Each year, millions of Americans undergo cosmetic surgery in an attempt to look younger, thinner, and more attractive. Statistics show that nearly 4 out of every 10 adults in the United States have undergone some sort of procedure in order to improve their appearance, including non-surgical options such as Botox or chemical peels. In some cities, these enhancements are no dirty secret; having work done is as natural as shopping for new clothes or a trip to the hair colorist.
Without a doubt, cosmetic surgery has a number of benefits. In psychologically healthy adults with realistic expectations regarding how a procedure will improve appearance, it can give a much needed boost to a person’s self-esteem. If a person’s only complaint about their physical appearance is that he dislikes a bump in their nose, a large forehead, or extra fat around the hips and thighs that is stubbornly resistant to diet and exercise, undergoing surgery may offer a reward that outweighs the risk many times over.
For the most part, undergoing a cosmetic procedure is extremely safe, involve minimal side effects, and although recovery is not painless, it is relatively quick and discomfort is easily managed. It is not unusual for a patient to choose to spend her recovery time on vacation, not only giving her body a chance to heal, but offering a period of rest for the mind and spirit as well.
Before undergoing any cosmetic procedure, it is important for a patient to have both a physical and a psychological consultation with the surgeon. A client who has unrealistic expectations regarding how surgery might improve her appearance or her life is not likely to be satisfied with even a surgeon’s best work. In some cases, a person’s body image simply doesn’t match up with the reality of his appearance, something that can’t be cured by any amount of physical alteration. When a person doesn’t see himself as he really is, nipping and tucking only enhances the problem, rather than treating it. A reputable plastic surgeon will almost always refuse to work on a client suffering from any body image disorder.
There’s no magic test to assure that cosmetic surgery is the best option to end a person’s dissatisfaction with some aspect of her personal appearance. However, when the feeling of discontent stems from an obvious physical flaw that can be easily addressed via a surgical procedure, the patient is often happy with the result. The goal of any procedure is to improve the client’s appearance, self-image, and self-confidence. If a surgeon believes that can be accomplished with a little nip and tuck, he’s likely to consider the patient a good candidate for surgery.