By Terrie Johnson | UAB Community Health & Human Services Intern
Plastic surgery, also commonly referred to as cosmetic surgery, is increasing in popularity throughout the United States. This practice can be defined as trying to uniquely enhance one’s physical appearance by undergoing surgical or medical procedures. According to Theunissen Aesthetic Plastic Surgery of Baton Rouge, some of the most frequently received plastic surgery requests are for nose enhancements, breast augmentations, and butt enlargements. Additionally, people often make surgical changes to their cheekbones, stomach area, and arms. Individuals are spending thousands, and sometimes having multiple surgeries, to look younger, more attractive, and socially appealing, often at great risk. The prevalence of butt injections has resulted in numerous deaths with several individuals being incarcerated for illegally providing them. For example, journalist Adriana Diaz of the Daily Mail wrote about the case of Maxine Messam of Bridgeport, New York, who died after receiving botched injections and being driven to the hospital unconscious.
Theunissen Aesthetic Plastic Surgery warns there are repercussions people far too often overlook. While the obvious benefits of altering one’s individual look can be achieved, undergoing plastic surgery procedures can lead to major health issues. This may include developing bacterial infections, having surgical complications, and/or experiencing unforeseen illnesses. Also, some candidates for surgery may be high risk for problems due to their current health state while others may encounter lasting scars, viruses, and/or a diversity of other lifetime consequences.
As such, it is highly suggested people explore healthier alternatives before seeking plastic surgery. If not, there can be significant psychological issues that accompany any operations. Specifically, Michael Reilly and Karen Parsa of Psychology Today warn people that they may develop body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). This is a mental illness individuals develop after becoming addicted to plastic surgery. People with this issue are obsessive in their thinking or compulsive in their actions. Additionally, researchers Randy and Lori Sansone of Psychiatry (Edgmont) found there is a stark rise in patients of primary care physicians and mental health professionals that have undergone cosmetic surgery. These individuals are often at a higher risk for suicide, BDD, and other psychiatric comorbidities. However, there are healthy ways of preventing these mental illnesses. The most beneficial steps individuals can take is to work on their self-esteem and level of confidence.
Comprehensively, Melissa Dittmann from the American Psychological Association (APA) states, it is imperative more psychologists start to evaluate issues related to cosmetic surgery. The importance arises from a major increase in popularity of cosmetic surgery and a rise in the number of people dissatisfied with their appearance and body image.” As such, it is not advantageous to try to keep up with societal norms and magazine standards for beauty. These industries use manipulation tactics to alter the appearance of models, actors, and tv personalities in a way that does not align with their natural state. This makes it important for people to know what they see is not real. Instead, we should embrace our own beauty and not allow society to make them feel less than. Still, for people that choose to pursue plastic surgery for other reasons, it is important to do research on the procedure and the professionals performing it. Per, Theunissen Aesthetic Plastic Surgery following all post-op care orders to prevent complications, infections, or life-long difficulties is imperative.
So what about you? Have you considered cosmetic surgery? Are you working to improve your appearance? Leave a comment on this blog and/or join us on Facebook.
Dittmann, Melissa. (2005). Plastic surgery: Beauty or beast? American Psychological
Association (APA), 36(8). 30. https://www.apa.org/monitor/sep05/surgery
Delray Plastic Surgery. (2020). Fall in love with the way you look at Delray Plastic Surgery. https://delrayplasticsurgery.com/fall-in-love-with-the-way-you-look-at-delray-beach-plastic-surgery/
Diaz, Adriana. (2022). Naked woman, 53, dumped outside Bronx hospital dies ‘after receiving botched butt injections’: Police hunt two women who dropped her off. The Daily Mail. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10516945/Partially-naked-woman-dumped-outside-Bronx-hospital-dies-receiving-botched-butt-injections.html
Reilly, M., & Parsa, K. (2020). Cosmetic surgery and psychological disorders. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/dissecting-plastic-surgery/202004/cosmetic-surgery-and-psychological-disorders
Sansone, R. A. & Sansone, L. A. (2007). Cosmetic surgery and psychological issues. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 4(13). 65-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2861519/
Theunissen Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. (n.d.). Cosmetic plastic surgery pros and cons.https://www.drtplasticsurgery.com/pros-and-cons-of-plastic-surgery/