Plastic Surgery: More Than Meets The Eye

Plastic Surgery: More Than Meets The Eye


We all have the initial notion that plastic surgery is only for vanity due to the media hype created by celebrities undergoing such operations to change the size of their breasts, the shape of their nose, or other body parts in order to improve their looks.

However, people who have birth defects such as cleft palates or ear deformities as well as those who get involve in accidents and have broken nose, and jaws may also benefit from plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery is a medical procedure to change a person’s appearance and ability to function. Plastic surgeons strive to improve a patients’ appearance and self-image through both reconstructive and cosmetic procedures.  It is derived from the Greek word plastikos, which means to form or mold.

Reconstructive surgery is a procedure that corrects defects on the face or body which includes physical birth defects like cleft lips and palates and ear deformities, traumatic injuries like those from dog bites or burns, the aftermath of an accident or the side effects from disease treatments like rebuilding a woman’s breast after surgery for breast cancer.

Cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is another procedure that alters a part of the body based on the patient’s desire and satisfaction. Some cosmetic surgery may not require surgical techniques such as cutting and stitching.  Non-surgical methods like special lasers are being used nowadays for minor procedures  like unwanted hair removal, acne treatments and other age-reduction procedures.

Common cosmetic procedures include making the breasts larger (augmentation mammoplasty) or smaller (reduction mammoplasty), reshaping the nose (rhinoplasty), and removing pockets of fat from specific spots on the body (liposuction).

Many plastic surgery procedures involve the use of anesthesia because the process involves a deliberate wounding of the body. This is why most doctors who perform these procedures want to know that their patients are capable of understanding and handling the stress of surgery.  For those who are undergoing major reconstruction such as sex change, the patient’s emotional and psychological conditions are factors to be taken into consideration. The patient needs a lot of counseling regarding the pros and cons of the surgery.

People with physical deformities resort to plastic surgery to correct the defect or to alter parts of their bodies that makes them feel uncomfortable.  Young men with a condition called gynecomastia or excess breast tissue that doesn’t go away with time or weight loss may consider reduction surgery.  People with birthmarks may turn to laser treatment in order to lessen or conceal its appearance.

Other people decide they want a cosmetic change because they’re not happy about the way they look. It may sound vanity but everyone has the right to feel good about oneself.  For those who have ears that stick out of their heads, they can go for otoplasty procedure to pin back their ears.  Most teens usually avail of otoplasty as well as dermabrasion, a procedure that can help smooth or camouflage severe acne scars.

The most common procedures teens choose include nose reshaping, ear surgery, acne and acne scar treatment, and breast enlargement or reduction.

Cosmetic surgery is unlikely to change one’s life.  Most plastic surgeons spend a lot of time interviewing young people who are considering plastic surgery to decide if they are good candidates for the surgery. Doctors want to know that patients are emotionally mature enough to go through  surgery and that they are doing it for the right reasons.

There are surgeons who refuse to perform certain procedures like rhinoplasty on a teen until they are sure that person is old enough and has finished growing. For rhinoplasty, that means about 15 or 16 for girls and about a year older for guys.

Young women who are thinking of having breasts augmentation for cosmetic reasons usually must be at least 18 because saline implants are only approved for women 18 years old and above.  However, there are some cases when there’s a tremendous size difference between the breasts or one breast has failed to grow at all, then a plastic surgeon may get involved earlier.

Generally, people are self-conscious about their bodies. Almost everyone wishes there were a thing or two that could be changed.  But self-consciousness goes away with time. You might consider going to the gym to get in shape through appropriate weight control and exercise which can do great things for a person’s image without resorting to surgery.  Liposuction may seem like quick and easy fixes compared with sticking to a diet.  But there is risk involve in surgery than dieting, exercise or weight loss pills.   People reserve surgery for extreme cases when all other options have failed. 

Plastic Surgery: More Than Meets The Eye


Young people should think a lot of times and seek counseling before undergoing plastic surgery.  A teen’s body continues to change through the years. Body parts that might appear too large or too small now can become more proportionate over time. Sometimes, for example, what seems like a big nose looks more the right size as the rest of the person’s face catches up during growth.

Emotions have a really big effect on how people think about their looks.  People who are going through depression, extremely self-critical, or have a distorted view of what they really look like sometimes think that changing their looks will solve their problems.  Unfortunately, it’s not going to work that way.   They need to resolve whatever emotional issues they have with the help of a trained therapist first.  In fact, many doctors won’t perform plastic surgery on people who are depressed or have other mental health disorders.

Plastic Surgery: More Than Meets The Eye


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