All surgeries carry risk and there are not guarantees regarding the results of any procedure
This is also the case for cosmetic surgery; medicine is as much of an art as it is a science. That has the added factor that a person’s perception about their desired goals could be very different from the attainable goal. This is why it is so important for you to ask questions and match your expectations with the surgeons and to be open and honest with them.
Improving your self-image with plastic surgery
Each of us has a “self-image,” a perception of how we believe we look to others. People who are happy with their self-image are more likely to be self-confident, effective in work and social situations, and comfortable in their relationships. Those who are dissatisfied tend to be self-conscious, inhibited, and less effective in activities.
Plastic surgery whether cosmetic or reconstructive — encourages and promotes a strong, positive self-image. Even a small change on the outside can create an extraordinary change on the inside, allowing an individual’s self-confidence to flourish. Because the changes resulting from plastic surgery are often dramatic and permanent, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of how surgery might make you feel long before a procedure is scheduled.
Appropriate Candidates for Surgery
If you are considering plastic surgery, you must be honest with yourself.
Exactly why do you want surgery?
And, what are your goals for surgery-what do you expect plastic surgery to do for you?
There are two categories of patients who are good candidates for surgery.
1) Patients with a strong self-image, who are bothered by a physical characteristic that they’d like to improve or change. After surgery, these patients feel good about the results and maintain a positive image about them.
2) Patients who have a physical defect or cosmetic flaw that has diminished their self-esteem over time. These patients may adjust rather slowly after surgery, as rebuilding confidence takes time. However, as they adjust, these patients’ self-image is strengthened, sometimes dramatically.
It’s important to remember that plastic surgery can create both physical changes and changes in self-esteem. If you are seeking surgery with the hope of influencing a change in someone other than yourself, you might end up disappointed. It’s possible that friends and loved ones will respond positively to your change in appearance and self-confidence, however understand and accept that plastic surgery will not cause dramatic changes in people other than you.
Inappropriate Candidates for Surgery
Not everyone is an appropriate candidate for plastic surgery, despite physical indications which are ideal for any given procedure.
Experienced plastic surgeons can usually identify troubled patients during a consultation. Sometimes, plastic surgeons will decline to operate on these individuals. Other times, they may recommend psychological counselling to ensure that the patient’s desire for an appearance change isn’t part of an emotional problem that no amount of surgery can fix. If your plastic surgeon recommends counselling for you, feel free to ask your surgeon how he or she expects the sessions to help you.
1) Patients in crisis, such as those who are going through divorce, the death of a spouse, or the loss of a job. These patients may be seeking to achieve goals that cannot be obtained through an appearance change-goals that relate to overcoming crisis through an unrelated change in appearance is not the solution. Rather, a patient must first work through the crisis.
2) Patients with unrealistic expectations, such as those who insist on having a celebrity’s nose, with the hope that they may acquire a celebrity lifestyle; patients who want to be restored to their original “perfection” following a severe accident or a serious illness; or patients who wish to find the youth of many decades past.
3) Impossible-to-please patients, such as individuals who consult with surgeon after surgeon, seeking the answers they want to hear. These patients hope for a cure to a problem which is not primarily, or not at all physical.
4) Patients who are obsessed with a very minor defect, and may believe that once their defect is fixed, life will be perfect. Born perfectionists may be suitable candidates for surgery, as long as they are realistic enough to understand that surgical results may not precisely match their goals.
5) Patients who have a mental illness, and exhibit delusional or paranoid behaviour, may also be poor candidates for surgery. Surgery may be appropriate in these cases if it is determined that the patient’s goals for surgery are not related to the psychosis. In these cases, a plastic surgeon may work closely with the patient’s psychiatrist.
Getting the Support You Need
It’s essential to have someone to help you, both physical and emotionally, during your recovery period. Even the most independent patient needs some emotional support after surgery. Remember, during the first week of recovery, you’ll have days when you’ll feel depressed and look swollen, bruised, and rather unpleasant.
Be sure to select a support person who will be just that-supportive.
Coping with Post-Operative Depression
After surgery, most patients experience mild feelings of unhappiness. However, for an unlucky few, post-operative depression may be more severe.
Post-surgery let downs usually set in about three days after surgery-at a point when you may be regaining some of your physical stamina, but your post-operative appearance has not yet begun to improve. In fact, some plastic surgeons call this condition “the Third-Day Blues.” It may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. This emotional let down may be caused by stress, exhaustion, metabolic changes, or the frustration of waiting for results to appear. Depression may be especially stressful for patients undergoing staged procedures, who must cope with an unfinished “interval image” until the final stage of surgery is complete. Patients who are most vulnerable to depression are those who have a history of depression, or who were already somewhat depressed before surgery.
Knowing what to expect in the post-operative period may help you cope better in the days following surgery. It’s helpful to remember that the depression usually lifts naturally within about a week. Brisk walks, light social activity, and small outings may help you shake the blues faster.
Handling the Critics
Although cosmetic surgery is now much more socially acceptable be prepared for some surprised or disapproving glances from family or friends.
You should be content with your surgery and how it makes you feel and look, always keep in mind if you are happy with the results then the procure was a success and be ready to answer why you did the surgery something like ‘I have done this for myself and I’m happy with the results’.
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