Plastic surgery as the last resort

Plastic surgery as the last resort

20th May 2017


Skeptics about plastic surgery interventions often ask whether the plastic surgery procedure is performed to improve the body or to heal a troubled soul. In all honesty, some cosmetic interventions are indeed performed to fix some emotional complexes, but is this really such a bad thing? The emotional and psychological issues that can arise out of low self-image do have a significant impact on a person’s professional, social and personal life. Emotional traumas that adults suffer because of some unappealing aspect of their body have very real impact on quality of life and emotional and mental health. One study has shown that “ self-perception of physical attractiveness do relate strongly and positively to happiness”. Take for example a woman who has small breasts. She won’t have any functional or health problems if she keeps her small breasts all her life but it could arouse feelings of inferiority and distress for her. She might avoid activities that would necessitate skimpy attires like beach wear or prevent her from fully appreciating and enjoying her life because she thinks her small breasts makes her less womanly. Other people might scoff at this, but for her, it can be quite real and painful. That said, why not correct it if given the opportunity?

I do concur that plastic surgery should be seen as the last resort for people looking to improve their appearance. Exercise, diets and other non-invasive treatments should be tried and exhausted before resorting to plastic surgery. Of course, in some cases, it is only plastic surgery that can provide effective and enduring results.

Plastic surgery should not be used to sort our emotional problems

If the patient is not emotionally stable, a responsible plastic surgeon should refuse to operate. Being emotionally challenged is different from dealing with certain complexes caused by real, and not imagined physical issues. At the risk of sounding repetitious, allow me to again cite the example of a woman with small breasts who require augmentation. Once the surgery is performed, she will be happy with her results and the issue would be permanently addressed. A patient who is emotionally unstable will request a breast augmentation even if her breasts are amazing as they are or she will embellish the request by saying that her boyfriend prefers women with bigger breasts. Changing your appearance through plastic surgery just to please others is never a good idea.

There are also patients who are permanently chasing the ideal. They are the ones that will go from one plastic surgeon to another in search of bigger breasts, smaller waists, and perkier buttocks. They will go under the knife repeatedly for the same procedure hoping in futility that “perfect” will happen. It rarely does as the “perfect” is only in their own imagination. In reality, we have “beautiful” and “natural” as terms to guide our work. Unquestionably, these are not stable patients and there have been numerous studies delving into a specific type of disorder characterized by fanatical obsession with an imagined defect in appearance.

Plastic surgery can be costly

There are no two ways about it: plastic surgery is definitely more affordable than it was years ago, but it can still be pricey and not affordable to all. The patient is usually required to cover entire cost since health insurance does not cover it as a rule.

It is important for you to be fully apprised of the total costs of the intervention, the prescribed medications before and after the procedure, the treatments during the recovery period, additional consultations and all other expenses.

Additionally, you must be prepared to cover the costs of possible post-operative complications that might compel the need for revision surgery. Some procedures such as skin treatments, liposuction, and breasts augmentation will conceivably need to be repeated after some years to maintain the desired results and that means additional expense. This is essential info you need to know so you can make an informed decision.

Finding a plastic surgeon that you can trust is very important when preparing for a future plastic surgery intervention. The level of skill and breadth of experience of the plastic surgeon is one of the, if not the most important factor that will influence the results of your intervention. The cost should never be the main criterion when choosing a plastic surgeon. A talented, board certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience will always be more costly than someone who lack any certifications or has barely, if ever, performed the plastic surgery before.

It bears pointing out that to ensure desired results in plastic surgery interventions, communication is vital. It helps greatly when there is a good relationship between the patient and surgeon. The patient must be forthright in communicating her desires and goals because it is entirely possible that what the patient considers to be the ideal in terms of the appearance of the buttocks, waist or buttocks might not be in sync with the surgeon’s beauty ideal. An ideal relationship is when the patient and doctor can honestly discuss goals and limitations and agree on the surgical plan that would deliver the best results. It must again be stressed that plastic surgery addresses the needs of patients who want to improve their appearance and not the ones that want to copy the appearance of people they admire.

Plastic surgery has limitations

One of the important tasks of a surgeon is to manage expectations. It is crucial to make the patient understand what the plastic surgery can accomplish and what it can’t based on the individual’s unique anatomy, skin type, age, medical history, and other factors. A good plastic surgeon can help the patient understand what are the limitations of plastic surgery. We have had many patients coming in asking for a small waist. Normally, this should be possible with the help of liposuction or a tummy tuck, but that’s not the end of it. The patient’s anatomy is a key element that will determine results of the surgery. The abdomen will certainly be improved after a plastic surgery procedure, but it won’t necessarily deliver the tiny waist envisaged.

Choosing plastic surgery as the low effort option

As previously mentioned, plastic surgery should ideally be the last resort, after you have tried other options. This perfectly applies to people looking for plastic surgery interventions as a substitute for physical exercises and a proper diet. We have overheard people saying that it is completely useless to spend time working out at the gym when you can have liposuction to get rid of excess fats. Why eat healthy when you can eat all the fast food you want and then jump on the operating table for a tummy tuck with liposuction? Simple! Plastic surgery is not, never has been, and never can be, a substitute for a healthy lifestyle just as it cannot be a substitute for bariatric surgery. When you need to lose weight or get in shape, you should first try diets and physical exercises or bariatric surgery, depending on your doctor’s recommendations. Plastic surgery only comes after you have reached almost ideal and stable weight to correct imperfections, contour the body, remove stubborn fats and loose, saggy skin with the end view of polishing the initial results you already achieved through hard work. A body that has been honed and toned at the gym will look so much better after liposuction compared to a body that has never even been inside a gym before.

The results of plastic surgery

Before undergoing plastic surgery interventions, it behooves the patient to gather as much information and understand fully the attendant risks and benefits of the surgery being contemplated. Choosing the right surgeon is critical so it should likewise be given careful study. Aside from board certified credentials, experience and skill, feedbacks from past patients, review of photos of similar interventions, the rapport between patient and surgeon is helpful in ensuring honest and clear communication, which can translate into optimal surgical results. Do bear in mind that plastic surgery interventions are performed to improve the physical aspect of the patient and not to make that patient look like her favorite celebrity.

Computer generated pictures of probable post operative results can be useful, but they can also be misleading as these results are merely creations of latest software and not exact replicas of realities. Like most surgical interventions, the results are usually visible a few months after the surgery. It can also happen that final results can only be seen after a series of interventions and cosmetic procedures that might be necessary to achieve the desired results.


A changed and improved appearance can be a great confidence booster and help create higher self-esteem. Even so, plastic surgery cannot address the totality of a person’s emotional issues.

Talking to someone who underwent plastic surgery in the past can give you insights into information never considered before but consulting a well-experienced plastic surgeon will provide the expert opinion that will determine whether you need the intervention or not.

Plastic surgery interventions should only be used as the last resort, after you have tried all healthy and natural remedies like exercise, sports , diets and have finally come close to and/or maintain a stable weight. Do note that age, time, gravity, the natural aging process and sun exposure are also factors that will impact on the results of your plastic surgery interventions.

Plastic surgery is not a weight loss tool or a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. To enjoy and maintain the beneficial effects of plastic surgery, you will need to make lifestyle changes, do regular exercises, observe proper nutrition, avoid unnecessary sun exposure, avoid smoking and unneeded stress.


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