Put simply, cosmetic surgery is a medical operation that is designed to improve the physical appearance of the patient, rather than the patient’s health, although cosmetic surgery does have beneficial outcomes for mental health and well-being, and in some circumstances, the physical health. In this regard, it differs from plastic surgery, whose purpose is to repair birth defects or carry out reconstructive processes on injuries. It is no longer the province of the stereotypical wealthy socialite; studies conducted by the Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery in 2018 reveal that Australians have overtaken the United States in terms of the number of people undergoing the various procedures available from clinics Australia-wide, not only in Sydney. These procedures include:
The favourable outcomes of cosmetic surgery are:
This is a self-explanatory outcome. People are often dissatisfied with parts of their body. This ranges from flaccid skin brought about by dramatic weight loss, to unhappiness about the appearance of a body part such as the ears, and in some instances, the genitalia. If you are unhappy and self-conscious about any aspect of your appearance, you have the option to have it altered, resulting in a new and improved (and happier) you.
Improved Physical Health
Although cosmetic surgery deals with the appearance, some procedures have added physical health benefits. For example, people who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery report alleviation in the back pain that is often suffered by larger-breasted women. Similarly, rhinoplasty can not only improve the appearance of your nose but can also assist with and resolve any previous respiratory problems. Body contouring cosmetic procedures have the ‘flow-on effect’ of better physical health owing to the lifestyle changes necessary to maintain the surgical results; changes such as regular exercise, better dietary choices, and giving up smoking.
With the improved appearance comes improved confidence. If you feel you are looking your best, your self-esteem will rise. Your optimism will increase. You will instinctively ‘walk tall’, thus improving your posture. People will respond to the warmth and friendliness that confident people have. You will feel more encouraged to apply for that job or approach that person. You will feel less anxious about speaking in public. It is widely accepted that when you feel you’re looking your best, you will exude more charm. You will not regret your decision to undergo cosmetic surgery when your social circle and career options have been widened and enhanced.
Improved Mental Health
On a more serious note, people who are unhappy about their appearance are vulnerable to anxiety and depression, both of which can be extremely debilitating. In some cases, cosmetic surgery will prove beneficial to the patient’s mental health after the problem, whether it be injury or congenital, is corrected. This will lead to an increased inclination to socialise, become more involved in the community, a boost to the libido, forming of relationships, and improve chances of employment; all of which will lead to greater overall well-being. To be healthy, we must also be HAPPY.
Permanent or Long-Term Results
An added advantage to cosmetic surgery is that the results are permanent, or at the very least, long-lasting. You need not worry about the problem reappearing, which is not only reassuring for the mind, but for the wallet. As mentioned, there are occasions where you must be responsible to maintain the outcome, for example, body contouring, but this healthy lifestyle will only add to your sense of self-worth. You will have a very long time to enjoy the results of your breast augmentation, facial contouring, rhinoplasty, liposuction, labioplasty, or whatever procedure you have chosen to enhance your happiness.
People express concern about the pain associated with cosmetic surgery procedures. Cosmetic surgery is not entirely painless, but today’s technological innovations will certainly ensure the pain is kept to a minimal level, and you will be able to enjoy the results very quickly.
Although cosmetic surgery is very accessible and more affordable than in days of yore, it is very important to understand cosmetic surgery might not be the right choice for your personal situation. When consulting with a cosmetic surgeon, you should feel comfortable and have open lines of communication. The ethical surgeon will discuss not only the procedure you seek, but also whether that procedure is the correct choice, or whether you would instead benefit from further counselling and psychiatric assistance. Like any surgeon, it is an overriding principle with the cosmetic surgeon to not cause harm. The ethical cosmetic surgeon cares about the overall health of his or her patient. Whilst cosmetic surgery can improve aspects of your life, it will not change your life if the root cause of your unhappiness goes beyond the physical. Like any practitioner, the cosmetic surgeon wants what is right for YOU, and in conjunction with other health professionals, will assist you to reach the decision that is right for YOU.