Breaking the Balance: Cosmetic Surgery Pros, Cons and Risk Factors

Before you slap on a plastic smile, do some deep thinking on the whole picture when it comes to plastic surgery and its risks.

It’s in the news, on television, movies and just about everywhere you look. A pretty face, a slender frame, and sizeable, perky breasts are society’s general prerequisites for a “beautiful woman,” and people are increasingly more willing to succumb to these diluted perceptions each year.

But the purses and bank accounts of women are not the only ones being spilled out for a fresh new look…. More and more men are considering and even going through with cosmetic surgery to fit the trim and youthful appearance desired by so many. Male pectoral implants, calf implants, Rhinoplasty, facelifts, eyelifts and tummy tucks are just a few of the popular procedures in which males are recently partaking.

The ever-popular “nose job,” or rhinoplasty, is just one of dozens of treatments available to the big spenders. (Typical procedures cost anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars and ever climbing.) As the nose is rumored to be the most prominent feature on a person’s face, many are quick to have theirs sculpted to perfection, or at least to improvement.

In addition to aesthetic nose surgery, procedures such as aesthetic ear surgery, cosmetic eyelid surgery, facelifts, forehead lifts, and chemical face peels attempt to present cosmetic surgery patients with a more appealing visage.

Eyelid rejuvenation, or Blepharoplasty, is a relatively common cosmetic procedure practiced in the hopes of reducing the signs of aging around the eyes. Facelifts and forehead lifts and chemical face peels also attempt to decrease the appearance of aging, thus restoring a brighter skin tone and an overall younger look.

Non-facial cosmetic surgery procedures are extremely common as well. Liposuction and tummy tucks are common treatments to aid in contouring the body and eliminating localized deposits of fat in areas such as the waistline, thighs and buttocks.

Breast size and shape become a concern to women for several reasons, including physical appearance and personal comfort. Breast enlargement, breast reduction and breast lifts may deliver desire results to happy patients, but several risks could dampen the bliss. Inability to nurse a baby, uneven nipple placement and sensory loss are possible flaws known to occur after a Mammoplasty.

The obvious and ultimate goal, or benefit, is to construct the desired appearance in as little time as possible with little or no pain and a quick recovery. Often, patients know exactly what they want to see when the procedure is done, so a match to the envisioned or sketched result is the greatest advantage, though there is no guarantee.

The cons and risk factors are much more abundant, though sometimes rare or uncommon. The need to take time off from one’s professional career and typical daily activities can be seen as an immediate disadvantage. Financial expenses, imminent bruising and discomfort may also deter an individual from receiving a cosmetic surgical procedure. Speaking with a person who has had cosmetic surgery performed on them may be the best means of deciding for oneself if opting for surgery is the right choice.

As with any type of surgical procedure, certain inherent risks are involved. Infection, dry eye problems/ decreased tear production, bleeding, blindness and damage to nerves, blood vessels and muscles within the eye are just a few complications that can occur when a Blepharoplasty is performed. Less serious risks can include allergic reactions, asymmetry (a notable difference in appearance of the eyes), chronic pain, delayed or prolonged healing of the affected area, permanent or temporary eyelash hair loss, scarring, and dissatisfaction with the end result, among others. This is not to mention additional risks involved with local and general anesthesia administered to patients receiving surgical treatment.

With so many risks, why do so many people continue to go through with cosmetic surgery? Not surprisingly, for the same reasons many people dye their hair! Satisfaction of one’s appearance is intrinsically linked to one’s happiness and overall mood and performance. Do blondes really have more fun? If someone asks your mom one more time how old she is, will she tell? Will enhanced or reduced breasts really make someone a “different person”? It is all a state of mind.

Though risks such as blindness, blood clots, and serious lung problems are rare, it is critical that you are aware of these possible outcomes. If you cannot live with the potential consequences, it is best to think twice and weigh out your options before plunging into a procedure that could change your life forever.

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