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Pros and Cons of Cosmetic Surgery : Benefits and Risks

  1. Introduction

    Definition of Cosmetic Surgery

    Cosmetic surgery refers to a range of procedures that help in reshaping or restoring the body. It helps in improving the appearance of a person with the help of a range of procedures.

    It also is done to alter or enhance a person’s features, typically in the areas such as the breast, face, and body, through both invasive and non-invasive techniques.

    Cosmetic surgery helps in enhancing a person’s physical appearance and boosting self-confidence and improving the quality of life.

    How Popular is Cosmetic Surgery

    The popularity of cosmetic surgery has increased significantly over the past few decades. The main reason is advancements in medical technology and techniques that have made the cosmetic surgery procedure safe and have improved its effectiveness.

    Also, social media and the internet have increased awareness and accessibility to cosmetic surgery. There are before and after pictures available and also people can connect easily with the best surgeons. This makes the procedure more reachable.

    Pressure to look perfect in society also plays a role in increasing the popularity of cosmetic surgery.

    Psychologically also, cosmetic surgery plays its part. It helps in increasing self-confidence and the self-esteem of a person.(1)

  2. Purpose of Cosmetic Surgery

    The purpose of cosmetic surgery is to improve a person’s appearance through surgical and non-surgical techniques.

    Cosmetic surgery is also known as aesthetic surgery and is not typically performed for any medical reason. The main goal of the surgery is to improve the appearance and boost the self-confidence of a person.

    In cosmetic surgery, various procedures are performed in different parts of the body including the face, breast, abdomen, arms, and legs. A few examples of cosmetic surgery include:

    Cosmetic surgery helps a person in getting desired appearance and positive self-image and improves the quality of life.

  3. Pros of Cosmetic Surgery

    Cosmetic surgery has several pros or benefits linked to it.(2)

    • Improved Appearance: Cosmetic surgery helps in enhancing a person’s physical appearance. This results in improved self-confidence and self-esteem. A study done in 2022 suggested the role of cosmetic surgery in improving body confidence and the symptoms of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.(1)
    • Corrects Physical Abnormalities: Cosmetic surgery can be helpful in correcting physical abnormalities such as cleft palate and thereby help in improving the quality of life.
    • Boosts Mental Health: A person with a negative body image suffers from anxiety and depression. Cosmetic surgery can be helpful in this sphere.
    • Rejuvenation: A person’s appearance gets rejuvenated after cosmetic surgery. It helps them look more youthful and energetic.
    • Correction of Medical Conditions: Breast reduction and rhinoplasty are a few cosmetic procedures that can be helpful in reducing physical discomfort associated with medical conditions.

    Overall cosmetic surgery can have a positive effect on a person’s mental and physical health by improving self-image and improving the quality of life.

  4. Cons of Cosmetic Surgery

    After knowing about the immensely impressive benefits of cosmetic surgery, we should not forget that it has a few shortcomings too.(3)

    1. Potential for Complications: Cosmetic surgery just like any other surgical procedure carries the risk of complications such as infection, bleeding, scarring, and adverse reaction to medications.(6)
    2. High Cost: Cosmetic surgery can be expensive and mostly is not covered by any insurance with proven medical reasons.(4) This can affect people who cannot afford the cost.
    3. Unrealistic Expectation: Cosmetic surgery can be a disappointment for those with unrealistic expectations. This can lead to dissatisfaction.
    4. Addiction: Sometimes people get addicted to cosmetic surgery and continue to undergo multiple procedures. This can impact their health negatively.
    5. Negative Stigma: Cosmetic surgery has a negative stigma associated with it, it is called unnecessary and shallow.
    6. Societal Pressure: Societal pressure of certain beauty standards can lead to those who do not even need to undergo cosmetic procedures to go ahead with it.
    7. Body Dysmorphia: It is a mental health condition in which people have anxiety about their appearance and how people think about it. These people undergo cosmetic surgery, they are never satisfied and may have repeat procedures.

    An article published in 2018 in the International Journal of Women Dermatology recommended cosmetic surgery to not be performed in people with body dysmorphic disorder.(5)

    A person going ahead with cosmetic surgery should know about its potential risk and concerns. Also, is important that one should go ahead with the cosmetic procedure only if it is being performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon.

  5. Ethical Considerations for Cosmetic Surgery

    Importance of Informed Consent and Autonomy for Cosmetic Surgery

    Informed consent and patient autonomy are the important part of any medical procedure.

    Informed consent is a legal and ethical requirement involving providing the patient with comprehensive information about the procedure which includes the risks and benefits and potential complications related to the procedure. it also involves informing the patient about the outcome of the procedure.

    Patient autonomy empowers the patient to make their own decisions about the body and have the right to decide what procedure to go ahead with and the extent of it. It is important especially in the cosmetic procedure as it is an elective procedure. The patient should have the right to refuse treatment and should not be pressured.

    Role of Physician in Promoting Realistic Expectations and Ethical Practices

    There is a crucial role of the physician in promoting realistic expectations and ethical practice in cosmetic surgery. The priority of the doctor should be the well-being of the patient and ensure that they receive the best possible care.

    The doctor should have a clear and honest conversation with the patient regarding the procedure. If explaining the benefits, the risk and complications should also be discussed.

    Cosmetic surgery also has limitations and these should be informed to the patient.

    Physicians should strictly abide by the standards of the medical practice and ensure all the procedures are conducted in a safe and appropriate manner.

    Potential for Exploitation and Coercion in Cosmetic Surgery

    The patient’s exploitation and coercion are important aspects of cosmetic surgery and the physician should ensure that the decision to undergo surgery is the patient’s independent and informed decision without pressure from external sources.

    The physical should look for signs of pressure from family members, peers, or partners.

    The physician should identify the signs of coercion and exploitation by enquiring the patient about the motivation for surgery. They should also look for signs of external influence.

    Physicians should be aware of the potential vulnerability of the patient to be exploited or coerced into undergoing cosmetic surgery.

  6. Conclusion

    Cosmetic surgery can have both pros and cons and the individuals undergoing it should consider them.

    The advantage of cosmetic surgery includes a boost in self-confidence, improved physical appearance, and relief from certain medical conditions.

    However, there are also some disadvantages related to it as well. These include potential risks and complications and the possibility of unrealistic expectations. An individual should carefully weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision.

    Physicians have a crucial role to play in promoting ethical practice in cosmetic surgery and identifying the signs of exploitation and coercion.

    If anyone plans to go ahead with cosmetic surgery, it is important to have an open conversation with the physician. One should reach out to a surgeon with extensive experience and training.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 28, 2023

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