With the recent popularization and widespread acceptance of cosmetic surgery, I’d like to caution readers about making the mistake of rushing into plastic surgery too soon. Popular media abounds with stories of celebrity plastic surgery, making the process seem as easy as, say, changing one’s shoes. Having plastic surgery may seem innocuous and an endeavor easy to undertake, but it is still real surgery with real risks and has long term effects.
It is called plastic “surgery” for good reason. The surgeon will make an incision with a knife that will leave a permanent scar (albeit one that is very well hidden) and will dissect around blood vessels, nerves, and organs. While most often this is done on healthy people, with a very successful outcome, troubles can still arise. This is especially true if performed by someone less than qualified to perform your desired procedure.
Plastic surgery is an endeavor that can bring about positive life-changing results and have long lasting effects on your body, your mind, and your emotions. However, not everyone is ready for plastic surgery. Not everyone has thought through their decision fully. Below is a list to help those who might be questioning their readiness for plastic surgery. Below are 5 indicators that may mean you are not quite ready for this transformation:
5 signs suggesting you are NOT ready for plastic surgery
- You decided yesterday. You were out for drinks with your girlfriends and you decided you don’t like the size of your breasts. Your bust size never really bothered you before. But now, you are analyzing your friends and comparing yourself to them. You think “it might be fun to have a boob job”.
- Your husband is having affair. You look at his secretary and try to compete with someone 20 years your junior. Having surgery in order to “compete” with someone is NEVER the right answer. Surgery should be something you’ve thought about for a significant period of time and because you want to change something that YOU don’t like. Plastic surgery to try to be someone different is NEVER a good reason.
- You are currently pregnant. While this wondrous joy of growing a life inside you is something special, the increase in hormones can make your thinking “not so straight”. Emotions run pretty high during pregnancy, especially in the later trimesters when the physical alterations can be at their peak. In my office, I always encourage women to wait a while before considering plastic surgery. If a mom is breastfeeding, I encourage her to wait at least three months until after the time she stops breastfeeding for her body to get back to a “normal” state. The breast swelling takes a while to go back down to the “native” state after pregnancy and breastfeeding alterations.
- You have not completed your full growth. Many times, young people will inquire about altering a body part with surgery. When in reality, just the “tincture of time” prescription can alleviate any concern. Different body parts grow at different rates. Prime examples are noses, ears, and breasts. Noses or ears that don’t seem to fit the body will actually look quite normal once the rest of the body catches up. Asymmetries to the breasts and body oftentimes equal themselves out with a little bit of time and patience.
- You are graduating or accomplishing a major milestone in your life. While this may be a time in your life to celebrate, that celebration shouldn’t involve plastic surgery. This is real surgery and makes “real” changes in your body with long-lasting effects. Unlike having a champagne toast or a celebratory cigar, plastic surgery can be life and image altering with lifelong effects, that oftentimes cannot be reversed. Plastic surgery is NOT something to enter into flippantly or lightheartedly. It should be a deliberate decision consciously and thoughtfully thought through. However, if you have set a goal to achieve something (like weight loss or finishing your Master’s degree, for example) before rewarding yourself with a long-desired procedure, plastic surgery may be a good motivator to accomplish that goal. As long as this has been carefully considered, using plastic surgery as your reward may be a perfectly acceptable reason.
- BONUS: You are trying to keep up with a fad. I know I listed only 5 in the beginning but with the “Gotta have it now” lifestyle that seems so prevalent today, I felt impelled to add this last one in. Styles in beauty change rapidly. Plastic surgery is not like changing shoes or altering hair color. Undergoing surgery in order to keep up with a fad or trend is not recommended. The fads will change or fade and your results will continue on, or worse, could lead to problems (like additional breast drooping from too large an implant placed) or require additional surgery in the future. One recent example has been with breast augmentation surgery. Going back to the 1980s and continuing to as little as a few years ago, the trend for augmentation was to go as large as possible. That was the attractive style/standard. Now, with improved technology of the implant and the surgical techniques used, a more conservative augmentation has become the more desired outcome.
Surgery can irreversibly change your body. Give it some thought before you rush into this. An additional thought that should also be entertained when considering plastic surgery is “How will this affect you and your style many years down the road?”
Plastic surgery has certainly become more mainstream in recent years. It is safer, more affordable, and techniques have advanced so as to lessen the downtime. It is still real surgery with real effects, some of which can be life altering, usually for the better. As you see from above, it should be entered into after careful consideration and after having a full education about the procedure desired. With proper thought and appropriate planning, undergoing plastic surgery can be a great decision.
Michael Burgdorf, MD
Dr. Burgdorf is an exceptional, board-certified Nashville plastic surgeon dedicated to providing beautiful, natural-looking plastic surgery to the Nashville metro area and beyond. He is committed to developing an individual treatment plan that emphasizes quality and safety while addressing your aesthetic goals. Dr. Burgdorf has extensive training in the areas of plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery, reconstructive surgery, and hand surgery. He continually follows the latest technological advances in order to remain on the leading edge of cosmetic surgery. No matter what your needs may be, Dr. Burgdorf and Music City Plastic Surgery offer the utmost in comfort and care.