Introduction Plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures are techniques that change, reconstruct, improve and enhance the appearance of the patient. Some cosmetic procedures such as wrinkle elimination with Botox or breast augmentation with silicone implants have become very popular all over the world. There are innumerable reasons why people choose to have plastic surgery. Some do it to address disfigurements brought about by burns or other trauma, for reconstructive purposes following radical mastectomy, corrective for genetic imperfections, mommy makeovers after childbirth, or for enhancements and aesthetics to improve professional, social and personal standing. The typology of plastic surgery Plastic surgery includes surgical interventions performed for reconstructive or aesthetic purposes. Reconstructive surgical treatment is usually used to improve the appearance of scars, the skin or other parts of the body that have been subjected to traumas, other surgical treatments, diseases or congenital defects. These imperfections can have a strong impact on every day life, social life, job opportunities, lifestyle choices and even the individual’s self-esteem. Patients usually choose to undergo plastic surgery treatments if they are unhappy with the appearance of one or more parts of their body. It can be as simple as the shape of the nose, small breasts, flat buttocks or excess fats in flanks and abdomen. These imperfections may not bother some people, but for others, it could be the reason for feelings of insecurity, low self-image and lack of confidence. For these people, plastic surgery is a methodical and effective treatment method that can be literally life changing. Motivation to undergo plastic surgery For many people, the physical aspect strongly influences and plays an important role in creating a normal self-image. As Latin writer, Publilius Syrus once said, “ a beautiful face is a mute recommendation”, so yes, the looks and shape do matter and can affect self-esteem and how others perceive you. Believe you me, there is nothing wrong in wanting to change your physical appearance, to correct imperfections and achieve the best look you possibly can. Many actually do this every day by choosing a healthy lifestyle, following a healthy eating regimen and doing regular exercises and keeping fit. Only a few of these types opt for plastic surgery and this is because they are quite contented with their looks and shape and there’s nothing that they need from plastic surgery to help them with. It bears pointing out that some of those who regularly works out in a gym or active in sports do not really get shapely buttocks or big breasts as a result. Dieting and sports can improve certain parts of the body but not really to the extent that plastic surgery can. However, plastic surgery is still not the be-all and end-all for people who are completely unsatisfied with their physical looks nor is it the ultimate panacea. These are the types who would not be satisfied after a single plastic surgery intervention. These are the types who would most likely become addicted to plastic surgery, undergoing one procedure after the other. This can be especially damaging for the body and the emotional state of the patient, not to mention, extremely costly, too. This is why we cannot overemphasize the importance of having realistic expectations in as far as improvements on the appearance after surgery. At the same time, it is important for patients to understand that the physical aspect is just a small part of what they are, as a person. Beauty is not just about having a beautiful face and body. It cannot be a yardstick to measure a person’s worth or value as a person. Motivation represents an important factor in deciding to undergo plastic surgery. Just like any surgery, these types of interventions involve risks, complications and considerable expense. On top of that, it can permanently change the appearance of the patient, and in some cases, in a most unwanted or unexpected way. Just think of how many cases of botched breasts and buttocks procedure you have seen on TV lately or how many of the celebrities are poster models for surgeries that can go horribly wrong. That said, the patient must really have a strong and valid motivation to choose plastic surgery and this decision must never be arrived at on a whim or impulse. This is a very personal decision that only a patient can make and after considerable research and full acceptance of attendant risks and complications. As a norm, people who are unhappy with the way they look will first seek less invasive cosmetic options. As example, the market is flooded with makeup that can help hide wrinkles, scars or other skin modifications. If the problem is body shape, it can sometimes be addressed by choosing the right cut, style and material that can camouflage flaws. A healthy eating and exercise regimen can also help you tone and reshape the body to some extent. If despite all these measures, the so-called imperfections are still bothering you and affecting your emotional and mental state, then you can begin to seriously consider plastic surgery. More often than not, if you choose a Board certified surgeon, the surgical methods usually lead to the desired physical results that will boost morale and increase confidence. We had patients who went through “mommy makeover” procedures and felt like they got their lives back. Prior to that, they had lost hope of recovering their pre-pregnancy bodies, years after childbirth or multiple pregnancies. Their lifestyle and their quality of life went through changes along with their bodies. They became less inclined to engage socially or professionally. This is not uncommon. Oftentimes, when you don’t look good, you don’t feel good and this translates to decreased self-esteem and isolation. For these patients, plastic surgery was transformational. Happy with the results of their surgery, they experienced a boost in self-confidence, improved physical health, not to mention a new outlook and zest for life. We also had women coming to our facility to ask for body enhancement procedures after a difficult divorce or break up. Some were feeling depressed and wanted a change while others wanted a new look because they were excited about what the future might bring. These are not women in their 20s so plastic surgery can create an appreciable impact on their bodies. After going through procedures such as the tummy tuck, liposuction, buttock and breast augmentation and even body lifting procedures, they claimed they felt reborn, like they had been given a new lease on life. These are but a few examples of how plastic surgery can change one’s life, aside from its invaluable reconstructive purpose. The risks of plastic surgery The decision to undergo plastic surgery should not be taken lightly. Any surgical intervention always involves certain risks and complications. There are no guarantees that the patient will get the desired results. The recommendation of the plastic surgeon is essential to correctly evaluate the risks and benefits of the plastic surgery treatment. While most cosmetic surgery interventions carry minimal risks, no procedure is 100% safe. The risks can vary depending on the type of the procedure and they can range from barely visible scars to infections and even death. Severe complications are also rare, but they can happen. Opting to undergo elective plastic surgery can subject a patient to unnecessary health risk. It bears repeating that it is crucial for the patient to carefully assess the advantages and disadvantages of the intervention. One of the major risks a patient needs to consider is that the plastic surgery intervention might not deliver the desired results, and this could lead to even more dissatisfaction. When this happens, additional revision surgeries might be needed to correct the result of the initial surgery. Keep in mind that in most cases, the results of the cosmetic interventions are irreversible and sometimes permanent. Post-operative recovery after plastic surgery Some plastic surgery interventions are simple procedures such that the patient can resume normal activities immediately after the surgery. Others may require a lengthier recovery period ranging from a few days to several weeks. The plastic surgeon will advise the patient about the estimated recovery period prior scheduling of the surgery so that patient can arrange for time off from work or arrange for somebody to help out in household chores. The recovery period after plastic surgery is an important concern for the patients and this should be thoroughly discussed with the plastic surgeon. Some patients are worried it would take months before they could return to work so this issue needs to be clearly addressed. Conclusion Over the years, it has been clearly demonstrated that plastic surgery can greatly improve, enhance and transform the appearance of the patient. Advances in methods and technology enable the patient to reap substantial physical and emotional benefits from the procedure. With the help of plastic surgery, you can now practically change the shape, size and aspect of any part of your body Bothered by the fat deposits in your calves, abdomen or thighs? No worries! A simple liposuction intervention can give your body a new, firmer and more contoured shape that will make you look amazing in any outfit! You have loose, sagging skin in your abdomen from massive weight loss or multiple pregnancies? The tummy tuck procedures gives you that flat, taut abdomen of your dreams or the tight and firm abdomen you had before pregnancy. A breast augmentation procedure can add volume to your breasts and restore the youthful look while a butt augmentation can give you the sexy, shapely derriere that creates a curvier and more appealing silhouette. Verily, plastic surgery is life changing, whether you do it for reconstructive or aesthetic reasons. When you look good, you consequently feel good and this can significantly increase self-esteem and boost self-confidence that results in better and improved quality of life. The physical and psychological effects that plastic surgery can bring about are innumerable. It can mean breakthroughs in one’s professional or personal life such as career advancement or perhaps, a new life partner as a result of an appealingly enhanced appearance.