About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Cosmetic Surgery Gaining Popularity in Iraq

by VR Sreeraman on September 4, 2008 at 11:43 AM
Font : A-A+

 Cosmetic Surgery Gaining Popularity in Iraq

Iraqi plastic surgeon Haider remembers only too well when most of his patients were disfigured victims of bomb blasts and suicide bombers. Now clients just want to be made beautiful.

Haider, 41, whose full name is being withheld because doctors are targets of assassination attempts in Iraq, has worked since the start of the 2003 US-led invasion to repair people's shattered or burned extremities.


"I still remember that little girl who had part of her face and neck burned after mortars hit her home. She had serious burn marks and she came to me to have a plastic surgery in the summer of 2005," Haider told AFP in an interview.

The work frays his nerves but Haider said he feels that reconstructive procedures serve a real medical purpose -- unlike the growing trend in Iraq to fix noses, lift buttocks and enlarge breasts.

"It's contradictory to go to work every day and receive two kinds of patients. One group is forced to have surgery because of what happened, and the other come to fulfil their desires by having surgery," Haider said.

"In my opinion the person who wants plastic surgery to beautify himself doesn't need a plastic surgeon but a psychiatrist so that he can gain self-confidence and accept his looks."

Haider's views are not uncommon in conservative Iraq, where cosmetic surgery, while not condemned by the country's most revered Islamic cleric, must adhere to religious law.

Accordingly, doctors must not set eyes on the "forbidden" parts of the female anatomy -- breasts, legs and stomach -- a tricky restriction when it comes to performing liposuction or breast enlargement.

Most doctors simply ignore the regulations.

But the growing popularity of cosmetic surgery in Iraq comes not only against a background of improved security in the country, but also a revival of more orthodox Islam.

Since the execution of secularist dictator Saddam Hussein, women's fashion has taken a sharply conservative Islamic twist with women generally being forced to cover their bodies, and even donning a hijab or headscarf in public.

But like many doctors in Iraq, Haider believes that plastic surgery should be governed by the Hippocratic oath rather than religious edict.

"It's my work, I should try to help people, to try to give them confidence. If I feel my words cannot help then I will do the surgery," he said.

Another doctor, Tariq al-Hamdani, said a person's desire should be the deciding factor in cosmetic surgery -- but within limits.

"Sometimes I don't go through with the surgery if it is not important, like enlarging the lips, or the breasts," said the doctor who estimates that 75 percent of his plastic surgery patients are women.

That didn't stop Nadia Kadhom, a 45-year-old mother of two, from paying 1,900 dollars (1,300 euros) for liposuction on her belly and the augmentation of her buttocks in the hope that it will make her look "more like Beyonce," the full-figured American R'n'B singer.

"I had the surgery to satisfy myself and to have confidence in myself. I want to keep my youthfulness to feel happy," said Kadhom, adding she had the full support of her husband.

But because more groups such as that of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr now advocate a stricter interpretation of Islam, women like Kadhom are unlikely to be able to show their new figures in public.

For college graduate Rula Hameed, the new conservatism is infuriating.

"We were more free during Saddam's time," said Hameed, 23, who recently had a nose job that she described as making her feel more beautiful.

"I was able to go outside and show off my looks and everyone could see me, but now things have been changed because the militias and the Islamists force women to wear hijab.

"I know many girls who are not allowed to go outside because they are beautiful and their parents even stop them from going to college too," Hameed said.

"I know some of the religious men may be against the idea of having plastic surgery, but I don't think it is sinful to have surgery to get rid of something that is really bothering you," she said.

And it's not only women who want to make themselves more attractive.

Mustafa Abbas, a computer engineer said he had surgery on his overly-large nose -- not only to fix his blocked nasal passages but also to improve his chances with the girls.

"I wanted to do it, because I know it made the girls reject me," said Abbas, 27. "I had the surgery as a way to change the difficulties of life...

"I want to start my new life, meet a girl and then get married. Now I can."

Source: AFP

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Black Pepper as Preventive Measure Against Omicron
FODMAP Diet: A Beginner's Guide
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Mandibulofacial Dysostosis Face Lift (Rhytidectomy) Anti-aging Secrets to a Younger You Cosmetic Surgery and the Risk Factors Cosmetics Mineral Makeup Plastic Surgery and Procedures Cosmetic Surgery vs. Plastic Surgery Laser Skin Resurfacing Scar Revision - Cosmetic Surgery 

Recommended Reading
Botox injections, the fastest growing cosmetic procedures, are considered as the ultimate fountain ....
Botox Injections - Animation
Botox or Botulinum toxin A is widely employed in the cosmetic industry due to its anti-ageing ......
Breast Lifting/Mastopexy - Animation
Surgical procedure for lifting sagging or drooping breasts is called Breast lifting or Mastopexy....
Cleft Lip Repair - Animation
A cleft lip repair is a separation of the upper lip that can extend into the nose. Plastic Surgery ....
Anti-aging Secrets to a Younger You
Is there anyone in this world who fails to be swayed by the magic of youth? None, for when youth exp...
Cosmetic Surgery and the Risk Factors
Cosmetic surgeons can reshape your face and body with innovative techniques. Botox, face fillers, br...
Cosmetic Surgery vs. Plastic Surgery
Find out about the differences between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery and how they can make a ...
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing is a procedure that uses a laser to vaporize skin and produces firmer, smooth...
Mandibulofacial Dysostosis
Mandibulofacial Dysostosis refers to a group of head and neck defects that are often inherited as a ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use