Cosmetic surgery is a surgical branch specializing in improving physical imperfections arising from congenital disorders, acquired diseases, traumatic events, and aging. Health encompasses the subjective perception and appreciation of the individual’s body, which forms the basis of therapeutic function for cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery provides an intervention that aims not only at mere physical reconstruction, but also contributes to the integral development of the body and psyche in its entirety.
Studies have demonstrated the negative body image perception of patients as the main psychological determinant to consider cosmetic surgery (Yin et al. 2016). The surgeon assesses whether the patient’s mental distress is the cause or the consequence of the perceived defect. For example, for patients with anorexia nervosa, psychological distress is the main cause of the defect. In this instance, the surgeon can propose a different solution for the treatment of the psychological disorder. When the psychological disorder is a result of the perceived defect, such as with a child who is antisocial because of dissatisfaction with a defect such as having prominent ears, plastic surgery can be a possible treatment. This surgeon-patient interaction focuses on the complete psychosocial dynamic of suffering leading to better informed choices (Barone et al. 2017). A three-year prospective cohort study concluded that in addition to a positive effect on the reconstructed feature, cosmetic surgery enriches patients’ self-assurance and quality of life. This signifies that cosmetic surgery is above a superficial want and recognizes a health concern that affects the patient at the level of social acceptance and desirability (Litner et al. 2018).
To conclude, cosmetic surgery goes beyond the external shell of a human being to impact the inner psychological life as well.
Barone, Mauro, et al. “Ethics and Plastic Surgery/What Is Plastic Surgery?” Archives of Plastic Surgery, The Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, Jan. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5300934/.
Litner, Jason A., et al. “Impact of Cosmetic Facial Surgery on Satisfaction With Appearance and Quality of Life.” Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, American Medical Association, 1 Mar. 2008, jamanetwork.com/journals/jamafacialplasticsurgery/fullarticle/406469.
Yin, Zhuming, et al. “Psychological Traits of Female Patients Undergoing Cosmetic Surgery.” JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, American Medical Association, 1 Jan. 2016, jamanetwork.com/journals/jamafacialplasticsurgery/fullarticle/2456139.
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