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UAE's men and women on the perfect 10 craze.

People in the UAE want to look like pop stars say plastic surgeons as cosmetic surgeries continue to gain popularity.

According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), 1.27 million liposuction and 3.18 million botox procedures took place in the UAE in 2011, highlighting the growth of cosmetic surgeries in the UAE. Another surgical procedure fast gaining popularity in the UAE is face lift, medically known as rhytidectomy.

"They all want small and upturned noses like Haifa Wehbe and Nancy Ajram," says Dr Luiz Toledo, a Brazilian plastic surgeon living in Dubai and practising in his Jumeirah Clinic since 2005. "Forty per cent of my clientele is local -- 80 per cent women, 20 per cent men," he explains. "... They know exactly what they want."

The concept of beauty remains the same -- be it in the Arab world or the West. Liposuction is the most commonly performed procedure world over, including the UAE. "There is no difference in terms of local people's concept of beauty and the western concept of beauty," reaffirms Dr Toledo. According to him, other popular procedures include rhinoplasty (nose jobs), breast augmentation, facelifts and abdominal surgery (tummy tucks).

He says while most of his clients are local, at number two are the British, or people of British descent. The rest, he adds, is a mixture of 73 nationalities. "Bottom or butt tucks are also catching up in the race for top most desired surgery with the famous-for-being famous Hollywood celebrity Kim Kardashian," he adds. Cosmetic surgery was known to be a woman's forte, but times are changing and so are trends. Men are also claiming their place on the aesthetic table, and they are not shy about it.

Worldwide, according to the ISAPS latest statistics, the number of women that go under the knife (85.7 per cent in 2013) is still higher than the number of males (14.3 per cent in 2013), but an interesting and consistent year-on-year increase of men seeking procedures is also obvious (9 per cent in 2012).

"A lot of men are asking for medical or surgical rejuvenation and enhancement," says Dr Bouraoui Kotti, a Plastic Reconstruction and Aesthetic surgeon at Dubai Cosmetic Surgery as well as the ISAPS Spokesperson for media and Public Relations in the Middle East region. "In my daily practice, I am seeing more men especially here in the Middle East. Beauty and beatification are no longer a taboo for males and a lot of beauty and fashion trends understand that a new era of beauty for men is here."

Hair here, gone tomorrow

According to the ISAPS statistics, the top five surgical procedures performed on men worldwide were: Rhinoplasty, Breast Reduction or Gynecomastia, Blepharoplasty, Liposuction and Otoplasty. "But in the Middle East, we find that "hair transplantation" comes at the top compared to the above international top five," explains Dr Kotti.

Anisa Vrabac, Head of Hair Transplant Department at Dubai Cosmetic Surgery says: "Men suffering from hair loss have realised that they now have a choice, and they do not have to stay bald for the rest of their lives. "In addition to performing the hair transplant procedure on the scalp, we also keep up with the Arab culture of keeping a full beard," she explains adding that the clinic has a lot of men coming in for beard transplants using the same technique.

Also, she notes, most people in the Middle East are convinced that their thinning hair is caused by the weather and the salty water, but that is not true. "Genetics is mostly the root cause of hair loss, regardless of where you live and the hormone, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), is the biggest culprit when it comes to androgenic alopecia."

Other contributing factors according to Anisa are severe stress, physical or psychological, and traction alopecia when the hair is braided or tied in a tight pony tail.

Dr Kotti says: "What we are seeing in Dubai is already different from the other GCC countries. Definitely hair transplantation and liposuction are more common in the UAE, while rhinoplasty is the most asked procedure in Iran."

A lot of non-surgical procedures are also performed every day in the Middle East, especially in the UAE for men. "This includes botox, fillers lipo-filling, acne scar treatment, laser, tattoo or scar removal," he says, adding that the challenge here is to find the time out of work to do this kind of treatments. This may also explain why less-invasive procedures are more and more in vogue in Dubai. Cosmetic surgeries are growing in popularity for another main reason. "It is because of advances made in the field of plastic surgery, procedures are not as dramatic. They are less invasive and many non-surgical procedures have been realised," says Dr Rahul Tandon, Consultant, Plastic Surgery at Abu Dhabi's Burjeel Hospital.

"Face lifts improve aging signs in the mid to lower face and neck, including sagging in the mid face area, creases below the eyes, laugh lines, jowls, and loose skin and fat below the chin and jaw. For individuals concerned with facial aging, the facelift can restore a dramatically more youthful and rested facial appearance," he adds.

A facelift is usually done with the patient under general anesthesia or IV sedation. During the operation after the incisions are made, the deeper tissues are lifted and repositioned and excess skin is removed. For those opting for less extensive rejuvenation, the procedure can be done through shorter incisions. After the surgery, the incisions will be covered in bandages and sometimes drainage tubes are inserted. While initially patients will experience some discomfort, swelling and bruises, these can be eased with medication. Stitches are removed seven days later, and work and other non-strenuous activities can be resumed after two weeks.

"Most patients are worried that they will have to walk around with scars on their faces after the surgery. But this is not the case as the facelift incision is well-concealed to allow for minimal visibility and is generally in front of and behind the ears and in the hairline," assures Dr Tandon.

"Candidates for facelift surgery should also be in good overall health, should not smoke, and should be realistic in their goals for improvement. A consultation with the plastic surgeon is the best way to determine if a facelift is right for you."

Dubai has announced that it plans to attract 500,000 medical tourists a year and boost its economy by up to Dh2.6 billion in the next five years. Cosmetic surgery is one of the most in demand medical procedure in the emirate.

asmaalizain@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Feb 24, 2015
Words:1114
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