are two aspects of your self image to consider in relation to cosmetic
surgery. The first is your self image before the surgery, what motivates
you to go through with it. And the second is your self image after
the surgery, and how you adapt to major change.
When you first meet
with a cosmetic surgeon, he or she will ask you questions about
your motivation for undergoing the procedure. Part
of the reason for this interview is to gauge your self image. Cosmetic
surgeons should advise a patient with poor self image against cosmetic
surgery. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons identifies
only two types of patients who should get cosmetic surgery. The
first is someone with strong confidence who desires to improve
of her physical appearance. The second is a patient who has lived
with a cosmetic flaw or slight defect for life and wants to change
this particular aspect of her appearance.
Some women are driven
by the urge to please somebody else, or to gain attention from
others. Other women have unrealistic goals
and expectations from surgery. Sometimes unhappiness with other
of life will manifest itself in the desire for cosmetic change.
Even after the procedure, these patients might still be unhappy.
patients become fixated on a specific, minor flaw in their appearance
and believe that through perfection of this flaw they will be complete.
Other patients might seek out consultations and opinions from various
surgeons to find the answers they want. With all of these
examples, cosmetic surgery is an illusion that presents the option
for fulfillment of desires that really aren’t related to
physical appearance. Hopefully your surgeon will be able to talk
to you about
your emotional health and self image before going through with
the procedure. It’s wise to discuss the idea with your provider
or a therapist before you even talk to a cosmetic surgeon. In fact,
you should consider a psychological workup prior to the surgery,
and most cosmetic surgeons recommend some form of therapy throughout
the cosmetic surgery process.
After the surgery, you will experience
two changes. Obviously, your physical appearance will be changed.
But also, your self image
be changed. Sometimes it will take a long time to adapt to this
change in your self-image. Some procedures yield more dramatic
others. For example, a breast implant might be much more noticeable
than a chemical peel. You can expect the adaptation period to be
longer for the more dramatic changes. Timing may be a key factor
in how you feel after surgery. If you go through cosmetic surgery
during an emotionally trying time such as a divorce or a job change,
you might be unpleasantly surprised after your surgery. You might
have sought out a solution to your other problems through the surgery,
only to realize that a new nose won’t bring your husband
Sometimes, a patient will have great expectations for the
results of a surgery, with a specific image of the change in
cosmetic procedures are relatively unpredictable. You must come
to terms with
the fact that you just might not look how you thought you would
look after the surgery. Be prepared, because many women feel
let down after
a surgery and these feelings can lead to depression. Also, recognize
that it sometimes takes a long time to fully heal and recover
after a surgery, you might be bruised, swollen, or need to wear
Those picture perfect results you dreamed of might not match
up to the scary post-op reflection you see in the mirror. Whatever
issues are, being realistic and prepared for cosmetic surgery
help you adapt to the initial shock of such a big change.