Like it or not, we are a society obsessed with body image. Body image and self esteem have a big impact on our social lives, relationships, and careers, and the effect ripples out into almost all aspects of life. Cosmetic surgery can dramatically improve body image and boost self esteem, but it not the answer to all body issues. How do we know when to have cosmetic surgery, how far to go with it, and when to try other options?
Cosmetic surgery should not be used as a weight loss tool alone. For the morbidly obese, cosmetic surgery can be a great addition to proper diet and exercise, and it is definitely called for to get rid of excess skin after massive weight loss. If you have a moderate weight problem, procedures such as liposuction or cellulite treatment can resolve problem areas that do not respond to diet and exercise.
You must have realistic expectations. Cosmetic surgery will not change who you are. It can boost your self esteem and change how you act. Improved body image and greater self esteem will typically mean that you will be more confident and outgoing and participate in more social events. You will feel comfortable in a wider variety of clothing, and therefore feel free to express your personal style ore freely. All of this can mean great improvements in your social life, interpersonal relationships, and even in your career. It will not make you smarter or better at what you do, but when you act confident people will believe in your abilities more readily.
Some procedures are not appropriate for all body types. Talk frankly with your cosmetic surgeon about your desires and find out if the procedure you think you want will really produce the outcome you are looking for.
How far should you go?
Radical cosmetic surgery, such as body contouring, or combination procedures, require significant down time and healing. Your activities may be restricted for weeks or even months. You must be in good health before the procedure in order to heal properly. The negative short-term impact on your life may not be balanced out by the improvement. If you have never had surgery, you may want to start by focusing on the feature that you find most bothersome, and see how you feel about that smaller change and the recovery process, before moving on to something more drastic.
Talk to your cosmetic surgeon about the results you wish to achieve and find out how you can achieve the look you want with minimal procedures. For instance, breast enlargement will not make you thinner, but can balance your shape and make you appear thinner. If you want a smaller body and larger breasts, you may want to try breast augmentation, combined with a good diet and exercise program, rather than severe body contouring procedures.
Psychological and emotional health, along with realistic expectations, are important considerations when choosing to have cosmetic surgery. If you are seeking to drastically improve you body image talk to your doctor about a comprehensive approach which includes reasonable cosmetic surgery, improved overall health, and even help with hair, makeup and clothing selections to set off your new look.
If you are considering cosmetic surgery, or want to improve your body image and self esteem, contact an experienced cosmetic surgeon today.