Is Plastic Surgery Right for You?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, over 15 million plastic surgery procedures are performed each year in the U.S. There are two “categories” of plastic surgery – reconstructive and cosmetic/aesthetic. People who have reconstructive surgery often do so to restore their appearance after an illness or accident.
Cosmetic surgery is often more highly debated since it’s elective. Most people who go through cosmetic plastic surgery want to change their appearance to boost self-esteem and confidence or to appear younger or more “perfect.”
It shouldn’t be surprising that we live in a society where plastic surgery is so common. Everything from television and magazines to social media has created an environment of perfection. Our standards of beauty have become unattainably high, leaving many to choose plastic surgery as a way to “improve” their looks and meet their own physical expectations.
However, aesthetic plastic surgery doesn’t come without risks.
It’s important to understand those risks and have a strong understanding of why you want to undergo surgery before making a final decision.
With that in mind, is plastic surgery right for you? Let’s dive deeper.
What Are Your Motivations?
Plastic surgery is a big commitment. While there are sometimes things you can do to “reverse” or alter procedures, they are often fairly permanent and hard to change once they’re complete. It’s essential to have a deep understanding of why you want to go “under the knife” before you decide if it’s right for you.
Are you trying to fight the natural aging process? Have you been seeing more of yourself lately thanks to the rise in video conferencing and FaceTime chats? Are you trying to live up to the beauty standards set by social media?
Cosmetic surgery isn’t always a bad thing. However, you’re more likely to regret going through with it if you make changes based on what you think others will find appealing. It should be something you do for yourself. If you’ve always lacked confidence in your appearance and aesthetic surgery can help, it’s something worth considering. If you’re thinking about going through with it to “fit in,” you might want to think twice.
It’s also a good idea to understand where those confidence issues are rooted. You might think you have low self-esteem because of your appearance, but it could stem from anxiety or past trauma. In those cases, seeking the help or support of a mental health professional can change your mind.
Understand the Risks
Even if you’re confident you want cosmetic surgery for the right reasons, you should never dive into it without understanding some of the risks, including
- A negative reaction to anesthesia
- Infection at the incision site(s)
- Nerve damage
- Excessive bleeding
If you have a weak immune system or an autoimmune disease, the risks can be even more severe. Certain cosmetic surgeries, including breast implants, may make your symptoms worse, causing everything from fatigue to aches and pains. Surgery can even impact your mental health and increase your risk of depression.
There’s also the risk that everything won’t go according to plan. As difficult as it is to consider, cosmetic surgeons are only human. They make mistakes. You might not have the outcome you hoped for. You might even have to deal with long-term scarring.
Alternatively, you might have a negative reaction to anesthesia or develop an infection after surgery. These issues can lead to medical trauma or PTSD.
This type of PTSD often causes flashbacks of the event and can increase your anxiety and fear. It also can change your perception of the healthcare industry, at large, and cause you to become incredibly fearful of any type of medical procedure – including a standard checkup.
Make Sure It’s the Right Time
If you’re convinced that you want to undergo cosmetic surgery, the final thing you should consider before making an appointment is whether it’s the right time.
There’s no denying that plastic surgery is expensive. While reconstructive surgery is often covered under most health insurance plans, elective procedures usually aren’t. Even the least expensive cosmetic procedures can cost thousands of dollars. If you’re not financially secure enough to pay for it without worry or struggle, consider waiting and saving your money. The last thing you want is to have to stress over money when you’re trying to recover from surgery.
Speaking of recovery, it’s also crucial to make sure you’re healthy and strong enough to go through with the surgery. It can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks up to a few months to fully recover from a cosmetic procedure. You should think twice about going through with a procedure if you have a weak immune system, arthritis, diabetes, or any other physical condition that could be made worse with invasive surgery.
Cosmetic surgery is a very personal choice. While it’s not always a negative one, it’s important to consider every factor before deciding if it’s right for you. Weigh out some of these ideas before you decide to go through with a procedure, and you’ll feel more confident in your final decision.
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