Author: A. Nutt
Plastic surgery is a tool many people use to improve their body image. However, not all people are good candidates for cosmetic surgery. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recognizes this and cautions surgeons from taking on certain types of patients. That being said, some people can benefit greatly from cosmetic surgery, provided they have realistic expectations and a good understanding of their motivation.
Who Are Bad Candidates for Cosmetic Surgery?
So who does the American Society of Plastic Surgeons say is a bad candidate for cosmetic surgery? First, the Society cautions surgeons against performing surgery on patients with unrealistic expectations about the procedure's results. Patients need to know what to expect after a procedure, and their view of "perfection"is likely not going to be the result.
Also, patients who are suffering from a severe crisis or trauma in their lives should wait to have surgery. A divorce or serious financial crisis can sometimes make people start seeking a way to change their outer image in an attempt to deal with the inner turmoil they are experiencing. Working through the crisis first is essential. If, afterwards, the patient still feels surgery would be a benefit, then options can be pursued.
Doctors are cautioned against performing surgery on people who are seeking perfection. These patients notice every possible flaw on their bodies and want it fixed. Often, they are unhappy with their results and seek another physician's opinion or another surgery to fix the first one. These are poor candidates for cosmetic procedures, because there is often an underlying problem causing the individual to continue to seek surgical treatment.
Many people suffer from body image complexes, thinking that they look far worse than they really do. Some turn to cosmetic surgery in an attempt to fix these perceived flaws. People with a severe body image complex, a condition known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder, should not look to cosmetic surgery to fix their perceived flaws. This is a serious psychological condition that needs counseling, not surgery, to fix.
Good Candidates for Cosmetic Surgery
While many people seek cosmetic surgery as a "fix"for problems it was not designed to fix, there are some patients who stand to benefit greatly from a cosmetic procedure. There are also those patients who have realistic expectations about a procedure and can enjoy a better body image after surgery without the psychological problems others experience.
People who are good candidates for plastic surgery are those who understand what the risks and the possible outcomes are. They are not obsessed with achieving "perfection,"but perhaps have a flaw or two that they would like to improve. They understand that they are going to still look like themselves, with slight improvement, after the procedure.
Cosmetic surgery is also a great option for people with birth defects, such as a cleft palate. There are also many procedures that can be done to improve the appearance of scars after an accident or fire. A skilled plastic surgeon can reconstruct an appearance lost after a traumatic event, thus allowing the patient to return to a fairly normal appearance. People in these situations are good candidates for cosmetic surgery.
There are also some lifestyle and physical features that how whether or not someone is a good candidate for cosmetic surgery. People who are at a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and do not smoke are good candidates. It is very important for a patient to be emotionally stable, and the patient must be able to accept the risks and potential disadvantages of having a cosmetic procedure done.
If you feel like you are a good candidate for cosmetic surgery, have weighed the risks, and still wish to have a procedure done, look around carefully for the right doctor. Once you have found one, set up some support to lean on after the procedure while you heal. Cosmetic surgery is major surgery, no matter how low risk it is, so make sure you have the help you need in place prior to the surgery.
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