Is Plastic Surgery Right for You?

Cosmetic SurgeryEvery year, millions of people make the life-altering decision to undergo plastic surgery. It may sound appealing to change a body part that you've spent years despising. But before you go under the knife, here are some benefits and risks to think about:

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The Pros

Increased Self-Esteem and Confidence. Not everyone was born with the cutest nose, and our skin inevitably wrinkles and sags as we age. With plastic surgery, people have the option to reshape the parts of their bodies that they feel are unattractive. Many people also turn to cosmetic surgery in order to reduce the signs of aging. Additionally, the surgery has potential to repair damage caused by infection, trauma, heredity or developmental appearance problems. If plastic surgery is successful, it can result in a more attractive appearance and that in turn can make people feel more confident.

Health Benefits. People with longstanding physical problems can benefit greatly from plastic surgery. For example, women who have very large breasts sometimes experience terrible back pain that can be significantly reduced or stopped altogether with breast-reduction surgery. An eyelid lift will improve the vision of people whose sight is hampered by excessive folds of skin.

The Cons

The Cost. Plastic surgery can be extremely expensive - often several thousand dollars - and is not often covered by insurance. It can also take a while to recover, and if a patient has to stay home from work, that may mean a serious financial loss.

The Risk. Like any other surgical procedure, cosmetic surgery involves cutting and bending parts of the body, and that's inherently risky. Patients usually suffer bruising, pain, swelling, and stiffness that can last a long time after the surgery is over. Some procedures result in serious complications that can be permanent: nerve damage, muscle paralysis, infections, scarring, and sometimes chronic pain. After a surgery is over, it's not uncommon to need help with daily activities for a while.

Satisfaction Isn't Guaranteed. It's important to remember that plastic surgery doesn't always have an ideal outcome. There's no way to know exactly what the final result will look like until after the surgery and the recovery period. Sometimes patients' expectations are too high. They may have an unrealistic belief that plastic surgery will make them beautiful and solve all their problems.

Before you decide for or against plastic surgery, it's crucial that you do a thorough investigation. Talk to a few physicians and find out how much experience they have in doing the kind of procedure you're considering. See if you can talk to others who have had the same procedure. Figure out the ultimate cost of the operation and how you can pay for it. Ask yourself what expectations you have of the surgery. If you consider all the pros and cons and do your research, you're much likelier to make a decision you can happily live with - whether you choose the surgery or not.

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