Plastic Surgery Enhances Your Appearance but has Its Limits
While plastic surgery has the potential to make patients happier with their appearance, and even boost their self-esteem, it won’t necessarily address emotional or underlying psychological issues. While it may boost someone’s confidence as a result of an improved appearance, if there are deep-seated psychological issues, the procedure itself can only do so much to try to counter or erase the patient’s negative feelings about him or herself. Likewise, if a patient’s expectations are unrealistic, they will likely be dissatisfied and may even resent having undergone the procedure in the first place.
Not every patient is a good candidate for plastic surgery. Most ethical plastic surgeons will encourage prospective patients to refrain from undergoing a particular procedure if in the physician’s mind the patient wouldn’t benefit from the procedure, is a poor medical risk, or has unrealistic motivations and expectations.
Board-certified plastic surgeons work to educate patients about what is realistic and what isn’t, what can or can’t be achieved, and the benefits and the risks involved with any aesthetic procedure. Plastic surgery may not make you look 15 years younger, but it can minimize the signs of aging. Plastic surgery can change the appearance of a feature you are simply not thrilled with, be it a large nose, small breasts or excess skin/fat in any particular area – but it is not designed to transform you into an entirely different human being. Accordingly, if your doctor promises results that sound too good to be true, that should raise a red flag. Further, you generally can’t get dramatic results from minor procedures and anyone promising otherwise should raise red flags. In the appropriate patient, a combination of surgical and nonsurgical procedures will often produce a better result than either option alone.
It is important to note that nonsurgical procedures don’t produce the same result as their surgical counterparts. For instance a nonsurgical procedure such as CoolSculpting, and Venus Freeze, or Vanquish will remove small pockets of fat but won’t produce the more dramatic results as liposuction, so patients should not expect the same outcome.
Results of a procedure also depend on several factors such as a person’s anatomy, genetics, general health, the skill of the surgeon, and the patient’s willingness to follow directions - especially during recovery.
Patients often come in with pictures of people whose features they want replicated on them. This is simply not realistic. Having plastic surgery is not going to give you Scarlett Johansson’s nose or Heidi Klum’s figure. What you’ll get is an improved version of what you’ve already got.
Beware of procedures that are marketed as providing a huge improvement with no downside and no recovery time - because that is entirely unrealistic. Like any other surgery, plastic surgery procedures, including non-invasive procedures, are still medical procedures and come with risks. Laser procedures for instance, have the potential to burn the skin or leave it permanently pigmented. The risks associated with any procedure are generally lessened if the procedure is performed by a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
An ideal candidate for a plastic surgery procedure is someone who is in general good medical health, wants natural results, and is doing the procedure for their own motivation not someone else’s.