The Latest in Weird and Wonderful: 2015’s Most Unusual Procedures
There’s a unique intersection in our culture where advances in science meet an “extreme” section of the population and create such pop cultural anomalies as the Human Ken and Barbie doll, Cat Women and the three-boobed Floridian. Then there are the rest of us.
That doesn’t mean we’re immune to wanting less than standard cosmetic procedures to embolden our brow, un-chipmunk our cheeks, or unbutton our bellies. So in the spirit of trends and the unstoppable marching on of modern medicine, let’s take a look at some of the year’s most unusual cosmetic surgery offerings — some fraught with side effects, some ethically questionable, and some not endorsed by your board-certified plastic surgeon — yet they are there for the taking… if you dare but buyer beware.
My kingdom for bold brows.
With the rise of supermodel Cara Delevigne, bushy eyebrows are back, and if you don’t have ‘em, it’s likely you want ‘em. Enter: eyebrow transplants. Not quite as easy as a trip to Sephora for an eyebrow stencil, an eyebrow transplant is achieved through one of two procedures, the Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) or NeoGrafting. FUT is where your surgeon removes a four-inch-wide slice of your scalp, dissects the hairs and then grafts them to the eyebrow area (per the stencil you provide — so yes, there is a stencil involved.) Whereas NeoGrafting uses a machine to suck the hair follicles out of your scalp or the back of your neck and then implants them into the eyebrow area (per stencil.) The plus? Maybe a glorious tuft of fluffy, full eyebrows. The negative? Scarring (FUT) and a less-than-awesome success rate (NeoGrafting).
“Isn’t she daaarling!”
For those of you still carrying the emotional scars of Aunt Marge and her perpetual pinching of your chubby cheeks, there’s hope. It’s in the shape of a surgical procedure called a buccal lipectomy where your surgeon makes a small incision inside the cheek and removes a gumball-sized chunk of fat. The cheeks then hollow inward to create a contour vastly improving on a chubby cheek, jowly or chipmunk-like appearance.
Turn that frown upside down.
Now that “bitchy resting face” is a thing, it was only a matter of time before someone invented a little something called the “grin lift” — a surgery meant to turn a perpetual frown into a smile. The procedure involves a surgeon removing a small triangle from above the corners of the mouth to create a “lift.” But beware, the procedure also tends to create permanent scars that can cause you to look less pleasantly optimistic and more maniacally like The Joker. And since a similar result can be achieved with a visit to your board-certified plastic surgeon and artfully placed filler, you might want to opt for that instead.
Outie go innie.
A little less terrifying than turning your frown upside down, belly button surgery can turn your outie into an innie. Since some outie belly buttons are actually small umbilical hernias, your doctor can perform a procedure called an umbilicoplasty, along with the hernia repair where a small incision is placed in the upper surface of the belly button, essentially turning it into an innie. The procedure typically leaves a scar, but it’s generally well hidden, so those days of pining for a coveted innie are over. Break out the bikinis!
Do I have to?
Must we talk about thigh-gap again? Okay, fine. You’ve seen it on models, prepubescent teens and in the news (as an unattainable standard of beauty promoting thinness at the expense of health), thigh gap is the space between a woman’s inner thighs when standing upright with the knees touching. And since there’s a demand, you can bet your buttons someone’s trying to fill it. Enter a cold laser treatment that claims to contour your shape by melting away fat cells without the pain or burning sensation sometimes associated with heat lasers, shrinking the cells and allowing them to exit out of your lymphatic system. You also have to adhere to a rigid diet and exercise program to see the “best results”.
If the devil is indeed in the details, it’s little wonder that there is a vast array of surgical procedures to “correct” the little things that dog us about our appearance. The question, however is, “should you?” Always consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon before undertaking any procedure to decide if it is worthwhile but also if the result is worth it for you.
To find a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area follow this link