Worried your pinky toe is too fat? There’s a surgery for that! Always wished you had dimples? Now you can! Millions of people went under the knife for cosmetic procedures in 2012. And while breast augmentation, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, liposuction and facelifts made up the top five, many people are opting for something a little more, well, unusual.
A 10- to 20-minute outpatient procedure can give you dimples like Mario Lopez. For about $2,000, a plastic surgeon makes small incisions in a patient’s cheeks and then stitches the dimples into place. (Yes, anesthesia is involved.) With only about a week of bruising and maybe some swelling, it’s a relatively minor procedure that heals within a month. But if you really need a change, may we suggest something a little less permanent (and cheaper), like a piercing or perhaps a new hair color?
Thanks to a pseudosurgical procedure known as “ear pointing” or “elfing,” humans can now trick other humans into believing they’re actually Vulcans or visitors from Middle Earth. Only a handful of practitioners offer the procedure, which removes tissue at the top of the ear and sutures the two ends together to create a point. Photos of the healing process are not pretty.
The ultimate shortcut to a hot bod, high-definition liposuction sucks out fat from certain areas of the body to create the appearance of things you find on people who actually eat right and work out religiously, like six-packs. The procedure can take up to six hours, and patients usually return to work and everyday routines after seven to 10 days of post-lipo care therapy. The improved muscle definition takes roughly three to four weeks to first appear, since it takes about that long for the swelling to go away. The cost ranges from $7,000 to $20,000.
Ear lobes tend to sag with age — especially if you’ve spent a good part of your life wearing heavy, clunky earrings. Sometimes the hole from piercings even stretches south enough that it eventually tears through the bottom of the lobe, which can be fixed with surgery. Ear-plumping procedures costing roughly $500 to $600 claim to repair droopy ears in minutes, and ear lobe reduction surgery is sometimes performed to reshape the lobe.
Increasingly more women are signing up for the unfortunately nicknamed “Loub job,” a cosmetic procedure that uses collagen injections to plump up the toe pads, heels and balls of the feet. The purpose? To make high heels — like the ones made by Christian Louboutin, for whom the procedure is nicknamed — less painful. If you wear stilettos constantly, though, you’ll have to see the dermatologist again after two to three months, since the effects wear off with time. Oh, and be prepared to pay $500 per foot. Think of how many shoes you could buy instead!
“Does this dress make my knees look fat?” For people who actually ponder questions like this, there is knee lift surgery. As people age, gravity tends to take a toll everywhere — including on the skin above the knee. To eliminate the saggy skin look, many women pay for surgeons to remove the excess tissue. Demi Moore did this in 2006 after battling a severe condition known as knee wrinkles.
A dangerous surgery once reserved for people with congenital facial deformities or excessive over- or underbites is gaining popularity as a cosmetic procedure in South Korea. Double-jaw surgery realigns the upper and lower jaws and often creates a slimmer jawline, which helps create the V-shaped face that much of East Asia considers a mark of feminine beauty, says The Raw Story. Recovery takes months, and risks include permanent facial numbness or even paralysis.
Once performed mainly for those with dwarfism or crippling deformities, limb-lengthening surgery is becoming more common among people — mainly men — who simply hate being short. And it’s not an easy, in-and-out surgery. According to The Week, a doctor breaks the shin bone and inserts a telescoping rod that slowly pulls the bone apart, allowing new bone, nerves, arteries and skin to grow in the empty space. Acquiring an extra two to three inches comes with risks like nerve damage, uneven lengthening, hip problems and paralysis. Oh yeah, and you don’t get anti-inflammatory painkillers because they could hinder bone growth.
In case ladies didn’t have enough to worry about in our superficial society, women of all ages — including teens — have also started wondering if their vaginas are pretty enough. What constitutes a pretty vagina, you ask? We have no idea. But plastic surgeons all over the country are offering various forms of female genital cosmetic surgery to improve the appearance of women’s “lady parts” or reverse the effects of childbirth. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists spoke out about procedures like “vaginal rejuvenation” and “designer vaginoplasty” in 2007, stating that there’s no scientific data supporting their efficacy, but more than 2,140 women underwent “vaginal rejuvenation” in 2011 despite the criticism and risks.
Some women would give their pinky toe to comfortably fit in high heels — literally. Fox News reported a rise in cosmetic toe surgeries among women who want to eliminate the pain of wearing stilettos. While some do the extreme and remove an entire toe, others opt for toe-shortening procedures for oddly shaped feet, and some pay to have fat shaved off their toes because they believe they suffer from “toe-besity.”