The Double-Edged Sword: How Plastic Surgery Can Boost You (or Break You)

Don’t rush into plastic surgery: it deserves thorough research and reflection.

Plastic surgery goes far beyond cosmetic enhancements. While it’s often associated with altering appearance, it encompasses a much wider spectrum. Reconstructive surgery, craniofacial surgery, and burn treatment are just a few examples of its practical applications aimed at restoring form and function.

Regardless of the reason for seeking plastic surgery, careful consideration is crucial. Every procedure carries potential benefits and drawbacks that need to be weighed thoroughly. This article delves into both sides of the coin, exploring the potential advantages and disadvantages of undergoing plastic surgery.

The Hidden Costs: Considering the Risks of Plastic Surgery

All surgeries carry inherent risks, and plastic surgery is no exception. These risks can impact not just your physical well-being but also your mental health.

Mind Over Matter: Managing Expectations for a Positive Outcome

The success of plastic surgery hinges largely on a patient’s mindset. Unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and emotional distress. Remember, plastic surgery can enhance your appearance, but it’s not a magic solution to life’s problems or troubled relationships. It’s also crucial to accept that physical perfection is an illusion.

For some, it’s a chance to correct a long-held insecurity. However, a deeper issue might be lurking.

People who are excessively critical of their appearance might have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). This is a mental health condition characterized by an obsessive preoccupation with a perceived flaw, often magnified beyond its actual severity. It affects a significant portion of the population (between 1.7% and 2.4%).

Individuals with BDD often seek out multiple procedures but remain unhappy with the results. In such cases, ethical plastic surgeons may decline to operate.

Taking Care of You: Prioritize a Mental Health Check Before Going Under the Knife

If you experience intense negativity towards your appearance, consulting a doctor or therapist to explore the possibility of BDD is highly recommended before considering plastic surgery. This proactive step can help ensure a positive outcome for your overall well-being.

Considering Risk of Plastic Surgery

Potential Risks of Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery, like any surgery, carries inherent risks. While uncommon, serious complications can occur. Here’s a breakdown of some common risks associated with surgical procedures:

  • Infection: As with any wound, there’s a chance of infection following surgery.
  • Bleeding: Excessive bleeding during or after surgery (hemorrhage) or blood clot formation (hematoma) can happen.
  • Fluid Buildup: Seroma, a collection of fluid, may develop at the surgical site.
  • Nerve or Organ Damage: Nerves or organs near the surgical area could be accidentally injured.
  • Scarring: Scarring is a natural part of the healing process, but the extent and visibility of scars can vary.
  • Anesthesia Complications: Risks associated with anesthesia include allergic reactions, breathing problems, or even cardiac arrest in rare cases.

Positive Physical Outcomes of Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery can offer benefits beyond aesthetics. Here are some examples:

  • Improved Function: Certain procedures, like eyelid lifts, can improve vision by removing excess skin obstructing the eyes. Breast reduction surgery can alleviate chronic back and neck pain caused by heavy breasts.
  • Enhanced Self-Image and Confidence: For many people, successful plastic surgery can lead to a significant boost in self-esteem and confidence. When a physical feature that caused self-consciousness is addressed, it can alleviate social anxiety and make individuals feel more outgoing and comfortable in their own skin. This newfound confidence can translate into various aspects of life, impacting social interactions, professional opportunities, and even romantic relationships. Studies suggest a correlation between physical attractiveness and professional success, such as increased chances of getting hired, promotions, and higher salaries. Additionally, some research indicates that attractive people tend to receive better treatment in social settings like restaurants and stores. Ultimately, feeling comfortable and confident in your appearance can project positive emotions in all your interactions.

    Word of Caution

    It’s important to remember that plastic surgery isn’t a guaranteed path to happiness or self-acceptance. It’s crucial to have realistic expectations about what surgery can achieve and to address any underlying body image issues beforehand with a therapist.

    Considering Plastic Surgery? Weigh the Options Carefully

    Considering Plastic Surgery

    Thinking about plastic surgery? You’re not alone. Many people consider it to improve their appearance or address medical concerns. But before you take the plunge, understand the potential benefits and risks.

    Don’t Rush the Decision

    While some patients express regret about waiting too long, others wish they hadn’t gone through with it at all. Careful research and choosing the right surgeon can significantly reduce your risk of disappointment.

    Price Isn’t Everything

    The cheapest surgeon isn’t necessarily the best. Focus on qualifications, experience, and patient reviews. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and be wary of any red flags.

    Prioritize Your Health

    Ensure you’re in good health before surgery. Don’t let your desire for a quick fix overshadow important health considerations.

    Know the Risks

    Every surgery carries inherent risks, some more serious than others. Educate yourself about the potential complications specific to your desired procedure.

    The Choice is Yours

    Ultimately, the decision is yours. Weigh the pros and cons carefully, discuss it with loved ones, and gather all the information you need.

    Choosing the Right Surgeon: A Crucial Step

    Selecting a qualified surgeon is paramount. Research surgeons with expertise in your desired procedure. Look for board certification from reputable organizations.

    FAQs: Your Questions Answered

    • Does plastic surgery shorten your life span?

      Generally, no. If surgery is successful and there are no complications, then your life span will not be shorter than it would have been had you not had plastic surgery. However, if you experience a life-threatening complication, that may have an impact.

    • Can plastic surgery cause depression?

      There certainly can be feelings of disappointment, sadness, anger, or depression if surgical outcomes are not what were expected, or if major complications occur due to the surgery.

    Mamabee Committed to Accuracy

    Our articles are based on high-quality sources, ensuring you receive reliable and trustworthy information.

    Our sources:
  • Bjornsson AS, Didie ER, Phillips KA. Body dysmorphic disorder. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2010;12(2):221-232. doi:10.31887/DCNS.2010.12.2/abjornsson
  • Office on Women’s HealthBody dysmorphic disorder.
  • American Society of Plastic SurgeonsBody dysmorphic disorder may be under-diagnosed in patients seeking cosmetic procedures.
  • Khunger N. Complications in cosmetic surgery: a time to reflect and review and not sweep them under the carpet. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2015;8(4):189-190. doi:10.4103/0974-2077.172188
  • Cavico FJ, Muffler SC, Mujtaba BG. Appearance discrimination, lookism and lookphobia in the workplace. JABR. 2012;28(5):791-802. doi:10.19030/jabr.v28i5.7223
  • Muñoz-Reyes JA, Iglesias-Julios M, Pita M, Turiegano E. Facial features: what women perceive as attractive and what men consider attractive. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(7):e0132979. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132979
  • Bai J, Rosen CM, Ngaage LM, et al. Longevity of outcomes following reduction mammoplasty. Eplasty. 2019;19:e18.