Agu Onyedikachi Dawn
One of the tragedies of human kind is identity crisis. Many are confronted with crisis of blunt failure to appreciate God’s creation in them and failure to appreciate one’s look regardless of how appealing they are. Little wonder many go extra miles to recreate themselves through all manners of enhancements popularly called plastic surgery.
The fixation caught across sexes. The dark wants to fair, the fair wants to be fairer. In terms of body features, many are unsatisfactorily insatiable, resulting in those having one feature big opting for the reduction and visa-viz.
The craze for plastic surgery in Nigeria has been on the rise. The motivation always comes with a notion of not appreciating one’s naturalness and wanting to medically enhance it through a procedure to seek satisfaction in the desired body feature to make one feel good.
Plastic surgery is majorly divided in two categories, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. In recent times, cosmetic surgery in Nigeria has been on the increase as more people, across sex, undertake quicker and sustainable ways to look and feel better about themselves.
Abuja residents are not left out of the trend as specialist hospitals and clinics have continued to proliferate. Patronage has also been on the rise and ranges from organ enlargement for men and all manners of features enhancements for women.
Reasons vary from as many individuals that are involved in the trend. For some, it was the best that can happen to them yet for many others, it was the beginning of what have now become their endless woes. Regardless of their reasons, it surgery doesn’t come cheap.
Tagged with all manners of medical jargons like butt enlargement, tummy tuck liposuction, e.t,c., the surgeries have become a cash cow for medical centres involved in it and a serious financial strain, running into millions of naira, on the increasing number of those patronising them.
For Blessing Emeh, a patient at a hospital in Abuja, her choice for a plastic surgery is that it comes as a better alternative when dieting and regular exercising don’t seem to do the trick: “Six months ago, I had a mini tuck, liposuction and fat transfer to the back.
“I decided to go for plastic surgery because I had tried dieting and exercising but not getting the desired result. After I have lost a bit of the weight when I stop my dieting, I would gain more.
“Sometime last year, I had a friend who introduced me to plastic surgery and how it is now done in Nigeria by some specialist doctors. I did some research to confirm it, started my consultation in February and by March I was scheduled to do it.
“It is not so outrageous, I have a good financial plan and saved up before going to the doctor based on my research. I used about N5 million to get everything done.
“Now that I have the body I want, I have to go the extra mile to maintain it. I specifically watch what I eat. With liposuction, I can add the weight back so I eat healthy and exercise more. I don’t really tell people that I underwent surgery because there is a stigma attached to it. However, I believe this is one good decision I made for myself.”
Another patient, Agbor Princess, shared her reasons for choosing plastic surgery: “I had my first surgery a year ago, I am preparing to go for a breast lift to completely get the dream body shape I have always wanted and desired. I see all these celebrities that have a good body and I wanted mine too. I don’t like exercising and I cannot diet so I knew surgery could help me.
“I did the surgery as a gift for myself. It is not cheap so I had to save for it. I had a butt enlargement, tummy tuck and liposuction. Liposuction was mainly to remove the stubborn fats I had on my back, thigh area and arms. I was not naturally a slim person so I needed the fat taken away.”
On post-surgery requirements, she said: “I exercise regularly; the surgery is the easier part, keeping the body the same is where the work lies. I can’t say I diet, but I watch what I eat most times. Apart from my close friends who know about the surgery when I had it, I don’t tell anyone. I like to say that I exercised and dieted. Nigerians like to judge you for seeking help to get the body you want.
“The best thing about the surgery is confidence, I feel good about myself. I enjoy dressing up and going out. People are always complimenting me and I like the attention I get. The reason I am going for the breast lift is to balance out my body, the down part is already good. Just want to complete the transformation.”
Speaking on the intricacies involved in the surgery and allaying the fears of many on the side effects of the surgery, a consultant plastic surgeon, described it as ladies’ secret of beauty: “The most popular cosmetic surgeries include; liposuction, tummy tuck, breast lift/reduction and buttock lift. Women are taking more control of their body to make choices that are bold and life changing to get the satisfaction they want.”
Another surgeon, Dr Mariam, said: “Men also buy into the idea, although not as rapidly as the females, they mostly focus on reconstructive surgery like keloids scars, which is a result of abnormal scar formations. One of the popular cosmetic surgeries for the male is the removal of breast tissue, basically to have firm chest.
“The price range of surgery is between N700,000 and N1.2 million for lifts like arm and thigh. One can have multiple surgeries at a time as a safety precaution to avoid anaesthesia severally. The most common procedure is liposuction because most people are still not comfortable to confirm to society that surgery is okay.”
She also spoke on the processes involved in performing cosmetic surgeries: “Each person is different so the risk involved is equally different. The risks involved after a successful surgery are minors like scarring, pain, redness, swelling, bruising and so on. These basically subside after few weeks or months.
“Death has never been a big risk because of the carefulness to each surgery; however, death can or may occur but it is at a minimal level. The only death experience I have encountered was caused by a blood reaction but the surgery was successful, unfortunately she needed a blood transfusion and reacted allergically to the blood that she was given.
“I am certain that plastic surgery will keep striving in Nigeria and soon people will normalise to the fact that it is okay to enhance or correct your body feature because it’s a choice. It is not playing God, God gave the doctors the brain.”