Breast Implants Cost: $6,000, on average Recovery time: Seven to 10 days
Think your breasts could use a boost? Whether a woman wants them larger or perkier, rounder or firmer, going under the knife to enhance her breasts might be a solution. In 2001, a record 220,000 women underwent breast augmentation, according to The Washington Post.
Not only do more women want to improve their curves, they also choose larger models. Females of the 1980s chose an average implant of 250 cubic centimeters, while today's average has risen to 350 cubic centimeters.
The reasons for adding chest leverage are still the same and so are the safety risks that go along with the boosted bosoms.
Implants that deflate or rupture can cause pain, swelling, numbness, burning and an uneven appearance of the breasts. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons believes that breast implants can also lead to capsular contracture, which is when the scar tissue or capsule that normally forms around the implant tightens and squeezes the implant. When this happens, the breast might begin to take on an abnormal form.
If a girl's procedure goes well, she still should expect firm, pink scars for at least six weeks. Also, in cases of deflation, rupture or capsular contracture, the implant often needs to be replaced. Women who never get their implants replaced may have unpleasant dimpling and an overall disappointing cosmetic outcome.
Freshman Elyse Wolf said the high cost of plastic surgery deters her from any kind of procedure. "But maybe if I won the lottery..." she mused.
One of the most significant safety risks in dealing with breast implants is their interference with mammographies. According to the Food and Drug Administration, breast implants may delay or hinder the early detection of breast cancer.
The implant can block the reading, making it more difficult to notice suspicious wounds, injuries or tumors.
Face-lift Cost: $8,500, on average Recovery time: Two weeks
Individuals in their 40s and 50s have turned to face lifts as a way to remain youthful-looking. Face-lifts appeal to those with loose skin, loose wrinkles and a loss of a well-defined jawline. This surgery has become a quick fix for stray lines or droopy necks and requires only a few days of pain medication.
However, some say nothing could make cosmetic surgery worth it.
Sophomore Hannah Fuller said she does not plan on getting plastic surgery. "There's the cost, but also, my self-esteem just doesn't need that," she said. "If it's for medical reasons, or if it's going to make you that much happier, OK. But you should just be happy with yourself the way you are."
A face-lift consists of an incision made behind the ears for lifting of the eyes, and under the chin for access to neck muscles. This skin is undermined, while the muscles are tightened with sutures. The excess tissue is removed, pulling the skin upwards to have a tightening effect.
There are a few post-op safety risks to contemplate.
Skin discoloration and numbness are frequent, but usually go away with time. The real risks come to smokers. There is a 1,500 percent increase in complications among smokers, including blistering and skin death. Any of the many smokers in the AU community might want to quit the habit in the next few years before sitting down on the surgery table.
Rhinoplasty Cost: $3,750, on average Recovery Time: Less than two weeks, though swelling may persist up to one year
A staple of Hollywood starlets and accident victims alike, rhinoplasty (aka "nose job") is one of the most common plastic surgeries performed. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that in 2002, the Society's surgeons performed 354,327 of these procedures.
The procedure is performed for one of two reasons, according to the society: either to enhance the appearance of a normal nose, or to repair a nose that has been disfigured or restricts breathing. In the latter case, the association notes, health insurance may cover the cost of the operation. In the former, the patient himself has to shell out almost $4,000.
"I know a girl who had a nose job, but it was reconstructive," Jane Kato, a freshman, said. "It took about six months to a year for her to recover." Kato added that her friend was happy with the results, however.
Rhinoplasty is usually carried out with the patient under general anesthesia (knocked out), according to plasticsurgery.org. The surgeon then cuts open the skin of the nose, sculpts the bone and cartilage to the shape the patient decided on, and applies a splint to help the nose maintain its new shape as it heals.
After one to two weeks, the splint can be removed, and the patient can return to normal life (albeit with a new, hopefully improved face). Some minor swelling, and recurring runny and bloody noses may persist for up to a year. Other than these side effects, rhinoplasty is safe, according to the Society.
Women are much more likely to undergo rhinoplasty. In 2002, 59 percent of rhino-plasty patients were female, according to Rhinoplastyadvisor.com.
Chin Implant Cost: Between $4,500 and $5,000 Recovery time: One to two weeks
How many times has someone seen a guy and thought, "Wow, that is one fine hunk of man-meat. The ladies would be swarming him - if only he had a sexier chin."
Indeed, not every man is born with an action-hero jawline. Some have weak chins, some have receding chins, and some lack a chin altogether. But for a mere $5,000, anyone can have a surgically enhanced chin that would make Jay Leno proud.
The procedure itself is surprisingly simple and takes less than two hours, according to chinaugmentation.com. The patient is anesthetized, and an incision is made. After that, a prefabricated silicon implant is inserted (hard silicon, not the controversial soft silicon used in breast implants), and the incision is stitched shut.
Recovery usually takes about one to two weeks as the body heals around the implant, according to The American Society of Plastic Surgery. Chinaugmentation.com likens this process to "a pearl, which forms from a grain of sand in an oyster." The analogy of a precious gem becomes even more apt when you consider the cost of the implant.
The Society notes that since the implant is permanent, and the silicon is inert, there is no real risk of the body rejecting it. In fact, infection is the only major risk.
Most chin implant patients are men, though some women also get them, according to MSN.com. Since chin implants are almost always cosmetic, according to MSN, insurance rarely covers them. But can a person really put a price on the sexiness of his chin?