplasty – Buttock augmentation Other minimally invasive treatments have also become commonplace during the last few years such as fat transfer to the hips, breasts and buttocks augmentation with autologous fat. Considering the last half a decade, the rhinoplasties and breast augmentation with silicone implants have probably been the most requested interventions. Speaking in terms of injectable treatments, there has been a constant interest in wrinkle elimination using hyaluronic acid and Botox injections. What is the most request plastic surgery intervention for women? Breast enhancement procedures are at the top of the most requested plastic surgery interventions for women. This fact is supported by the overwhelming presence of the subject in the mass media and facile access to specialized information regarding plastic surgery. Over the last few decades, more and more plastic surgeons have specialized in breast enhancement procedures and at the same time, the surgical techniques involved in breast lifting, reduction or augmentation procedures have significantly improved. Aside from this, cosmetic interventions have become progressively accessible to the mass public; hence, women from most economic backgrounds are now able to find the means to shoulder the cost of the intervention. In terms of frequency, facial surgeries such as face lifting or blepharoplasty (the surgery of the eyelids) top the list. Do we all have common beauty standards? Many patients seek the advice of plastic surgeons with the intention of changing particular aspects of their body to make them look similar to a certain celebrity. It seems that the public’s perception of beauty revolves around the appearance of celebrities. Some patients come to the clinic asking for huge breast implants of the same shape and size as their favorite celebrity. The surgeon usually explains how taxing large implants can be on the body. For example, a breast implant with a volume of 500 cc is equivalent to carrying a weight of 500 grams. This kind of “weight” may be manageable while you are in your 20s or 30s, but later on, they can become quite burdensome. It is the same as carrying big bottles of beer on your chest. On the other hand, when a woman is going through certain stages such as becoming a mother and breastfeeding, the breast tissues suffer from the effects of pregnancy and childbirth. Preexisting implants may also impede breastfeeding. A plastic surgery intervention is sort of a contract in between the plastic surgeon and the patient and both of them need to work together to prevent and treat complications if or when they occur. It is important for the patient to understand that the surgeon’s recommendations are crucial both for the satisfactory results of the intervention as well as the patient’s well-being in the long run. If your plastic surgeon will suggest smaller breast implants, ask him what his reasons are in doing so before dismissing his recommendations. There have also been patients who come back for breast revision surgery because they wanted to replace their implants with smaller ones after years of neck, back and shoulder pain caused by the huge volume of the initial implants. How complex is the breast augmentation procedure? The breast augmentation procedure isn’t really a difficult intervention, but it is a complex one nevertheless. The discomfort experienced by the patient will be a seven on a scale of one to ten. There are people who are so sensitive that feel the sensation of pressure on the tissues more intensely and describe it as pain. However, during the first three days after the surgery, the pain and discomfort will subside significantly. In plastic surgery, the breast augmentation intervention is considered a procedure of intermediate difficulty when performed under normal conditions. The factors that can complicate the procedure even further are the health condition of the patient, the lack of proper equipment in the medical facility or the operating room and the inadequate knowledge or skills on the part of the plastic surgeon. Are fat transfer procedures requested by patients? Over the course of a few years, the lipofilling procedures for the body have become more frequently requested. Today, lipofilling is considered a very fashionable trend and it is used successfully both in reconstructive procedures as well as cosmetic procedures. Correcting the less favorable results of implant surgeries can also be performed with the help of transferring fat to the targeted area. What are the risks associated with plastic surgery? Any type of surgical intervention comes with certain risks that should be explained in detail to the patients during the initial consultation. A well-informed patient, a well-equipped facility and a highly experienced medical team all contribute to the success of the surgery. The most important factors, however, are the patient’s openness for communication and willingness to present a complete medical history. The safety and well being of the patient always comes first, this is why it is essential that the information you share with the plastic surgeon is real and complete. Are the plastic interventions accessible from a financial point of view? The aesthetic procedures are not covered by health insurance policies and this is why they are not widely accessible. The cost is computed depending on the length of the surgery and its level of difficulty and as such, it might be steep for some people. Fortunately, the procedure is gradually becoming more financially accessible than it was ten years ago. What does beauty mean from the perspective of a plastic surgeon? The beauty that some patients seek is that of a celebrity or a model that has been socially accepted as physically attractive. My experience and the feedback received from my clients over the years have strengthened my belief that the balance of proportions is the main constitution of beauty in people. This is why I put a lot of effort into explaining to my patients that there is a huge difference in a feature of the body that draws attention due to unnatural characteristics (take huge breasts for example) and a body that is eye-catching due to the harmony of all the features involved. The perfect breasts are the ones that complement the waist and the hips. Huge breasts with a wide waist and narrow hips are not beautiful; they are simply an attention-grabbing detail. I always advise my patients to see their body as a whole, before deciding what parts need improving. The hourglass silhouette is what I consider to be beautiful, and this is what I help my clients achieve. Conclusion Many women who have taken a look in the mirror and failed to recognize themselves want to make the first signs of aging disappear, to improve their overall image, and to correct certain imperfections. With surgery, this is possible. However, before going through any plastic surgery procedure, it is essential for the patient to ensure that the desire to go under the knife is not a temporary caprice and that they really want to undergo the change. You can never fully reverse a plastic surgery, so make sure to thoroughly discuss with your surgeon what the procedure entails and what to expect.