Negative Effects Of Cosmetic Surgery

If some time ago cosmetic surgery was a real innovation for wealthy people, nowadays the situation is changing seriously. Cosmetic surgery is gaining its popularity and becoming available to greater number of individuals, who want to change their appearance due to some reason. More and more people are thinking about changing of their appearance for the sake of looking better and younger. The prices started to decrease, the first reason for this is the increase of the number of plastic surgeons, which correspondingly leads to indicating lower prices by them, along with competition growth. This tendency of increase of the number of operations done doesn’t, however, mean that it is possible to avoid negative aspects of this procedure. A lot of patients simply lack information about possible negative consequences of their decision, others want to gain the desired effect and don’t want to know about the risks or side-effects, which are present at any rate. Thus cosmetic surgery continues to gain its popularity and becomes more available to a greater number of patients, at the same time plastic surgery such as rhytidectomyand augmentationcan could improve one’s self-esteem and confidence, but failed surgery influences can cause permanent psychology effects and irreparable physical damages for the patient.

Most of the modern people are aware of the notion of plastic surgery; it is defined as “a medical procedure with the purpose of alteration or restoring the form of the body. Though cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is the most well known kind of plastic surgery, plastic surgery itself is not necessarily considered cosmetic; and includes many types of reconstructive surgery, craniofacial surgery, hand surgery, microsurgery, and the treatment of burns.” (Honigman, Phillips, Castle, 2004, p. 3). The word “plastic” here comes from “sculpting” or “reshaping” and was taken from Greek language, meaning finally “the art of modeling”. Surprisingly the procedures of plastic surgery do not belong to the sphere of modern innovations, as the first case of plastic operation on the broken nose was found in medical notes of Ancient Egypt. It is also known that plastic reconstructions were done in India in 800 BC. The names of Sushruta and Charak were associated with early plastic surgery operations and their techniques, described in medical texts, were later used by other doctors from various countries. “The father of modern plastic surgery is generally considered to have been Sir Harold Gillies. A New Zealand otolaryngologist working in London, he developed many of the techniques of modern facial surgery in caring for soldiers suffering from disfiguring facial injuries during the First World War.” (Honigman,  Phillips,   Castle, 2004, p. 3).

Plastic surgery is made with application of different techniques and procedures. One of the most often done procedures is for example the transfer of skin or skin grafting. Skin grafting could be done from donors as well. Often this type of surgery is applied in cases of physical damages of the patient’s skin. In this case it is necessary to carefully study the natural skin of the patient and find the appropriate materials for its substitution. Sometimes this type of plastic surgery is also called reconstructive plastic surgery, the main aim of which is to correct the functional impairments. They could be the results of burns, traumas, injuries, breaks and so on. Sometimes patients previously suffered from infections or diseases or developmental abnormalities. Thus in many cases reconstructive plastic surgery is done to improve the functioning of patients. Still, there are cases, when the main aim of this procedure is approximating of normal appearance.

Cosmetic surgery is not an obligatory procedure and it is really important to underline from the very beginning, that in most cases patients are not forced to go through this operation, like in case with reconstructive surgery. Cosmetic surgery is done to the patient with the only aim – to improve his or her physical appearance, changing normal and functional parts of the body for the sake of looking better. Removing the signs of aging also belongs to cosmetic surgery. The fact that these procedures are rather popular nowadays could be proved with the help of statistical data, according to which only in the year 2014 around 16 million cosmetic procedures were made in America. According to another research the number of cosmetic operations doubled in this century in the United States. The most often made operations are breast augmentation, liposuction, nasal surgery, eyelid surgery and abdominoplasty. (Goudreau, 2011, p. 3). “The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery looks at the statistics for thirty-four different cosmetic procedures. Nineteen of the procedures are surgical, such as rhinoplasty or facelift. The nonsurgical procedures include Botox and laser hair removal.” (Goudreau, 2011, p. 3).

When a patient is eager to go through the procedure of cosmetic surgery, certainly he or she has the intention to gain positive effect. However, it is necessary to be aware of the fact that negative side effects, risks and poor emotional effects are not rare in the situations with cosmetic surgery. All patients are unique and the procedures, which are done to them, might cause various side effects , including for example long-lasting pain, nausea, headache. There is a rather high risk of inflammation or appearing of bruising around the area, where the cosmetic procedure was done. These side effects are the most common, still this doesn’t mean that they are normal and should be present at any rate. In the best cases, even if they appear, they are to fade with time. Another serious risk, which is often not properly considered by the patients, is appearing of visible scarring, which is actually the effect of any surgery operation. Of course the scars could be later removed, however, this means that there will be further surgeries and secondly that the effect of them would not obligatory be positive. The most serious danger of cosmetic surgery operation is without any doubts related to fatal outcomes, in other words – the situation, when patient dies after the operation.

Apart of evident physical risks, there are also negative emotional and psychological effects possible, which are unfortunately rather often absolutely not considered by the future patients. They have their own understanding of the situation, they develop their expectations about the positive results of the surgery and they want to believe that all the painful procedures, they are to come through, would inevitably lead to stunning results and their appearance would become perfect. Unfortunately a lot of patients, who undergo plastic surgery operations with the aim of fixing of some of their appearance problems, are not ready to withstand the psychological pressure of the results. In some cases, the initial problems of a patient were not related to his physical appearance, rather were the results of his psychological complexes and problems, in such cases the situation might even become worse after the operation, as it doesn’t bring the expected result at all. There is a category of patients, who develop really high expectations, they see magicians instead of usual surgeons and in most cases they suffer from disappointment after seeing the results of the operation, which lead to development of anxiety disorders and depression. The situation is often worsened by the fact that it is not possible even to return to the previous appearance in many cases.

The number of plastic surgery operations is constantly growing, because most of the patients are not initially aware of the possible hidden negative outcomes of these operations. The worst thing here is that not only elderly women risk their health and lives for the sake of becoming younger, also a lot of young women go under the knife. “Cosmetic procedures are up 4% for women in their 30s, and 30% of all liposuction recipients are ages 19 to 34, reports the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.” (Goudreau, 2011, p. 2). This statistical data means that more and more women desire to get rid of a couple of extra centimeters in their waistlines or make their breasts bigger. Psychologists and surgeons state that a lot of their patients are not completely aware of the potential risks of their desires, as any surgery operation should be perceived seriously. Not all patients know that there is a need to control the body balance, in other words, if liposuction is done in one problematic area and the problem seems to be solved in this way, there is a risk of appearing of the same problem in a different place. It could be easily explained, because when liposuction is done on the thighs and abdomen, the fat cells are destroyed. When the patients start gaining their weight again, the extra weight is distributed in a different way in other remaining fat cells. In some cases there are problems with proportions of the body after the liposuction. Patients, who make Botox injections, should know that there is a risk of paralyzing of some facial muscles, whereas the rest muscles look strange. In case there are any problems appearing after the first procedure, this is a disaster for emotionally unstable or financially unsecure patients, as there is a need to remain morally strong to undergo repeated operations, if there is a chance to improve the situation and there is a need to pay extra money again. There are a lot of examples, when patients are simply not ready to pay the emotional costs for plastic surgery, they are to go through. According to Joseph Hullet, who is a psychiatrist and senior medical director of OptumHealth, there is a number of factors, which worsen the moral state of the patients after the surgery. These factors include lack of sleep, pain, discomfort, fatigue, swelling. “According to Hullett, the general emotional arc after surgery begins with depression as you heal, then shifts to a honeymoon phase when you can see the result but soon morphs into some measure of disappointment. Those that fantasized the physical change would result in more attention, a promotion or attractive partner are often let down by the reality.” (Goudreau, 2011, p. 5). In many cases all of them together could lead to a serious depression, especially in the cases, when the results of the operation are not the same, like were expected by the patient. The next problem is related to the patients, who are really concerned about their physical problems, often exaggerating them. Such patients are not simply disappointed after an operation; moreover they will most luckily start to develop a new obsession. For example if they got the nose fixed, they might be concerned about their neck and so on. This might lead to a kind of dependence upon surgery operations, when patients want to change more and more. There is a category of people, who suffer from BDD – Body dysmorphic disorder. This is a kind of disorder, when an individual is sure that he has a feature in his appearance, which is absolutely ugly and needs to be fixed. After the operation the moral state of such patients is not getting better and they start to develop a kind of addiction. This is another confirmation of the fact that plastic surgery has a serious psychological impact upon any patient, and unfortunately not in all cases this impact is positive and increases the self-esteem of the person, as it is often stated by the proponents of the procedures.  This means that when considering the perspective of making a cosmetic surgery operation, a person should be ready to control his emotional state and not let the effects of the operation influence negatively his mind, mood and self-identity.

One of the serious psychological effects comes from the reaction of other people to the new appearance of the patient. Irrespective of the fact, whether these are the closest people, who might for example react negatively to breast augmentation or just colleagues, who would reveal alienation from the patient. Important is to note that not only women have the tendency to develop psychological problems, but men also. There are cases when male colleagues start to interpret the patient’s new head of hair as an advantage, which is not fair. Consequently there are talks and gossip spreading in the office around this person, distancing him from his colleagues, causing problems in communication and cooperation with them. One of the risky aspects is also the desire of women to recover their romantic relations with their men, making a kind of surprise for them. Unfortunately there is a percentage of cases, when women, who did some procedure for the sake of improving of their intimate relations, are to go through awakening, as the relations get even worse after their physical change. Another problem arises if an individual decides to make such operation with the aim to look like some famous star, thinking that only appearance contributed to life success of that celebrity. This is evident that it is useless to expect a lot of fame and success after such change of the appearance and again the result of the operation might be poor, either depression or even suicide. In the plastic surgery field, the patient can get the counseling from the plastic surgeons, but there are no psychologists, who could give advice to patients. According to the Singer (2007), among women with cosmetic breast implants, there was a threefold increase in suicide and in deaths related to alcohol or substance abuse compared to the expected death rates of women, who did not have implants.

Overall, it is necessary to acknowledge that more and more individuals, male and female, young and elderly decide to go under the knife for the sake of changing of their appearance without being forced to do it. All these operations are usually considered to bring positive effects and life changes to these patients, however, in reality, there is a high risk that patients would be disappointed with the results, that they will develop depressive moods and psychological disorders.

 

References:

Dittmann, M. (2005).Plastic surgery: Beauty or beast?American Psychological Association, 36(8), 30.

Furnham, A.&Levitas, J. (2012). Factors that motivate people to undergo cosmetic surgery.Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons. 20(4), 47-50.

Goudreau, J. (2011). The Hidden Dangers Of Cosmetic Surgery. Forbes

Honigman, R., Phillips, K.,  Castle, D.J. (2004). A review of psychosocial outcomes for patients seeking cosmetic surgery. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Naish, J. (2011). When looks can kill. Daily Mail. Retrieved from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1349913/How-plastic-surgery-lead-self-loathing-disappointment-suicide.html

Singer, N. (2007). Study Suggests That a Need for Physical Perfection May Reveal Emotional Flaws. The New York Times.Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/16/fashion/16sside2.html?_r=1&

Statement on cosmetic procedures. (2011). Retrieved from:
https://www.mcnz.org.nz/assets/News-and-Publications/Statements/Statement-on-cosmetic-procedures.pdf

Thompson, J.K., Heinberg, L.J., Altabe, M.N., Tantleff-Dunn, S. (2004). Extracting beauty: Theory, assessment and treatment of body image disturbance. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Sharing is caring!

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: June 2, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: June 2, 2020]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: June 2, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 2, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 2, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 2, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 2, 2020]