While liposuction, facelifts and breast augmentations number among the most popular cosmetic procedures in Europe, around the world some rather more unusual treatments are in demand.
Although they might sound strange to us, these cosmetic procedures help the recipients achieve the standards of beauty most sought after in their country and culture.
1. Dimple creation surgery
In Asia, cheek dimples are considered a good omen, indicating fortune and fertility, which is one of the reasons dimple creation surgery is so popular there. However, dimples are also considered cute and youthful and this procedure is now gaining popularity in the west too.
|Taiwanese celebrity Jasper Liu displays both |
enviable dimples and aegyo sal. Credit: 白卡玲
Around 20% of the population have natural dimples, which are actually a birth defect resulting from a shortened facial muscle. Dimple creation surgery is minimally invasive, performed under local anaesthetic and involves a stich being placed inside the cheek.
2. Aegyo sal surgery
Aegyo sal is a Korean term for the small pocket of fat directly beneath the eye. It is distinct from eye bags and usually seen in children. Koreans believe aegyo sal to be highly desirable, giving a youthful and cute appearance.
Aegyo sal can be achieved in two ways, either by inserting a strip of surgical fabric under the skin’s surface through two small incisions or using facial filler (a temporary option, lasting around six months). You can also buy transparent sticky tape to place under the eye for a DIY solution!
3. Double eyelid surgery
|A Korean woman with 'monolid' eyelids typical|
in Asian people. Credit: Petar Milošević
The surgery pulls the eyelid back and thus makes the patients’ eyes look bigger and rounder. Non-surgical methods of achieving double eyelids are also popular including stick-on tape and eyelid glue.
4. Cinderella Surgery
Remember how none of the Ugly Sisters could fit into Cinderella’s glass slipper? They might have been able to had they undergone this surgical procedure.
So-called Cinderella Surgery sees a patient’s feet shortened and slimmed so they can fit into high heels more comfortably and has been gaining popularity in the States. The treatment can include removal of the small toe and the shortening of toes. Fat or collagen can also be injected into the soles of the feet to make walking in stilettos less painful.
5. Smile lift surgery
|Smile lift surgery performed by |
Aone Clinic in Korea
However it is also popular with men and women in general as it allows them to look happy, friendly and confident even when they are not smiling. To achieve a permanently upturned mouth the muscles around the mouth are cut and repositioned.
6. Thigh gap surgery
|Model with a prominent 'thigh gap'.|
It is a space between the inner thighs that remains when the knees are touching – and now females in America are undergoing a cosmetic procedure to get it. The treatment is carried out using non-surgical CoolSculpting, where the fat cells are killed off over a course of two-hour sessions by exposure to cold temperatures.
7. Leg extension surgery
Leg extension surgery is not dissimilar to mediaeval torture but it is a trend in China where minimum heights are common for many careers. The procedure involves both legs being broken and then stretched on a rack.
Next, telescopic rods are inserted into the cartilage which pulls it apart very gradually, by one millimetre a day. New living bone grows along it to fill the gap, while muscles, nerves, arteries and skin also renew themselves. It takes at least three months to complete, requires gruelling physical therapy and costs around $85,000, but patients can gain up to six inches in height.