Elective cosmetic surgery is a very personal choice and should only be undertaken for the right reasons. Too often, people go under the knife in the hope that the surgery will provide the solution to a variety of life’s problems but end up physically and mentally scarred, undergoing yet further surgery and, in some cases, becoming addicted to surgery.
According to the Penningtons Manches’ cosmetic surgery claims team, the main three wrong reasons why people opt for cosmetic surgery are to achieve eternal contentment, a solution to a life problem or because ‘it looked good on someone on TV’.
It is important to appreciate that cosmetic surgery may not lead to life contentment. While cosmetic surgery may have a positive impact on some aspects of a patient’s life for a period of time, many cosmetic treatments and procedures do not last a lifetime. The natural ageing process will continue to affect the result of a cosmetic procedure and appearance.
Like everyone else, cosmetic surgery patients suffer stressful events such as relationship breakdowns, domestic issues, redundancy and unemployment, the loss of a loved one or transition to retirement. When undertaken well, cosmetic surgery procedures can improve the appearance of a specific body area and restore personal confidence but it is a mistake to hope and believe that they can solve life’s problems.
Some people may fixate on a procedure they saw on television. For example, they may ask for multiple lifts and tucks that looked good on a TV programme, when they could achieve their desired outcome with a mini or micro procedure. The converse is also true. Mini procedures that look good on TV may actually require more extensive plastic surgery to meet a patient’s unique requirements.
A good surgeon will assess a patient’s motives for surgery as well as their physical suitability to ensure they are a good candidate for the procedure recommended. If expectations are carefully managed, there is a far better chance of the procedure being successful and the patient satisfied and happy with the outcome.
People considering cosmetic surgery should also be aware that, even in the best hands, follow-up procedures will be necessary. Non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures usually need repeating to maintain the benefit. Plastic surgery procedures often require ‘touch-ups’ in the form of secondary surgeries to maintain the cosmetic improvements. For example, there is a 30% re-operation rate among women who have had cosmetic breast surgery. Many of these cases are to increase the size or revitalize the aged appearance of the initial surgery. Finally, patients should also be aware of their own emotional changes, which are a very important part of the plastic surgery territory.
Alison Johnson, senior associate in the clinical negligence cosmetic surgery claims team at Penningtons Manches LLP, is happy to talk through any concerns you may have about your cosmetic treatment and what options may be open to you. Please do get in touch.