Considering Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery is a branch of Plastic surgery that can help improve your looks. Plastic surgery is a specialized branch of surgery concerned with the repair of the deformities and correction of functional problems. Though artificial material is used many a times to correct or camouflage the deformity, it has nothing to do with the plastic that we use in our day to day life. The word plastic is derived from Greek word “plastikos,” meaning “fit for molding”. The plastic surgeon molds the body tissue to give it a desired shape and hence the term ‘Plastic Surgery’. Cosmetic surgery is a branch of plastic surgery that aims to improve the look of a person.

Why consider cosmetic surgery?

Cosmetic surgery aims to restore disproportionate parts of your body to a balancing figure. It can also help you achieve younger look and figure.
If you are not happy with your looks, you may think of cosmetic surgery as it not only helps you to look better, but also to feel better.
People going for cosmetic surgery have a positive self-image. They do not tolerate anything wrong or out of the way with their body, as they derive a lot of self esteem from their body image. In fact, most of them may even feel similarly about their overall appearance, such as clothes and accessories they choose to wear and make up and hair style they like.
Surveys find that those satisfied with the results feel following benefits:

  •   Improvement in self-confidence
  •   Improved social life,
  •   Improved sex life and interpersonal relationships
  •   Increased pleasure in leisure activities

It is to be noted that the cosmetic surgery can make significant changes in the appearance of a person and improve his/her self confidence remarkably, yet one has to have realistic expectations and should not aim to look like his/her ‘role models’. You may be expecting cosmetic surgery to give you a svelte figure or take off years from your face. You should however do some homework before you go ahead with cosmetic surgery. You should ask yourself some questions:

  • Why am I considering cosmetic surgery? : You should never be considering cosmetic surgery because someone else, your friend or spouse is pressurizing you to go for it. It should be your own decision.
  • Do I have realistic expectations: As said earlier, you should be aiming to look better and proportionate and not to look like someone else. You should expect remarkable improvement and not the perfection. Those results of cosmetic surgery that you see on TV are generally achieved after several procedures and touch up procedures on the same person. You may get similar results if you are ready to spend time and money to that extent.
  • Do I understand all the risks and limitations that cosmetic surgery involves? If you do not understand, you should ask questions to your cosmetic surgeon. If he/she fails to disclose all of them or is not honest in answering them, go for the one who satisfies you. Alternatively internet is a good source of finding information. See some good Links in our website.
  • Am I mentally stable to undergo cosmetic surgery?: Studies have shown that those who are in the middle of psychological stress such as job stress, relationship issues, divorce, depression due to any reason, are not satisfied with the results of cosmetic surgery. This can add to the already high stress level. Hence, avoid it during the time of stress.


What are the risks of cosmetic surgery?

Please note you are likely to have smooth and uneventful recovery if you are in good overall health.
Your chances of recovery will be far better if you select a qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeon and when you follow proper after care instructions given by the doctor.
The risks of cosmetic surgery depend on type of the procedures you intend to undergo. Yet there are some general risks. Please note that they are very uncommon and at times unpredictable too.

  •  Nausea, vomiting, dizziness and excessive pain: This may require a longer hospitalization.
  •  Collection of Blood under the skin incision (hematoma): This may need to be removed by reopening the incision.
  •  Collection of clear yellow color fluid (seroma) under the skin: This needs to be removed with a needle puncture.
  •  Wound healing problems: At time there is delayed healing or death of skin near the incision line. Such wound healing problems are associated more commonly with chronic smokers. In addition Wound Infection can occur despite taking utmost precautions.
  •  Asymmetry or Uneven appearance (asymmetry): At times when doing surgery on both sides of body, one side looks different from the other. If this difference is minor, it may be ignored. Otherwise, it may require a touch up surgery.
  •  Risks associated with anesthesia: Please ask your doctor about the risks of anesthesia, before you go for the surgery.
  •  Most of these risks or complications of cosmetic surgery can be overcome leaving as little disfigurement as possible by combined efforts of supporting doctor and trusting patient.

Your first consultation:

Your zone of comfort should start with the first phone call to the facility providing the surgery.
In your first visit you should talk about your desire. The doctor explains the procedure in general. He then tries to understand your requirement and then evaluates your body. He should come out with a verdict that should answer most of your questions.
You may make a list of questions and doubts, to check whether the doctor has covered all your queries.
Normally you should get answers to following questions:

  • Is surgery the only answer to the problem or there are non surgical treatments available?
  • Do these non surgical treatments work just as well or better or will fail to give you the desired result?
  • Whether you are a good candidate for this procedure? Why or why not?
  • Type of anesthesia to be used and its risk
  • Duration of hospitalization
  • Expected result
  • Possible complications.
  • Monitoring the progress after surgery, need for dressings, post operative visits and what assistance will the doctor provide?
  • How many people need touch up procedures and what is the cost involved?
  • If you have doubts, you can ask the doctor as to how many procedures of similar types has he performed? The answer should give you a hint as to how honest the doctor is.