Local surgeon weighs in on nationwide plastic surgery increase

Around the country, the numbers are growing.

Posted: Mar 1, 2019 2:00 PM
Updated: Mar 1, 2019 10:40 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - At Dr. Raja Nalluri's office, beauty is always in.

"They want to look and feel good," said Nalluri, "and they want to put their best foot forward."

Nalluri is a board certified plastic surgeon of 16 years. He's practiced all over the country, including Terre Haute, Indiana at Regional Hospital, where his currently. 

"I think it's a little over 10,000 patients I've treated," he said.

Around the country, the numbers are growing.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, around 17 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2017. That's a two percent increase from the previous year.

We surveyed several people asking if they've ever considered plastic surgery. While the results were pretty close, the majority said they had considered it at some point. 

In the same survey, many pointed to social media/pop-culture as a reason for the rise.

"Compared to the days before where there wasn't social media, and a person would have maybe a few interactions a day, now it's social media," said Nalluri, "People have potentially hundreds or thousands of likes, or tweets or positive receptions."

It's leading to what many surgeons called "Snapchat Dysmorphia". Nalluri says people are falling in love with filters and the "likes" they receive, so much that they're hoping to create the look in real life.

"They're now bringing in pictures of their filtered self, what they'd like to be, and that gets to be a dangerous game," said Nalluri, "Because surgery is real, and the filters and things are not necessarily something I can achieve surgically. So I've got to be real careful in those scenarios."

In his 16 years of practice, Nalluri says he's seen clients as young as pre-teens come through the door. 

"I remember there was a time that Kylie Jenner had posted about lips," he said, "and that really spoke to the young people. So lips are a very popular thing from a very young age."

Nalluri says breast surgery and skin refinement are also among the "popular" procedures for younger clients.

While services that require surgery remain popular, Nalluri says it's the non-surgical treatments that are really buzzing in the industry.

"All the injectables, laser treatments and things that people can get done without necessarily having traditional surgery or downtime," he said, "Those are really skyrocketing."

"Surgeries, generally, are in the thousands range, anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for an average plastic surgery," he added, "The other treatments I mentioned, like the injectables and laser treatments, are in the matter of hundreds. So anywhere from $300 to $400 and up. So that's why a lot of them are more popular."

With these services being in popular demand, Nalluri says there is a constant competition when it comes to consumer price. 

"That is an ongoing, and it's really with advertising and price cutting," he said, "because our specialty is very select. So there are going to be people that try to encroach on the territory." 

"There are a number of people that go to whether it's dentist, or people that aren't really certified, to perform these procedures and unfortunately there can be complications," he said, "and unfortunately, that's when I tend to meet them."

With any procedure comes potential risks. That's why Nalluri recommends people to research the services they're looking for along with a credentialed professional to do the job.

"Word of mouth is important, but also, it's hard to just look on the internet and see," he said, "but you want to visit the surgeon. You want to talk to them, tell them your goals and look at their actual results. Make sure they're board certified as a plastic surgeon."

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