People with money are spending it on what they love best: themselves. People seeking younger, fitter and prettier selves at neighbourhood cosmetic clinics have almost doubled since last year, with both men and women paying for chiselled perfection denied to many even after gruelling gym sessions and a lifetime of dietary deprivation.
"Breast implants, tummy tucks and nose jobs are very last year. This year, the focus is on contouring and sculpting," says Dr Ajaya Kashyap, chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi.
Top 5 Cosmetic procedures
Cheek and chin augmentation
Nike Swoosh cheekbones are in high demand among women, while men prefer hollowed-out Steve Jobs-like cheeks. In some cases, synthetic implants are placed inside the mouth to make the natural cheekbones or chin more prominent, but now most people prefer injected fat as it involves no cuts.
What you need to know:
Incisions are made underneath the chin or inside the mouth (for both chin and cheek). Swelling and bruising may take two weeks to subside.
Ear and lip remodelling
This involves pinning back protruding ears by removing some cartilage through an incision at the back and/or snipping off and remodeling large lobes. Droopy lips, too, can be reshaped to give people a happy expression, which surgeons refer to as the "Mona-Lisa smile".
What you need to know: Ear swelling and bruising takes two to three days to disappear.
Cost: Rs 35,000-40,000 for snipped lobes and smile; up to Rs 1 lakh for ear-reshaping
Moobs - man boobs - are fairly common among men who lose weight suddenly or those who have taken steroids or supplements to build muscle at some point. "To make enlarged, women-like breasts in men smaller, excess glandular tissue is surgically removed," says Dr Agarwal. The surgery lasts about one hour.
What you need to know:
The bruising, swelling and pain may last for three to four days.
Cost: Rs 90,000 - Rs 1 lakh
Thermage (non-surgical facelift)
This no cuts-no stitches facelift involves using radio frequency waves to reach deep beneath the skin's surface to make it supple. "The heat tightens existing collagen and stimulates the formation of new collagen, which reduces sagging, renews contours and improves the skin's smoothness and texture. Some changes are visible immediately, but the full benefits kick in after eight weeks as natural collagen is rebuilt," said senior dermatologist Dr Shehla Agarwal. As many men as women seek treatment, usually in their 40s.
What you need to know: It's a walkaway procedure with no downtime, but minor redness or swelling lasts for a day. You need to repeat the treatment every few years.