Millions of people, both male and female, undergo cosmetic surgery, also called plastic surgery, every year 123. Modern plastic surgeons can alter almost any aspect of physical appearance, from facial features to body shape 1. While some cosmetic surgery is done for medical reasons, such as reconstructing facial features after an accident, many other procedures are voluntary. Weighting the pros and cons before having cosmetic surgery can help individuals make a decision whether it is the right choice for them 123.
For some, having cosmetic surgery can be vital to confidence levels and self-image 23. If you have a physical feature that you've spent years wishing were different or that has a recognizable impact on your daily life or health, this is usually an indication that it is something you truly desire to change, as opposed to a sudden dislike for something about yourself that recently became an issue. However, obsession over a specific facial or body feature can indicate mental health issues, and therapy might be a better option than surgery.
One of the big benefits of plastic surgery comes to those who have health issues related to the appearance issues that bother them 1. Some women with very large breasts experience excruciating back pain that a breast reduction can eliminate or reduce significantly. A nose job can potentially reduce sinus infections, and the removal of breast tissue in men can lower the risk of cancer in that tissue. These are just a few of the health problems that can be alleviated through cosmetic surgery.
Cosmetic surgery is still surgery and shouldn't be taken lightly 23. The potential for complications exists, just as for any other operation. Pain is a significant drawback to plastic surgery, and recovery times can be as long as six months in some cases 1. Some patients may be at risk for severe reactions to anesthesia or may develop health problems such as hemorrhaging as a result of their surgery.
Sometimes cosmetic surgery doesn't produce the results the patient desires. This is often a problem with expectations, not with the skill of the surgeon. Expecting unrealistic results, such as that surgery will make you look like a movie star or automatically solve all of your dating problems, can be a significant drawback to having cosmetic procedures. People who consult with a doctor before their procedure and develop a realistic idea of what the end result will look like often have better experiences.
Cosmetic surgery can be expensive and is usually not covered by medical insurance 23. There may also be a financial loss due to time taken off work for recovery. However, in some cases, if there is a medical condition related to the surgery, there may be some form of insurance compensation available. This sometimes occurs when cosmetic surgery is used to repair birth defects, reconstructive surgery after an accident or in cases such as severe recurrent sinus infections that can be fixed via rhinoplasty, which is plastic surgery of the nose 1.
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