Dr Kelly

Dr Kelly: I’m Curious. Why do people have cosmetic surgery?

There are anatomic, psychologic, and societal reasons people would undergo surgery to alter their appearance. Humans are obsessed with their own appearance and the appearance of others. We are bombarded with images from film, TV and social media of what is attractive. Making matters worse, most of the images today have been digitally-altered creating unrealistic expectations of what a normal appearance is.

If your own appearance is outside those “standards” you may feel like you don’t measure up. Usually, the further your anatomy is outside of that range of “attractiveness” the more psychological conflict it can cause. Some people who have minimal anatomic problems may be terribly bothered by them.

So is cosmetic surgery the right way to deal with this issue? I have heard some say “I don’t believe in cosmetic surgery.” Most of the time, the people saying this don’t have any significant anatomic issues, so they don’t understand how bad people can feel if their anatomy is outside the “normal” range.

Others would recommend seeking psychiatric help to deal with the psychological conflict created by perceived anatomical variations. In my experience, years of psychotherapy isn’t nearly as effective as the surgical correction of an anatomic situation.

The bottom line is that the reason to do cosmetic surgery is to make you feel better about yourself. It is an individual decision and if your appearance doesn’t bother you, you should never have plastic surgery. But if it does, Surgery when done safely and for the right reasons, is a great option.

If you don’t want cosmetic surgery, I strongly believe you shouldn’t have it. But understand that for those who do undergo a cosmetic procedure, it can be a very positive experience.

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