Often viewed as controversial; plastic surgery has the capability to change lives of various individuals from diverse socioeconomic levels. Plastic surgery covers a broad spectrum of services which are included in reconstructive surgery, as well as, the popular aesthetic appeal of cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgery affects society both physically, psychologically, and emotionally. From Operation Smile to botox, accident victims to breast augmentation, and Little Baby Face Foundation to facelifts; plastic surgery can give hope and confidence to many people.
Plastic surgery can be delineated as the branch of surgery concerned with therapeutic or cosmetic repair or re-formation of missing, injured, or malformed tissues or parts.
(“Plastic Surgery” dictionary.com) There is written medical evidence that some of the first plastic surgery procedures are dated back more than 4,000 years ago (“ASAPS”). “Physicians in ancient India were utilizing skin grafts for reconstructive work as early as 800 B.C” (“ASAPS”). In 1827, Dr. John Peter Mettauer performed the first cleft palate operation (“ASAPS”). This shows that plastic surgery has always had a very powerful impact on society.
Even though plastic surgery is glamorized by the public eye there are a vast amount of instances where it is to truly help someone that needs it. Operation Smile is a prime example of how plastic surgery can improve the life of someone. They are an organization that helps children worldwide. Operation smile treats facial deformities such as cleft palates and cleft lips for free.
“They have provided reconstructive plastic surgery to over 150,000 children and young adults in more than 60 countries” (“Plastic Surgery). Regardless of how much the media popularizes plastic surgery, you must not focus on that effect, but on the effect foundations like these have on society. If a woman were to be diagnosed with breast cancer there is a possibility that she will need surgery. At this time a mastectomy (removal of the breast) in order to keep the cancer from spreading (“Breast Cancer and Breast Reconstructive Surgery”). There are many different alterations in which there could be a portion of the breast taken away or even all of the breast ( “Breast Cancer and Breast Reconstructive Surgery”). This affects society in many different ways. This could strongly damage self-esteem as well as do much mental damage.
Even though you are doing this procedure it could possibly be a life saving one. Another wonderful opportunity that plastic surgery can offer someone is repairing any damage done to a veteran while they were in active duty. Many hospitals will actually perform cosmetic surgery free of charge. Whether it was from a gunshot wound or grenade shrapnel effecting the face or body of a soldier, many “training” hospitals will pay for all the charges that would be given to the patient. There are various programs that offer free procedures that will help injured veterans attempt to continue their lives without embarrassing scars on their bodies. Plastic surgery has a very positive impact on the world. Although plastic surgery has much negative exposure, it still has a large portion of positive effects that are not often heard about. “Many of these benefits include confidence, health safety, post-accidental reconstruction and age-defiance, respectively (“What Are the Positive Effects of Cosmetic Surgery”).
There are many different factors that contribute to a person’s happiness (“What Are the Positive Effects of Cosmetic Surgery”). If someone has something wrong with their body that they believe can be improved then he/she will be able to fix it which will in turn lead to a happier person with a better quality of life. However there are many health risks that can be fixed by plastic surgery. If someone were to be dangerously overweight then they could get liposuction or another procedure that would keep them from getting diseases such as heart disease, a higher blood pressure among other problems (“What Are the Positive Effects of Cosmetic Surgery”). There are even many instances where a tragic accident could leave a person physically deformed. In this case reconstructive surgery could be the answer and return the lives of patients to some sense of normalcy. Looking younger is now a popular trend among older and sometimes even younger people.
This leads to a more positive outlook on life and is also used as a preventative precaution (“What Are the Positive Effects of Cosmetic Surgery”). Whatever the reason may be, plastic surgery has proven to be one of the most effective techniques to ensure a more positive outlook on life. There was an interview conducted by SteadyHealth.com and Dr. Howard T. Bellin last year. In this interview many different questions were asked about self esteem and the appropriate age for plastic surgery. Dr. Bellin believes that a person’s self esteem can benefit significantly from plastic surgery. One of the major surgeries that he does would be the rhinoplasty. He does this operation on teens. There is a general debate about what age is appropriate to let your child have plastic surgery. Sometimes parents believe that their child may be too young or perhaps too immature to engage in surgeries that seem to be for adults only. Plastic surgery can fix some problems but is not a “cure”.
Cosmetic procedures are becoming much more common among teens now a day and are helping them through everyday life and help them fit in. There will always be a debate on this situation but it is important to look out for the best interests of the patient (“An Interview with Dr. Howard T. Bellin”). There are many different mental diseases that relate to plastic surgery. These diseases do cause there to be a negative idea about surgery. “This is sometimes true, but there are some cases that this is not always a bad thing. Body Dysmorphic Disorder or (BDD) is described by the psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a preoccupation with an imagined defect in appearance”(“Body Dysmorphic Disorder”). Usually with this disease the person who has this disorder while mark the body excessively in one location which may cause it to become deformed. They will obviously want this to be fixed and will want to have surgery. If this goes untreated then the likelihood of suicide can increase so in order to prevent this surgeons will fix the problem which will hopefully keep the patient happy and able to continue on with life.
Other times it is not that simple and they will need additional surgery to correct the “problem” that they believe is present. There have been studies conducted on patients post operation feelings. There are many emotional ties that go with getting surgery. “A study in 2005 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that 75 percent of the respondents indicated that they chose plastic surgery to gain an improved appearance and a more active lifestyle”(“Emotional Changes After Plastic Surgery”). “Likewise, 70 percent sighted emotional and psychological rewards after surgery, with notable happiness and renewed self-esteem and confidence” (“Emotional Changes After Plastic Surgery”). “Equally impressive, 45 percent enjoyed the daily benefit of being more attractive”(“Emotional Changes After Plastic Surgery”). So you can see that in most cases there is an unambiguous change in a person’s personality after surgery. There are many benefits of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. This is a tool used by a fair number of the population in the world. It helps keep the status quo intact and also lets some feel accepted.
With all of the glamours that television promotes about plastic surgery it may be hard to fit in. This is a way to keep everyone on the same page so to speak. It may have some negative effects on society, but the positive aspects definitely outway them. It improves the emotional status of the patients after surgery and statistics show that there has even been a direct link with a person’s personality and surgery. Whether it is organizations trying to help children have a normal and prosperous life or a “training” hospital operating on a veteran for free, these procedures have proven to be a very positive thing and improve lives. The emotional and physical health of people throughout the world have been positively impacted by this. There are many advances that are being made everyday in the medical field. There are even instances where you can not even tell that someone has went “under the knife”. Plastic surgery will continue to give hope to people and will also give people the courage and strength to deal with everyday life.
“ASAPS.” News Releases. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.
“Body Dysmorphic Disorder.” Body Dysmorphic Disorder. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013. “Breast Cancer and Breast Reconstructive Surgery.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013. “Emotional Changes After Plastic Surgery: What You Need to Know.” Emotional Changes After Plastic Surgery. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013. “An Interview with Dr. Howard T. Bellin – A Plastic Surgeon, Inventor, and Director of CosMedica.” SteadyHealth.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013. “Plastic Surgery.” Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 31 Dec. 2012. “Plastic Surgery.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Jan. 2013. Web. 25 Jan. 2013. “What Are the Positive Effects of Cosmetic Surgery?” HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013.