Psst, did you hear?

“What should I tell my family and friends?” or “I am afraid of what they might think or say.”     These are important considerations when contemplating cosmetic surgery.     Many cultural, personal, and family factors come to play.

Some patients fear the comment, “You should accept yourself just the way you are.”     Unfortunately, life changes including aging, injury, pregnancy or weight loss contribute to the way you are “now,”  which may be different from the way you “were.”     Both Melissa and Jennifer relate changes which occurred as a result of multiple pregnancies.     They wanted to go back to the way they were.   It is their prior body image which has persisted in their minds eye, different from the image in the mirror now.

Others hear, “You shouldn’t spend this money for selfish reasons, your family should come first.”     They imply that the surgery denies the the family of something.     Obviously in Melissa’s case this is not true, as her husband got the flat screen TV before she even considered breast surgery.  Arguably, according to Jennifer, her  improved feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem helped to improve her interactions with her husband and children.

I always advise patients to be honest with family and friends.  Most of the time, supportive comments outweigh negative feedback.  Invariably, patients are often surprised by the support regarding their decision to have cosmetic surgery.     Jennifer states her husband’s view was, “Whatever makes you happy,” while Melissa’s friends approach her with comments of support and questions to get more information.     After all, aren’t the best relationships based on honesty?

On rare occasions, there are family and friends which can be very vocal in their opposition to a patient’s decision.     This is unfortunate.     Try to understand that they may have the same feelings as you do about themselves (misery loves company).     Ironically, friends and family who protest the most, are frequently the first referrals to arrive in my office for similar surgery!

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