Plastic surgery, like any elective medical procedure, has its pros and cons. Patients who are considering a procedure need to weigh these in order to make an informed decision. The fact of the matter is that not everyone is ready, emotionally or otherwise, for plastic surgery, and not everyone needs it. For some, it provides a major benefit, but for others, the negatives outweigh the positives. You must decide what is the most important for you.
The most obvious benefit of plastic surgery is the aesthetic one. These procedures can correct asymmetry, cosmetic defects an individual was born with, scars from injuries or accidents and even imperfections that may not be defects, but may be something an individual feels uncomfortable with. For some patients with severe disfiguration, cosmetic procedures provide a way to have a somewhat “normal” appearance.
There is also an emotional benefit to this branch of medicine. Some patients, especially those with severe disfigurement, have a very emotional attachment to their physical appearance. The ridicule and social hurdles they must overcome can be removed with a procedure. This can lead to increased self-confidence and self esteem. It may even lessen depression for some patients. The emotional benefit does not necessarily have to be this drastic, either. Some patients who do not have a disfigurement, but instead choose plastic surgery to improve an already normal appearance, also report increased confidence after their procedure.
The biggest negative about plastic surgery is the fact that it is a surgical procedure. This means there are risks associated, including infection, blood loss, and nerve problems. Before pursuing a procedure, discuss all of these risks with your doctor, and make sure you are comfortable with those risks. You will have scars, pain, and time off of work for a cosmetic procedure, and this may not be something you are willing to endure for a procedure considered medically unnecessary.
Another con about cosmetic procedures is the fact that they may not provide the results a patient is hoping for. Some individuals have unrealistic expectations about a procedure. Cosmetic procedures can do wonders for an individual's appearance, but they will not change the fundamental aspect of what you look like, nor will they heal deep emotional trauma related to your appearance.
Also, cosmetic procedures are expensive, and they may not be covered by insurance. You will want to talk to your doctor about whether or not your procedure is medically necessary, and if it is not medically necessary, you will need to plan for a way to pay for the procedure.
You also need to know that the results of your procedure are not going to be visible immediately afterwards. Most patients experience bruising and swelling after plastic surgery, and results will not be visible until this has had the ability to heal completely. Many patients report waiting six months to a year before their results are fully visible. If these negatives are something you are willing to work with in order to finally have the appearance you have been dreaming of, then start your search for a cosmetic surgeon.