Risks and Benefits of Anti Aging and Cosmetic Surgery
The psychological and emotional benefits of reconstructive and anti aging surgery can be enormous. For patients who have surgery to repair congenital defects like cleft palate, it may be the first time in their lives they have felt normal. For older patients, seeing a younger face in the mirror can increase energy levels and enjoyment of life. Cosmetic surgery can lead to a better self image and more confidence for many patients. Some patients do not have realistic expectations and for those patients, the benefits may not be as great.
Although cosmetic surgery does not change a person's basic personality, it can change the way others perceive the person. People who are physically attractive are perceived as more successful, more trustworthy and more adept. A person's appearance can effect their ability to get a job, receive recognition and promotions, and can even have an influence on their salary. Studies show that other people react positively to individuals they see as attractive. In industries like entertainment, an attractive appearance is almost a prerequisite for success.
The appearance of youth and beauty also increases the opportunity for romantic success by giving an individual a better selection of possible mates to chose from. Members of the same sex also respond more favorably to attractive people and they tend to have more friends of both sexes.
Physical Benefits of Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic surgery is often performed to improve function. Breast reduction surgery , for example, can relieve chronic back pain and increase quality of life, allowing a patient to become more physically active. Surgery can be performed to improve nasal breathing, or to increase vision by altering hooded eyelids. Repair of physical disfigurements can promote a more active lifestyle for a patient, giving them the confidence to interact with others. Removal of excess skin, following dramatic weight loss, can mean increased physical activity for a patient and better health. Cosmetic surgery can change peoples' lives.
Possible Risks and Complications
The most common risks in any invasive surgical procedure are adverse reaction to anesthesia and infection. In extremely rare cases, these complications can be life threatening.
There have been rare cases of disfigurement and other serious complications arising from cosmetic surgery. In many of these cases, the doctor performing the surgery was not a board certified cosmetic surgeon. Patients can reduce the risk of this type of complication by insuring that their surgeon is board certified in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
Any surgery carries the risk of hemorrhage or excessive bleeding. Patients who are on a daily aspirin regimen should stop taking aspirin about two weeks prior to surgery. Patients who take blood thinners for other medical conditions may not be good candidates for cosmetic surgery.
Other complications which can arise from invasive surgery include blood clots, tissue death and pneumonia.
Nerve damage causing numbness, pain or changes in skin sensation and paralysis can occur.
Excessive scarring requiring additional surgeries is another risk.
For patients that believe that cosmetic surgery will completely change their lives, the results can be disappointing. Cosmetic surgery can only alter the physical appearance, it cannot correct psychological problems. Some patients may be uncomfortable discussing their surgery with social peers and may feel those peers are gossiping about them. Others may be worried about the reactions of their loved ones, particularly spouses.
There are rare patients who develop an addiction to plastic surgery, believing that additional surgeries will make them physically perfect. Physical perfection is an ideal, not a reality, and these patients are never satisfied. They will continue to have cosmetic surgeries as long as they can find physicians willing to perform the procedures.
Patients with realistic expectations gain the most benefit from their cosmetic surgery. If a cosmetic surgery feels the patient has unrealistic expectations, he may request a consult with a psychologist prior to agreeing to perform the surgery.
The satisfaction that a patient has with the outcome of their surgery can depend largely on their expectations and understanding of potential risks prior to surgery. Your surgeon should discuss both the positive and negative outcomes before your surgery. Not all surgery is successful and the success of cosmetic surgery is largely in the perception of the patient.