Plastic surgery considered a health benefit in Brazil
April 17, 2012
While plastic surgery is considered a luxury in America, in Brazil it's considered a right.
A recent Associated Press report in the Daily News revealed that thousands of the country's poor have undergone plastic surgery procedures such as Botox injections, laser hair removal, chemical peels and laser treatments free of charge.
According to the AP, more than 220 clinics throughout the country offer free or discounted plastic surgery to those who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it. The reason - these procedures help boost self-esteem and enable patients to feel more confident about themselves.
"What's a wrinkle? Something minor, right? Something with precious little importance," a Rio de Janeiro-based plastic surgeon, told the AP. "But when we treat the wrinkle, that unimportant little thing, we're actually treating something very important: The patient's self esteem."
Dr. Ivo Pitanguy, the “philosopher of plastic surgery” in Brazil founded the first surgical center to treat the poor, mainly focusing on burn victims and those with deformities, but also offered discounted cosmetic surgery. Now, the growing numbers of hospitals and clinics that offer these services have long lines and waiting lists. Once a surgery is approved by a physician, patients might wait years to undergo their desired procedure.
And while the cosmetic procedures are beneficial to those undergoing them, it can also be argued that there's a benefit for the providers as well, as they allow young doctors to gain experience.
Brazil, a common destination for medical tourists seeking discounted plastic surgery procedures, is the world's top plastic surgery provider, with the United States coming in second place.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), more than 9.1 million plastic surgery procedures were performed in the US in 2011. The most common cosmetic surgeries included liposuction, breast augmentation, tummy tucks, cosmetic eyelid surgery and breast lifts. The most common nonsurgical procedures included botulinum toxin type A injections, hyaluronic acid injections, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion and laser treatments.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.
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