The Pros and Cons of Cosmetic Surgery

The Pros and Cons of Cosmetic Surgery

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In recent years, the number of individuals undergoing cosmetic procedures has continued to rise. Non-invasive treatments, such as botulinum toxin injections, have grown in popularity worldwide. In the past five years, the percentage of individuals opting for breast implants has risen nearly 28%. Around the globe, the number of both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures increased by 5.4% in 2018.


Older adults are among those undergoing more cosmetic procedures. Staying a part of the workforce for longer; maintaining a youthful look often benefits those looking to be hired for new positions. Many older adults note that they still feel young on the inside; why shouldn’t they look just as vibrant on the outside? In the past, there was greater stigma against plastic surgery, too. Today, there is less judgment cast on those who opt to undergo cosmetic procedures. Advances in techniques and technology have made cosmetic procedures safer and more effective than ever before.


Cosmetic surgery, however, should never be taken lightly. Even non-invasive treatments can significantly alter your appearance. The final results of a procedure may not match up with the ideal you once envisioned, and recovery can be a lengthy and sometimes painful process.Are you or someone you love considering cosmetic surgery? Here are a few pros and cons worth considering before you commit to going under the knife. 



The Pros of Cosmetic Surgery


The benefits of cosmetic surgery can be internal as well as external. When a procedure has the desired effect for the patient, they may experience a significant boost in their confidence and self-esteem. A perceived physical flaw may no longer be visible, allowing the individual to feel less self-conscious of their appearance. They might feel sexier, more attractive, and more comfortable in their own skin. Certain procedures, such as rhinoplasties and chin implants, may help individuals achieve greater facial symmetry and proportional balance. Implants and liposuction may make the figure appear more balanced or toned, or may bring the body closer to a particular aesthetic ideal, such as the oft-desired “hourglass figure” for women. 


Though some operations are indeed painful, many modern non-surgical procedures are relatively painless and have quick recovery times. Even temporary procedures often have fairly long-lasting results; other operations, such as implants, may alter one’s appearance permanently. 


For some, cosmetic surgery may have a positive impact on their physical health, too. An eyelid or brow lift, for instance, may reduce eye strain and headaches associated with vision problems. Jaw surgery and rhinoplasty may improve some patients’ ability to breathe, leading to better sleep and improved overall health. For some overweight individuals, liposuction may make it easier to exercise and maintain a more physically active lifestyle. 


The benefits you might achieve from cosmetic surgery will depend on your individual situation. If you are contemplating a particular procedure, talk to a competent surgeon about potential risks and benefits before undergoing surgery.



The Cons & Risks of Cosmetic Surgery


There are, unfortunately, a number of downsides to cosmetic surgery. If you have a number of issues with your physical appearance or a very severe fixation on a perceived physical “flaw,” you may need to assess whether or not you are in the right state of mind for a cosmetic procedure. Many individuals with body dysmorphic disorder, for instance, falsely believe that certain surgeries will “fix” their appearance and therefore their obsessive thoughts about their appearance. Unfortunately, in many cases, surgery does not correct the issue, as it is actually tied to the individual’s distorted perception of themselves. For these individuals, therapy and medication are often better treatment options than surgery. Trying to treat chronic and severe self-image issues with cosmetic surgeries may only lead to cosmetic surgery addiction, depression, or suicidal ideation.


Even for individuals who are mentally prepared for cosmetic surgery, results can be disappointing. The end result may not look the way you imagined it in your mind. Loved ones may find the change in your appearance difficult to accept. In some cases, surgeons may actually botch the surgery, leading to poor visual results or, worse, painful complications and side effects. Scarring is possible, and more invasive procedures carry the risks of infection, blood clot formation, and nerve damage. Anesthesia can be dangerous, and there is often the risk of death during or after major operations. 


Though non-invasive procedures are often more affordable than major operations, cosmetic procedures are rarely cheap. Though a non-invasive treatment, like the injection of a dermal filler or a skin rejuvenation treatment, may be relatively affordable, these procedures may need to be repeated over the years to maintain their effects. Ultimately, most procedures are likely to set you back hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Recovery times may range from days to weeks. If you are an active and busy individual, you may need to consider whether or not you have the time to commit to the recovery process. Discuss your concerns with a qualified professional before making a final decision regarding surgery. 



Am I Too Old for Cosmetic Surgery?


Many adults, particularly over the age of 65, wonder whether or not they’re too old to undergo cosmetic operations. Though non-invasive procedures are usually safe for individuals of all ages, some procedures carry greater risks for seniors.In general, adults over the age of 65 who are in good health and are of a healthy body weight can safely undergo most cosmetic procedures. More serious complications were only shown to be suffered by older adults undergoing tummy tuck procedures. Studies showed positive results for seniors who underwent most cosmetic procedures, but researchers noted that surgeons had generally done a good job screening their patients beforehand. If you have a particular health problem, it is crucial that you discuss it with your doctor before considering an operation. Certain medications and lifestyle choices, such as being a smoker, may put you at greater risk of complications as a result of surgery.


When contemplating surgery, be sure to consider your safety and health above all else. Look for certified surgeons who have had good results with a number of patients. Opt for treatment from professional surgeons and dermatologists. Avoid getting treatment at salons or spas, and don’t opt for discounted procedures. Though it can be tempting to travel to another country for a cheaper operation, it’s generally safest to pay for professional treatment in your native country. 


Though you may be healthy enough for surgery, it is always important to weigh the pros and cons of treatment. Is the potential benefit of the operation worth the cost and risks? If it is, research your options and book a consultation with a trusted surgeon.



In Conclusion:


Ultimately, whether or not you undergo a cosmetic procedure is up to you. Don’t allow others to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do with your own body. Take the time to reflect on the outcome you’re seeking. If, for instance, you realize that your issues stem from a general disdain for yourself and your appearance, ask yourself if surgery is truly the solution to your problems. Perhaps working on your self-esteem in therapy would have a more positive impact on your life than cosmetic surgery. For others, a low-risk operation could be a simple solution to a long-time cosmetic concern.


Trust your gut instincts about surgery and assess your options before committing to a surgeon and a particular procedure. By making a thoughtful, well-informed selection, you can ensure that you’ve made the best decision for you.



Photo: © Jacob Lund /

Editor, 10/29/2020