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From Ksh500,000 butt enlargement, here are the eye watering costs of cosmetic surgeries

By Judy Mwobobia | Sunday, Jan 1st 2017 at 13:06
Vera Sidika [Photo: Courtesy]

 Tune into any reality show on television and you will get a whiff of just how popular cosmetic procedures have become.

Some, like the world-renowned Kardashians, and even Kenyan socialites like Huddah Monroe and Vera Sidika, readily admit to undergoing procedures.

Vera Sidika took to Instagram about two years ago to announce her newly acquired breast implants.

She has also had her skin lightened. This year, Huddah admitted to enlarging her breasts by having fat transferred from her bum.

But many others are not about to fess up to some nip and tuck. Mary Nyambura*, a 35-year-old banking professional and mother of two has always resented her flat derriere and when she was done having babies, she decided to get butt implants, a tummy tuck and is now saving up for a boob job.

"I am confident now. I always hated my form when I wore those tight fitting clothes. I don't regret the procedures at all. And I am happier now than I ever was," she explains.

Why are the procedures becoming a more common phenomena in Kenya?

"People are more aware of what they want. And the Internet has made it so much easier for anyone to get information.

I  hear some of my patients say that they feel young on the inside but the outward appearance doesn't match that," says Don Othoro, a cosmetic doctor at Nairobi's Valentis Clinic.

Even though insurance doesn't cover the treatments, the Kenyan middle and upper classes have been queuing for procedures.

Dr. Stanley Khainga, a plastic surgeon in Nairobi says, "I have at least 10 patients come in each month to inquire about various cosmetic surgery procedures.

Out of the 10, at least four or five of the patients will have a procedure carried out."
Cosmetic procedures are can be either surgical or non-surgical.

The term cosmetic surgery is often erroneously used interchangeably with plastic surgery.

The former refers to surgical procedures for physical enhancement while the latter is primarily for repairing defects.

Both are becoming easily accessible in Kenya, with the costs ranging between Sh250,000 to Sh500,000 per procedure.

 Treatments that previously were sought out abroad are now readily available locally in major hospitals and private clinics alike, and in fact, people now come to Kenya for treatments.
"The quality of service in Kenya has gone up.

Where people previously went to South Africa, London and Paris, they realise now that they do not have to," says Dr. Othoro.

So. Which procedures are actually available in Kenya?

NON-SURGICAL PROCEDURES

Botox: "This is done to reverse the effects of facial wrinkles such as crow's feet, laugh lines and worry lines, and it is reversible.

A treatment lasts between 3-4 months," says Othoro who specialises in non-surgical procedures.

How early is too early to get the procedure done? "It depends on one's needs. And it is up to the doctor to assess and judge the need for a procedure.

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