Abu Dhabi: A surgeon has disclosed that many women are seeking plastic surgery to restore their youthful looks and retain the interest of their husbands who they fear will take another younger wife.
"Men are the main cause of pushing these women to plastic surgery," said surgeon Sahar Al Kadhi, who added that marital discord is the main reason why women are willing to go under the knife.
"Surgeons sometimes have to play psychologists for depressed patients who seek surgery to distract themselves from their emotional and physical pain," said Loaay Haidar, a specialist in Italian cosmetic surgery. "We have to choose our patients with extreme care."
Both surgeons said they have to deal with patients who have unrealistic expectations about plastic surgery. "Liposuction does not transform obese people into slender ones, for example. And a facelift does not make an old person look young. This frequently disappoints patients who are looking for a more drastic change," the surgeon said.
A nurse who underwent plastic surgery and did not wish to be identified, said the recovery process could be quite painful.
She underwent mammoplasty and rhinoplasty. "Recovery is always the hard part and patients, myself included, often question why they did it. One reaps the benefits once the recovery process is over," she said.
At that point, some patients like the results so much they want more and seek multiple surgeries. "Some people become [plastic surgery] addicts," Sahar said.
"There's something about a new look that draws people to plastic surgery," she said. "There's much more to it than wanting to look like a runway model."
The surgeon said people here are well informed about plastic surgery.
Some of her patients search the web for the latest techniques before seeking consultation. "Sometimes I'm really astonished about the information they have," she said.
Women between the ages 20 and 65 are the most common age group seeking plastic surgery here, she said. Men commonly seek liposuction or other forms of weight reduction.
Many patients simply want a surgical makeover. Some see models and celebrities and are dissatisfied with what they see in the mirror. Some seek a nose job to fit the image of an Arab. "They like long noses because a traditional Arab should have a long nose," said the surgeon.
Loaay always warns patients about the risks of a procedure. "There are no guarantees against complications," she said.
Sahar is among a handful of women who are licensed to perform plastic surgery in the UAE. Even in general surgery, female surgeons are outnumbered by males, she said.
While some patients trust males more to perform surgery, others say women can better relate to women with their concerns.
Patients should not hesitate to double-check a surgeon's credentials. The nurse recommends board-certified surgeons.
"I think the quality of care in the UAE is extremely variable and I would look long and hard at the credentials of the plastic surgeon ... and scrutinise the qualifications of the anaesthesiologist," she said.
Sahar trusts a surgeon in a hospital more than one in a free-standing villa, and said that even a surgeon with many years of experience may not know enough about a certain procedure.
"I have seen it from both sides and can tell you that prospective patients should definitely do their homework and not rush into plastic surgery," Sahar said.
Have you or anyone you know undergone cosmetic surgery?What was the reason behind this decision to undergo cosmetic surgery?