Historically, women of African extraction are recognised the world over for having naturally voluptuous bodies. Women with such bodies are often hailed for having desired shapes which are described as a 'Coca-Cola shape', 'hourglass' or a guitar shape.
However, it appears many of those who do not have such features are now flocking in droves to have their features enhanced.
Ghana is no exception and that is contributing to the growth of the list of cosmetic surgeons across the country.
According to a cosmetic surgeon, Dr Kwasi Debra, who is benefiting from this boon, the desire to have such shapely bodies has been greatly influenced by the internet, television and social media which have brought celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B closer to many Ghanaians.
Dr Debra who claims to perform an average of 10 procedures a week when he is in the country says his clients come from every walk of life and include young people in their twenties with aspirations to be models or work in the corporate world.
He said cosmetic surgery has become very popular in Ghana and for most clients, after enquiries, it is only a question of being able to afford it.
Most popular cosmetic procedures in Ghana
Dr Debra told Graphic Online that in Ghana, one of the most popular procedures among his clientele is the Brazilian Butt Lift.
He said the minimally invasive procedure involves removing fat from large areas and transferring it into your buttocks. This gives a flatter stomach, much smaller waist, and fuller more shapely butt all in one procedure.
"Brazilian butt lift is a term derived from Brazil because people started going for procedures where they transfer fat from one part of the body to their buttocks and it creates a nice silhouette like an hourglass shape," explained Dr Debrah who works as a cosmetic surgeon in Maryland, USA and Accra, Ghana.
"Essentially, the procedure is a redistribution of fat from the arms, mid-section, front side and back, that is why we call it Lipo-360".
He said breast enhancements were also popular among Ghanaian women who opt for cosmetic surgery to enhance their beauty.
"A few women want to enhance their breasts that is the breast lift and augmentation that is putting in implants, which is not common but they keep talking about it but the breast lift is really the common one. Some people also opt for breast reduction".
He disclosed that most of his clients, however, only come in for a Mummy Makeover, a combination of procedures designed to restore various parts of the body, particularly after pregnancy. It commonly includes a tummy tuck (to remove loose skin in the abdomen) and breast augmentation or a breast lift (to address breasts that have deflated or sagged). Liposuction may also be performed to help with body contouring.
Do Ghanaian men come for cosmetic surgery?
Dr Debra said for the two weeks that he has been in the country for instance, he has performed two procedures on males patients who wanted to enhance the definition of their chest and their abdominal muscles.
He stated that some men as a result of a hormonal imbalance develop glandular tissue in their breasts—as opposed to fat tissue— a condition named gynecomastia (and also described as man boobs).
"There is a condition called gynecomastia, where the men have breast which is not normal. Most of the causes in hormonal induced, so they come in and we remove the fat to give them a flat chest...
"The men who want to have a six-pack, I have had to do a few of them to reduce the fat on their sides and potbelly but sometimes they still have to work out because the fat is beneath the skin and around the intestines".
Cost of cosmetic surgery
He said the breakdown of the cost of cosmetic surgery which includes professional fees, facility charges, medication and anaesthesia amounts to $5,000.
"Ballpark, anywhere from about $5,000 and up but it depends on how much work has to be done, that's how we price it," he revealed.
Risk factors associated with cosmetic surgery
Dr Debra admitted that cosmetic procedures come with certain risks which can be guarded against by using certain precautions.
According to him, risk factors that must be guarded against include the unresolved medical histories of patients as well as the experience of cosmetic surgeons with regards to medical emergencies.
"First thing that I do is to evaluate the medical history of the patient and take a thorough medical history to find out if they have cardiac problems, high blood pressure or sickle cell which come to play during any surgery," he said.