Plastic surgery is currently enjoying an unprecedented level of success all around the world. Over the last decade, the demand for cosmetic enhancements has skyrocketed, growing year over year as traditional markets in the United States and Europe have expanded while new markets have cropped up all across the globe.
When we think about all of that plastic surgery, we typically think of elective cosmetic procedures. We imagine celebrities on magazine covers, stars strolling down the red carpet, or people with money to spare getting nipped and tucked to roll back the clock on their appearance. To be sure, this kind of elective work is important, and it changes people's lives for the better, but there is another side to plastic surgery that is easy to forget about – procedures that don't just enhance people's lives but save their lives.
In certain parts of the world, such as areas of Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent, plastic surgery is necessary in order to survive and make a living, and unfortunately these areas are dramatically underserved. Fortunately, however, plastic surgeons from all over the world volunteer their time and their skills to participate in free camps and other events in an attempt to bring necessary procedures to the people who wouldn't otherwise get them.
For example, The India Project, created by the late Dr. Sharad Kumar Dicksheet, was started to provide free corrective surgeries, such as repairing cleft lips, droopy eyelids and misaligned eyes. Over the last four decades, doctors involved with the project have performed over 260,000 surgeries. Similarly, another program called Operation Smile provides reconstructive facial surgeries to children with a wide range of deformities, including cleft palates and cleft lips, and they have helped hundreds of thousands of kids since 1982.
But these programs don't just benefit children and adults who were born with life-altering deformities. Some of these free clinics offer scar removal, which assists individuals who have suffered accidents or brutal attacks. Once the appearance of their scars is lessened, it increases their likelihood of gaining employment and earning enough money to live on. Similarly, some programs offer surgical fixes for mobility issues, such as repairing injured hands and legs, allowing people to once again earn a steady paycheck.
Without question, these kinds of volunteer initiatives are necessary in order to bring First World medical care to the Third World. Without the work that these doctors do, these underserved patients would continue to suffer from a lower quality of life, and it's an important reminder that plastic surgery isn't only about improving cosmetic appearance.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about plastic surgery, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!