Cosmetic Surgery: to Have or Not to Have



Cosmetic Surgery: to Have or Not to Have


While the use of cosmetic surgery brings the promise and hope of a better life, it has also many complications for the clients, who use it. The purpose of this paper is to analyze one of the most fascinating aspects of clinical surgery. Within the following pages, this paper will define cosmetic surgery and identify the pros and cons of the procedure that is seen as beneficial to mankind while having its demerits. Further, the research methods used to complete this paper included a literature analysis of current medical organizations and journals concerning the latest findings of cosmetic surgery as well as the roles of medics in treating this condition.

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Definition of Cosmetic Surgery

Rohrich, McGrath, Lawrence, and Ahmad defined cosmetic surgery as involving techniques that seek to improve one's appearance with the intention of correction (736-46). Its main objective, therefore, is to maintain and restore body form or maintain the general appearance and function. People with deformed body parts will undergo the procedure to rectify any anomalies that may have resulted from the natural endowment. And so, the sole role played by this type of surgical process is to change the normal appearance that is unwanted.

For instance, if a person is born with undesirably large lips, he or she is considered normal but one may still feel that it is undesirable. Studies conducted by Locket al. show that the most common type of cosmetic surgery procedure around the world is breast augmentation (604). Another type of cosmetic surgery is facial rejuvenation. The idea and the use of cosmetic surgery date back to 2000 BC when plastic surgery was common. “It was performed by the Indians before spreading across the Middle East to Europe” (Lock, Last, Dunea 604).

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The importance of plastic surgery was underlined during and after World War I that had devastating damage to vital body parts including skin that had no hope of recovery. The effects on soldiers and civilians after this procedure were far much better than they were before their bodies were damaged. At the time, surgeons sought better ways of performing cosmetic surgery to cope with the most unpleasant damages caused to the physical body by the more modern weaponry used in wars. After the wars, people found further use for cosmetic surgery.

Aside from reconstructing and repairing damaged body parts, the use of cosmetic surgery for vanity reasons became the new trend and way of life in the modern world. The trend that resulted in the twentieth century included elective surgery as a means for people to preserve or maintain their natural bodies. These types of surgery became even more popular as people sought to become more conscious of how they look that during the mid-twentieth century. This resurgence was further aided by the growing number of famous and wealthy people, who underwent elective surgery.

Pros and Cons of Cosmetic Surgery


As stated above, the main objective of cosmetic surgery is maintaining and restoring body form through the correction of its function. This may be because of damaged and deformed body parts. To begin with, cosmetic surgery is to help people with congenital abnormalities like cleft lip and those, who suffer severe burns. In these cases, cosmetic surgery is called the only solution that has far-reaching benefits to cover damaged body parts. This will go a long way to cover the already damaged parts from further damage and infections. In addition, another important advantage is the fact that cosmetic surgery slows down the rate of aging and will give one a youthful look that is the envy of most people.

The root problems of people with physical defects are not those that can be seen by the naked eye, rather it is the immense negative emotional impact that is caused by the prejudiced eyes of society. So in essence, cosmetic surgery does not only repair physical damages but emotional damages as well. In the past, plastic surgery was used by people, who needed to repair something that was damaged in their physical body or with those people, who has a congenital abnormality. As Gilman reported, Cosmetic surgery is, therefore, important as it boasts the self-image or confidence of a person.

To a great extent, many people go for it as a lifestyle choice and are said to improve the self-esteem of an individual. There are people, who are troubled by their natural appearances and would do anything to revert it. In our society today, many people are mostly being judged based on the way they look or become the subject of discrimination for the reason that they have physical defects. Cosmetic surgery can offer them a getaway from such predicaments. Breast augmentation is the procedure of adding cup size to the breast.

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Aside from women, breast augmentations are also famous in homosexual men. This procedure improves their looks as to becoming more female-like. A procedure with an opposite effect is also becoming prominent nowadays, breast reduction surgery. This is the complete opposite of breast augmentation; this procedure reduces the size of the breast.

Further to this, cosmetic surgery has gone a long way in the improvement of the economies of countries in South America, Europe, and Asia. Research by the Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (2010)shows that breast augmentation costs from $3,000 to $5,000, while breast reduction costs $2,500 to $5,000. Cosmetic surgery has become a massive force in the medical industry; it had affected the economies of some countries away.

In South America and some parts of Asia, like in Taiwan, governments in these countries implemented tax deductibles and discounts to cosmetic surgery procedures as part of promoting their countries as a cosmetic surgery hot spot. Such prerogative steps taken by these countries can be related to the growing demand of people, who wanted to undergo cosmetic surgery procedures either to correct deformities or just to enhance their bodies.

Further to these, cosmetic surgery is a key health solution regarding some health-related complications. For instance, one may have very large breasts that cause back pain.


Cosmetic surgery has far-reaching effects on the user that include blood clot-related complications and infections. According to research by Gilman, there are also risks associated with bleeding and scarring though these are hardly life-threatening. Some clients have reported hemorrhage, while some have led to nerve damage (Gilman). Blepharoplasty or Eyelid surgery is as the name suggests cosmetic surgery around the eyelids.

In this procedure, looseness of skin around the eyelids is removed, thus tightening the skin around the eyelids. Repercussions are swelling, bruising, dry eyes, and blurry vision. Some cases of surgery carried on patients are very painful despite the advanced usage of anesthetics. Such cases could be regarded as breast or abdominal surgery while rebuilding breast after mastectomy.

The procedure is also a very expensive and genuine case of people, who need it to be done on them may miss out due to its cost. For an individual, there are obvious financing difficulties and health issues. Cosmetic surgery does not come cheap; it can range from $3,000 up to $15,000 depending on the attending physician. For example, Botox and facelifts cost $5,000 up and $300 to $400 respectively complete eye rest that is required after the procedure to ensure proper healing. Procedure costs from $2,000 to $4,000. The recovery period can last from days even up to months, depending on the procedure done.

Further, there are more serious health issues to be considered. Because of the overflowing demand for cosmetic surgery all over the world, many people, including medical professionals, who did not specialize in cosmetic surgery, offer these types of services. These have resulted in medical disasters, and even worse, death.

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Studies by Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (2010) found that cases of these kinds of malpractices were recorded in every third world country, where a lot of people are settling for cheaper yet fewer experience individuals to perform cosmetic surgeries. But there are also several cases of these malpractices recorded in the United States. And even with the more experienced medical professionals, who specialize in cosmetic surgery, complications may sometimes emerge during and after procedures.

Cosmetic surgeries are in nature the same as any other surgery, even with the advancement of technology and development of new techniques in cosmetic surgery patients are still prone to risks like infections, excessive bleeding and the worst one is the loss of life. A couple of the most famous cosmetic procedures are Botox injections (botulinum toxin) and facelift. Sagging skin, frown lines, and wrinkles are the signs given by our skin of deterioration of our bodies. People are undergoing Botox injections and facelifts as a futile effort in their battle against the inevitable state of every human being, which is commonly called Aging. These procedures require only a few days of recovery.

A new addiction is also connected with cosmetic surgery, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). According to research, BDD is a mental disorder, where the affected individual is showing excessive concerns with his/her body’s features. The person with BDD constantly sees a part of or his/her whole physical body with defects, thus this person tends to undergo frequent cosmetic surgery. People, who are affected by this disorder, live a poor quality of life, and they have high suicidal tendencies. BDD spares no one as it is seen in all walks of life; children, adults, men & women.


To help to prepare and to decide on whether or not to undergo cosmetic surgery procedures, an individual should answer the SIX questions; first: WHY, WHAT, WHO, WHERE, WHEN & CAN IT BE AFFORDED?

  1. Why – why are you planning to undergo cosmetic surgery? Is it for the improvement or just for the repair of something that is damaged?
  2. What – What part of your body do you want to alter surgically?
  3. Who – Who should facilitate the procedure? Knowing the competence of the person to facilitate the procedure is very important, it is like trusting one’s life in that person’s hands. Verification through government agencies, asking for certificates, and contact numbers of previous patients may be done for references.
  4. Where – where will the procedure take place? The place where the procedure will be facilitated is also important; it should have a sterile environment to prevent infections. The place should be accredited to facilitate such procedures. If planning on having the procedure done overseas, the financial capability should also be considered.
  5. When – when will the procedure take place? Time management is needed if an individual is to undergo cosmetic surgery. Aside from the time the procedure will be completed, the recovery period should also be taken into consideration. The healing period will vary depending on the procedure done and the healthiness of the person, who has undergone the surgery.
  6. And the most important question to be asked is, whether the procedure to be undertaken is affordable. All questions will lead to this. Financial capability is the most important consideration in planning to undergo cosmetic surgery, as it is one of the most expensive surgeries at all. There is a lot of cheap offering of cosmetic surgery around the world, but often people, who are facilitating these cosmetic surgery procedures, are not accredited to offer such services. There are also those cosmetic surgeries being offered at costs that seemed too good to be true, and the fact is that they are. Ultimately, the decision to undergo cosmetic surgery or not will solely depend on the person, who will be “going under the knife”.


In conclusion, medical disciplines were all created for human wellbeing. These disciplines were conceptualized for the endless positive effects they could bring to humanity. Negativity brought about by these disciplines was caused by humans and our nature of misusing what was supposedly created for positive purposes. Cosmetic surgery, as a complicated issue as it is, was developed for the enhancement of people's lives. Be it for the beautification or reconstruction purpose of an individual’s body, it was created to make life better. One thing is for sure, cosmetic surgery should not be taken lightly. It was invented for us and it's here to stay.

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