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A look at cosmetic surgery on the island

Cosmetic surgery, while no longer rare, is still a taboo topic in Bermuda. Cosmetic procedures are more common and less noticeable now thanks to constant medical and technological advances. Whether one wants to turn back the clock, fix insecurities or simply achieve an “ideal body”, the number of people who undergo aesthetic producers on the island continues to grow with time.

Bermuda is no stranger to the market, with facilities offering smaller procedures such as Botox, fillers and lip enhancements. These are relatively “quick and easy” and can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000; while bigger surgical procedures such as breast augmentations and “tummy-tucks”, done at KEMH, require more care, have significantly longer recovery times and can range from $7,000-$10,000.

“For Bermudians, people don’t want to look any different than their best self, enhancing or restoring their natural features, not really trying to go above and beyond”, says Dr Kyjuan Brown, Medical Director at Northshore Medical & Aesthetics Center. Bermuda’s top procedures are microdermabrasion –– a minimally invasive procedure that exfoliates and removes dead skin –– Botox, chemical skin peels, body contouring and liposuctions/tummy-tucks. The majority of these procedures are “quick fixes” for specific problem areas, most Bermudians don’t choose to go for the more drastic procedures.

There will always be some, though, who push the limits. When considering cosmetic surgery or any type of aesthetic procedure, it’s important to have realistic expectations and be fully aware of possible complications.Though these services are becoming more normal, they are still surgical procedures and should be treated as such. Some are life-long alterations and can sometimes be irreversible, which shouldn’t be taken lightly. “Make sure that you find a surgeon that is capable, well-researched and ask him the tough questions. What is your success rate? Have you had any patients with complications? Ask around for opinions and references. You want to go where people have gone before, and can vouch for the integrity of the service to be sure that they are capable of delivering great work”, warns Dr Brown.

The biggest problem one can encounter is the risk of infection, which can significantly increase due to malpractice. A serious infection after a breast augmentation, for example, would require a patient to remove implants, take antibiotics and then have to repeat the procedure, once healed. The idea of “the perfect body” and the standards of beauty are constantly evolving, which is important to consider before making irreversible decisions.

There is a reason why the market plays off of a need to defy the effects of ageing –– for both women and men. In a time where everyone is a mini-celebrity, it’s not surprising to find an increasing number of people willing to undergo treatments to counteract the inevitable. “If you want it and you can afford it, why not go for it?” asks Dr Brown. If performed safely, by a qualified physician and for the right reasons, altering one’s look can be something empowering rather than something to be ashamed of.

This article was originally published in the Fall 2018 edition of RG Magazine.

Alejandra Ottley is a Bermuda-based, 22-year-old writer and digital content creator; a millennial “growing up” in the digital era. She is inquisitive, analytical and passionate about showcasing the uniqueness of Bermudian lifestyle.

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