It’s important for any individual considering cosmetic surgery to research what exactly cosmetic surgery can and can’t do for them.
Many television shows and advertisements set unrealistic expectations of the results for cosmetic surgery while downplaying the risks and recovery time involved with serious medical procedures.
Cosmetic surgery is no immediate fix or easy route to an attractive body that you’re happy with. It has to the potential to positively affect how individuals relate to the people and the world around them, but it’s a significant and largely permanent decision to make for your body.
In a time where many people want to fit into societies defined norms cosmetic surgery has become more popular, and people are disheartened by their efforts to attain the ideal look.
A large role for medical practitioners is setting expectations and defining what cosmetic surgery can do for them, and what it can’t.
What Cosmetic Surgery Can Do
Direct benefits of cosmetic surgery such as improving appearance are just one of many benefits operations can provide; there are also indirect health benefits and emotional benefits for those whose physical features are tied up with their emotional happiness or wellbeing.
Cosmetic surgery is perfect for fine-tuning a flawed body part, and it has been discussed in Daniel Hamermesh’s book, Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful that more attractive individuals enjoy more professional and personal opportunities.
Individuals who conduct the right research, contact a registered and experienced medical practitioner can achieve great results that can enhance their look without any issues.
Even if the aesthetic improvement is the driving force behind the decision to have cosmetic surgery, some may realise that there are many benefits beyond this fact.
There are often psychological or emotional reasons for cosmetic surgery beyond wishing to reduce the appearance of ageing or achieve their desired look, and so many of the benefits that come from surgery are psychological or emotional too.
Often the emotional benefits far outweigh the physical transformation itself as newfound confidence affects all aspects of their life-giving them the drive and ability to fulfil their professional and personal aspirations.
Improvements to an individual’s actual and perceived appearance translate into increased self-confidence for most people, which means people see a reduction in social anxiety after their surgery and become more extroverted.
Individuals often say that ‘they feel better about themselves’, which is often the case when a physical manifestation of their insecurities is removed.
The removal of unsightly birthmarks, a hooked nose or other negatively defining features that have existed since birth can give them a new lease on life.
Some plastic surgery procedures can improve your physical health as well as your looks. For example, rhinoplasty can also be done to correct breathing problems get the added benefit of not snoring as much or at all after recovery is complete.
A breast reduction may ease back pain and correct back problems due to having less strain on your shoulders and back from the weight of proportionate breasts.
Liposuction has an added benefit for people post-operation as the lost weight enables them to improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels easier.
Patients joints may also benefit because they will not have as much pressure on them, easing joint pain and stiffness.
Many patients seeking to lose weight through surgical intervention find that it gives the inspiration and second chance that they needed to keep the weight down after their cosmetic surgery.
What Cosmetic Surgery Can’t Do
It’s important for surgery candidates and medical practitioners to ensure that they’re undergoing a procedure for the right reasons.
Some people’s emotions have an enormous effect on how they think they look. Individuals who are depressed, extremely self-critical, or have a distorted view of their bodies may believe that changing their looks will solve all their problems.
Candidates who undergo cosmetic surgery to satisfy someone other than themselves whether it be a partner, family member or society perceived norms have proven to be unsatisfied. This also stands true for those with unrealistic expectations.
Almost all young adults and adults are self-conscious about their bodies, but cosmetic surgery is not the answer for a lot of people as they become more comfortable with their bodies as they either mature or change as they go through different stages in their life.
Body dysmorphia is a mental health disorder when someone is obsessed with a minor physical flaw and seeks cosmetic surgery to fix it. It accounts for up to 12% of individuals who get cosmetic surgery.
There are many aspects of our lives over which we have little control that people seek to influence through other means such as changing their bodies. Here is a shortlist of things that cosmetic surgery cannot do.
Cosmetic Surgery CAN’T:
- Be a shortcut to a better sex life
- Replace your face with a celebrity’s
- Fix a relationship by pleasing a partner – Cosmetic surgery is about patients, not their partners
- Change your appearance with zero risk – Every surgery comes with risk
- Make you feel better after a loss or to get through a crisis – cosmetic surgery carries its own psychological challenges
- Stop the ageing process
- Replace exercise and a healthy lifestyle
An emotional time is the worst to undergo a cosmetic operation, and It’s not valuable to use surgical intervention to fix what can be corrected in a nonsurgical manner. Working out the emotional problem with the help of a trained therapist is better.
What Makes A Good Candidate For Cosmetic Surgery?
Your unique body characteristics should factor into your decision whether to have a cosmetic procedure.
The reasons behind an individual wanting to change their body surgically should be sound otherwise they will not reap the value of the final product as it will not meet their expectation or needs.
Candidates who are inappropriate for cosmetic surgery include:
- Candidates in crisis whose goals that cannot be achieved through an appearance change
- Candidates with unrealistic expectations
- Impossible-to-please candidates
- Candidates who are obsessed with a very minor defect
- Candidates with mental illness
Although some candidates have their mindset on certain procedures they may not fill out all the requirements and may benefit from a less drastic procedure to achieve the same result.
Some women benefit from eyebrow waxing as much as a brow lift to change the perceived expression of their face.
- Consider and research the procedures available before a consultation
- Seek advice from your GP to ensure that you are a suitable candidate to interpret any advertising claims.
- Have a consultation with an appropriately registered cosmetic surgeon.
- If you are considering a cosmetic procedure overseas, confirm that the doctor is properly registered in that country.
- Ensure that you fully understand the expected outcome and potential complications
- Establish the included/excluded costs of your procedure
- Avoid being tempted by the offer of discounted prices
- Take a week to a fortnight cooling-off period between the consultation and surgery
Dr Robert Goldman, B.Sc (Hons), MB.Ch.B, F.R.A.C.S., performs cosmetic breast surgery and abdominal surgery, those areas that are part of his speciality of general breast and abdominal surgery. He received advanced training in both General and Breast Surgery at Royal Perth Hospital WA, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Fremantle Hospital WA and was awarded his Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1997.
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