Why Have Cosmetic Surgery?

There are several main reasons why people choose to have cosmetic surgery. It might surprise you that just four events in someone’s life seem to trigger the decision to make an appointment to see a cosmetic surgeon. According to a study by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS),  many people have “watershed moments” that have prompted them to consider cosmetic surgery. While the decision to have any elective surgery should not be taken lightly, it appears that a single incident might be the deciding factor to seek a plastic surgery consultation. The main reasons cited are the following; social media,  post-pregnancy,  mistaken age, and major life events.

Last year more than 1,688,000 people had cosmetic surgical procedures in America and just over 10 million including non-surgical procedures. Many are choosing to cosmetic surgery for the same core reasons. I have also noticed similarity in the reasons for having surgery reported by patients in my own practice. The only new reason in the mix now is driven by the popularity of social media. The trend of posting photos will sometimes exasperate  the insecurity about how you look to others. Pop culture media is perhaps guilty of contributing to unrealistic expectations of social media photos published online. Celebrities have a team of makeup artists, hair and beauty consultants to help protect their public image. Special editing programs expertly erase wrinkles, slims waistlines and portrays an unrealistic vision of perfection.   When people compare their Facebook photo to that of the stars on magazine covers, there can be disappointment.

Another reason precipitating the desire for cosmetic surgery is for many women following pregnancy. In spite of losing post-pregnancy weight, some women experience stretched and saggy tummy skin that is reluctant to exercise away. Loss of breast tissue after breast-feeding ceases, also prompts the cosmetic surgery procedure nicknamed the “Mommy Makeover.” The Mommy makeover combines the  abdominoplasty  procedure  or tummy tuck, with breast restoration.

Mistaken age also spurs people to consideration having cosmetic surgery. Looking older than your age is sometimes worrisome.  Women represent 90% of the 9.1 million total of non-surgical and surgical procedures.   Men make up the balance, but a huge 106% increase was reported for men having cosmetic surgery last year. Generally patients feel younger and healthier than they might appear to others.   A little “nipntuck” often helps to restore a more youthful appearance, boosting confidence and self-esteem.

Lastly, major life events can precipitate the desire for change. That change may also embrace cosmetic surgery. Typical procedures include facial rejuvenation surgery, such as  Blepharoplasty  (cosmetic eyelid surgery) and facelift surgery. Patients most often consider these procedures at the age range between 50-60 years old. Big events like family weddings, reunions, significant birthdays or divorce are common reasons that patients mention during a cosmetic surgery consultation. A positive self-image is an important factor in feeling your best, especially at important times in your life. Most research points to the old adage that if you look your best, you will also feel terrific. In my profession, it is always rewarding to help my patients feel better about themselves, simply by changing their outer wrapping.

Photo: Courtesy ASAPS




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