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Cosmetic Surgery Essay

Cosmetic surgery is not solving the problem at route. The problem is the perception that the mind has on what is important. All cosmetic surgery is doing is changing the appearance but not the mental state. Someone who has such a mental disposition to these illnesses will have their offending extremity changed, but they will ultimately always find something they are not happy with. Instead of cosmetic surgery, these people should be offered psychological help. Cosmetic surgery only masks the inner problem. Only in some cases, does it help individuals.

Candidates seeking plastic surgery should be routinely screened for mental health problems because of the risk to health, botched surgery, and the need for nobler causes rather than vanity. Plastic, reconstructive, and cosmetic surgery refer to a variety of operations performed in order to repair or restore body parts to look normal, or to change a body part to look better (Espejo 21). They all share common techniques and approaches but have their differences. Plastic surgery is known to repair a body after disfiguring accidents or severe burns such as car accidents or house fires (22).

Reconstruction surgery is performed to improve function such as to correct birth defects, infections, or illnesses like breast cancer or tumors (22). It is most likely to be performed in a hospital and be covered by insurance unlike cosmetic surgery where it is not covered by insurance and is done in a surgeon’s office. Cosmetic surgery procedures are performed in order to enhance a person’s appearance to please them (22). It is practice by a variety of doctors from different medical fields.

Examples of popular cosmetic surgeries are, Abdominoplasty: reshaping and firming of the abdomen, breast augmentations: increasing breast size, and Rhinoplasty: reshaping of the nose. All three of these procedures are used to reshape, repair, lift, or tuck certain areas of the body or face. Mental health screenings should be mandatory because of possible psychiatric disorders, risk for suicide, and an unstable mental health status. Researchers have discovered that “22% of all deaths were associated with suicide, psychological disorders, and/or drug and alcohol abuse” (Espejo 76).

Breast implants have led to the tripled suicide rates in women and is higher for women forty-five and older (75). Due to possible psychiatric disorders increased screening and monitoring need to take place. Counseling could be in order too because drug and alcohol dependence is usually in use for women (76). Screening the mental health status of a candidate for mood or body image disorders would assure that they are psychiatrically stable and would clear them for surgery. In addition to mental health screenings, observing office behavior of a potential client may caution the surgeon to reconsider them.

Under an hour long consultation should take place, which could be a fraud of who they really are by just trying to impress the surgeon to receive the plastic surgery. Therefore, patients who behave differently around a nurse need to be noted and risky behavior such as appointment changes, outside appointments, and only wanting to speak with the surgeon (77). All surgeries, including plastic, reconstruction, or cosmetic surgery, involve risks. General surgical risks are infections, bleeding, reactions to anesthesia, and scarring (Alagna 31).

Reactions to anesthesia can result in brain, nerve, or eye damage, a stroke, heart attack, or death (31). All three forms of these surgeries can leave appalling scars on the body, varying in color and taking longer than normal to fade. If scars remain visible further surgery can be done to correct the scar or steroids can be used (33). Plastic surgery risks include the general risks as well as others. These risks include pneumonia, pain, anemia, fat embolisms, rejection of skin grafts, and numbness (31-32).

There are risks of fatal surgeries that can occur by having heart difficulties, reacting to medications, and flu like symptoms (33). More in depth common procedure risks are known to follow after procedures such as breast augmentation and liposuction. Breast augmentation is a common surgery in women to increase the size of their breasts. Liposuction is a technique of removing excess fat from under the skin by suction. In 1992 the FDA banned silicone implants from breast augmentation because “they could lead to health problems” and “will need them removed within ten years” (Petersen).

This ban was due to rupturing implants and the potential to cause disease. Rupturing and leaking is not the only threat of breast augmentation because they could be uneven, cause pain, scar or capsule, or swell (Alagna 36). All of these risks can lead to multiple surgeries and thousands of dollars. Liposuction is one of the most common killers in plastic surgery by deaths resulting 1 in 5,000 (38). Blood clots and heart failure are the main causes of death. These surgical procedures can result in complications ranging from an unattractive or unnatural final result, to scarring or even death.

The general population of all women wants the Hollywood look for a bargain deal. They always believe that the horror stories they hear on television will never happen to them but botched plastic surgery can happen to anyone if the right precautions are not taken. Unfortunately precautions are not taken because there are horror stories of botched surgeries. Due to liposuction going wrong, many deaths have occurred because of cardiac arrest, too much tumescent fluid, and blood clots (Alagna 50). One woman named Sandra Ciuffreda shared her horror story about having about five gallons of fat removed.

Once out of surgery she had become fragile and discovered she was left with a very noticeable scar (51). Other stories have been shared by women who have had cosmetic surgery gone wrong. An eighteen year old named Julia had undergone two nose jobs with scars left behind and has had her lips redone three different times (52). Another woman named Ellen Ross also encountered botched cosmetic surgery. It began with her just wanting thinner thighs but then was manipulated into thinking she needed her breasts done as well. Ross experienced terrifying results saying, “I had lumps next to my breasts” (53).

In order to correct this surgeon’s mistake she had to undergo eight separate surgeries due to infections and scars and was put back thousands of dollars (52). A graph displays where only XXIII percent of patients come back for more surgery and only XXXVIII percent have multiple procedures done at once nationwide (Tevlin). This can conclude that the surgery was either bad or unneeded. In order to avoid these horror stories, research plastic surgery, have a thorough consultation to be informed about how to stay safe and request for a second, and ask the plastic surgeon about his or her experience and medical training.

There is more to experiencing plastic surgery than just for vanity. It can be utilized for more noble causes such as birth defects, disfiguring injuries, reconstruction, and health benefits. Children with birth defects such as cleft palate or ear deformities can benefit from a “healthy dose” of plastic surgery procedure to correct their defect (Oshaba). Most cleft palates are repaired through specialized plastic surgery techniques, improving the child’s ability to eat, speak, hear and breathe, and to restore a more normal appearance and function. They will be able to grow up feeling more normal due to plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery procedures are considered for reconstruction of deformities or from trauma from an accident or illness. Patients who have been in a car wreck can have reconstruction surgery to fix the damaged parts with parts from someone else (Espejo 22). Reconstructive plastic surgery is also accepted in cases where illness such as cancer have women seeking reconstructive breast surgery or to relieve back pain if painfully too large. It can benefit your health if you are overweight. Many people have suffered from obesity and then lost enormous amounts of weight leaving them the need to repair their body or have trouble losing weight.

Dr. Jerome Muhumuza a medical doctor says, “…cosmetic surgery can help save your life or at least reduce the risk of health complications” (Oshaba). A gastric bypass is one of the recommended surgeries for those who are overweight or just liposuction in general (Oshaba). A gastric bypass is a surgical operation that involves reducing the size of the stomach and reconnecting the smaller stomach to bypass the first portion of the small intestine so as to restrict food intake and reduce caloric absorption in cases of severe obesity.

All surgeries previously mentioned are ways to improve one’s health. Plastic surgery can also encourage and promote a strong, positive self-image with people with clinically proven depression (Weintraub). Even a small change on the outside can create an extraordinary change on the inside, allowing an individual’s self-confidence to flourish. Therefore, there is a connection between mood, self-esteem and depression. Plastic surgery can be very beneficial by not only enhancing self-esteem, but curing depression.

By just treating someone with Botox a change can occur within them (Weintraub). Surgery, whether it is plastic, reconstruction, or cosmetic has its pros and cons. It can lead to a lot of problems in the future that could affect you physically and mentally, and it has become a doorway to beauty for some people. Many have succumbed to the risks; therefore proper research and preparation are necessary for the surgery. There have been many people that have gone through it and feel worse after and keep striving for perfection but end up becoming a statistic.

In some cases, cosmetic surgery does help individuals. Procedures like skin grafts on burn victims, or the correcting of an abnormal feature on the human body. These procedures help people feel more normal. This is how cosmetic surgery was first used. Then people started to use cosmetic surgery, not to look merely normal, but to look perfect. This type of surgery is not healthy and that is why mental health screenings should be mandatory due to health risks, botched surgeries, and the need for nobler causes.


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