Plastic Surgery Essay Example
Throughout the world, plastic surgery has become increasingly more normalized and accepted in society. Plastic Surgery is performed in efforts to improve one’s physique by removing parts of their body to reshape it or by injecting them with a substance to make a particular body part larger. The number of people who opt for these surgeries is also increasing dramatically, mainly in the name of psychiatric health and societal trends. Although the outcomes of plastic surgery often cause more harm than wellness to the patients, so many people still schedule appointments expecting to be satisfied with their new selves.
When plastic surgery first came out, there was a stigma surrounding the topic. This new procedure was mostly done by celebrities and women, who kept their transformation a secret because it was societal taboo. In addition, plastic surgery was originally a large financial investment that only a select, elite group of people could afford. Today, people speak freely about plastic surgery treatments and the price of the procedures has decreased substantially so that virtually anyone can alter their body.
As a result, the number of plastic surgery patients has escalated exponentially and men make up one fifth of the patient base. Physicians have also grown a liking to plastic surgery because they make an attractive paycheck and the number of patients is still growing. Now that they are able to be paid immediately- since people often pay for their operation by credit card- doctors do not have to wait for insurance situations to be figured out. The number of plastic surgeons is increasing because of this convenience (Nugent). Furthermore, advancements in technology have reduced scarring and recovery time substantially, which is another reason why practitioners and clients are drawn towards cosmetic surgery. But, plastic surgeons are not the only clinicians that are involved plastics.
How Psychiatrists Assist
Psychiatrists are becoming increasingly more valued in this practice as well. They are often assigned to perform pre- and post- surgical assessments on patients to determine if the candidate is mentally stable to carry out the procedure and to check up on them after the surgery is completed. Psychiatrists also need to know how talk to people about appearance concerns in, regards to plastic surgery, which is a growing issue for many people. Needless to say, individuals walk into clinics with the expectation of receiving an alteration to their body that is perfect in their eyes. Unfortunately, many patients are let down by the results and return to the clinic for more procedures that they become addicted to plastic surgeries.
The reason for this addiction has been linked directly to body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD. BDD is a mental disorder where the person affected by it is psychologically consumed by a minor or nonexistent physical flaw. Less than three percent of the population is victim to BDD but that amounts to anywhere between five million and ten million people in America (Phillips). In 2018, over 17,721,600 plastic and cosmetic surgeries were performed just in the United States (this is excluding reconstructive surgeries) ("2018 Plastic"). Most people who walk into a plastic surgeon’s office are suffering with body dysmorphic disorder and want to correct the body part that they are unhappy with in order to cure their mental condition.
Regrettably, seventy five percent of patients with BDD are never satisfied with their body after the surgery. They are often let down because the results are not precisely as the patient planned out in their minds, which is mostly an unrealistic expectation. Henceforth, they go back to get another surgery to fix the previous one, their symptoms are transferred towards another part of their body, their condition remains the same or worsens, they become depressed, and/or the risk of suicide is increased (Kelly et al.). The immediate solution that countless clients assume is to return to the clinic for another surgery. This unhealthy cycle becomes a habit and the priority of so many people’s lives and ultimately, no happiness is achieved through the process.
Due to the fact that plastic surgery costs have decreased to more accessible prices, the number of patients has increased and each patient is having more surgeries, resulting in Americans spending more than sixteen billion dollars annually on cosmetic procedures. In addition to the painful monetary cost, plastic surgeries have their negative physical, emotional, and fatal effects as well, primarily an issue to addicts. For example, a liposuction destroys fat cells from the belly area but having this procedure may create an image of one’s thighs being larger, tampering with the body’s proportions.
Some may see this as a reason to get surgery on the body parts that now look wrong because of the original surgery Furthermore, if someone gains weight after a liposuction, the fat will be distributed unevenly to other parts of the body such as the arms or the back instead of the abdomen (Dittmann). Another similar and common case is seen when individuals obtain a botox. One will achieve the lips they desire for the price of their nose looking odd in relation to the rest of their face. Some surgeries end up paralyzing facial muscles, by nature of the procedure, which make movements look unrealistic because the muscles that are should portray expressions are frozen. Other than an unnatural appearance, it is not uncommon for plastic surgery addicts to experience blood clots, scarring, bruises, swelling, collapsed muscles, nerve damage, and infections.
Women who decide to get breast augmentations tend to regret it years later as the results are not permanent and complications develop the longer they are left in. Studies have proven that women who get breast implants are two to four times more likely to commit suicide later in their life than other women of the same age, weather they have received plastic surgery or not. Another fatal possibility for a person obtaining plastic surgery is the chance of acquiring a drug addiction. Opioids are prescribed for ninety percent of plastic surgery patients while in recovery (Rapaport). While taking the prescription for a short amount of time is usually accompanied by little risk of addiction, multiple procedures require longer recovery time on opioids which is what leads many patients astray on another obsessive road.
Seven percent of plastic surgery patients become persistent opioid users after their operation. This means that they are prescribed the drug for months or years in order to fully recover from large surgeries (Rapaport). Post-recovery, it is another major worry that leftover drugs may be lying in one’s home. Easy access to a bottle of opioids is dangerous because an overdose or a potential addiction is just one bottle away. This is especially concerning since, as already established, most people who are doing plastic surgeries are unstable and have low self esteem, therefore they are easily susceptible to looking towards drugs as a way out of their hardships. Because plastic surgery addicts feel so much negativity towards themselves and their bodies, they will often turn to alcohol and illegal drugs as an emotional escape rather than referring to a psychologist for therapy and medication prescribed by a professional to cope with their insecurities.
How Social Media Is Involved
In today’s society, social media plays a significant role in every part of people’s lives. Plastic surgery is generally encouraged by the media as a way to bring out one’s best self. Those who decide to get plastic surgery do not always consider the risks that they are placing upon themselves and many do not realize that body dysmorphic disorder is what is truly driving them to this conclusion. They are often offended when someone suggests to them to seek psychological assistance instead.
People who speak out against cosmetic procedures are shunned as being meddlesome and condemned as to having no right to judge what others decide to do with their bodies. It is not a bad thing for people to take note on how others present themselves, how they dress, and what they look like, but when that becomes the drive of their existence, it is transformed into an unhealthy psychological condition. Through countless studies, it has become evident that plastic surgery is an ineffective treatment for people with BDD yet they make up the greatest portion of cosmetically treated people.
Society should be more aware that most of the time, the problem is psychologically, not physically and less encouraging towards plastic surgery being the first option to treat BDD and physical flaws. There are other, safer solutions to alter one’s appearance such as well grooming, exercise, healthy diets, makeup, and clothing. It is also a safe choice to refer someone to or to see a therapist if one is obsessed with their physical being to the point that they are mentality wounded.