When Surgery is a Question of Appearance

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Much of a person’s self-esteem stems from physical appearance and the visual perception of how young or old he or she looks. “Reversing” the aging process via surgical procedures can boost confidence for some and contribute to how attractive they feel.

According to Dr. Gus Galante, a plastic surgeon who treats men and women of all ages, “plastic” comes from the Greek “plasticos,” which means to mold and give form. Plastic surgery, says Galante, is a surgery of form and function.

Galante performs a variety of cosmetic procedures. The more conventional ones are face-lifts, brow lifts, tummy tucks, liposuction, breast augmentation, and treatment for spider veins. Newer techniques such as chemical peel, Botox and collagen treatments, and laser surgery to resurface the skin also are available.

Patients must have realistic expectations and the proper mindset, as well as the correct motivation, Galante said.

“Aesthetic surgery is ideal for someone who is aging but feels good inside, and wants to look as good they feel,” he said.

“It is better to do it for one’s self than for someone else or for frivolous reasons.”

In addition to elective procedures, Galante performs reconstructive surgery, which he describes as “reconstructing the abnormal back to the normal.” This type of surgery is performed after cut or burn accidents to correct birth defects to graft skin after skin cancer surgery and for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

Galante was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and spent most of his childhood years in Munster. A graduate of Munster High School, he earned his undergraduate degree at Wabash College and received his medical education at Indiana University School of Medicine.

He completed both his general surgery and plastic surgery residencies at Loyola University Medical Center and was a Fellow in aesthetic surgery and reconstructive breast surgery at the Institute for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Nashville, Tenn.