The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry
Cosmetic surgery as a relatively quick, though not often painless, way to improve personal image has become more and more common, especially in the US. Higher living standards and rapid development of medical technologies have made these operations more accessible and affordable to more people. The increasing popularity and appeals of successful results, however, mask a grossly under-regulated industry still fraught with problems such as incompetent doctors, unsafe and unsanitary operating conditions, and high risk of serious complications. Defined as “surgery chosen primarily for aesthetic reasons or in hopes that one will become more socially acceptable” (Goering 21), this form of surgery is deemed elective and not often perceived with the same seriousness and consideration as other surgical procedures. Many do not regard cosmetic surgery, i.e. plastic surgery, as being “real” surgery and the common misconception that “it is quick and easy” (Toledano 1) further trivializes implementations of effective cosmetic surgery standards by many state legislatures. This oversight (that is, lack of legislative oversight) can produce tragic consequences for patients since cosmetic procedures may also involve the same complications as other surgeries such as “bleeding, healing, infections, and scarring” (Kohl 2). In one incident, a San Francisco woman, Myra Ruskin, died after she underwent a facelift and laser resurfacing performed by an unqualified doctor (Wynn 1). Unfortunately, similar tragedies during these elective procedures are not uncommon. In fact, the death rate from cosmetic surgery is actually higher than any other branch of surgery (“Beauty Under the Knife” 1). The main contributor to this problem is the fact that cosmetic surgery remains “relatively unregulated” (Toledano 1). Currently, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Texas are the only states...
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