Cosmetic Surgery History and Effects
Cosmetic surgery has become commonplace, and it is registering alarming statistics of both candidates and physicians. It started gaining popularity during the reconstruction period when it was used to give hope to young soldiers after the world wars. This is despite the fact that it had existed for a long time.
For instance, documents show that Indians were performing cosmetic surgery as early as 2000 BC (Sullivan 34). The post-war plastic surgery led to a lot of research built on pre-existent cosmetic surgery and equipment.
After the successes that were realized in the reconstruction of damaged bodies of soldiers, cosmetic surgery became largely commercial, and since then, it has attracted innumerable clients and physicians. The commercialization of cosmetic surgery and its resultant effect on people has made a lot of people to make regrettable mistakes related to cosmetic surgery.
Cosmetic surgery has been at the forefront of medical advancements for a long time since its aforementioned commercialization. Physicians have therefore been forced to carry out strategic advertisements of the services they offer, and they have also been forced to engage in public relations.
This has been great bait for people suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and it can explain the “millions of surgeries that are carried out every year” (Sullivan 17). Let us have a look at some of the conditions that make people think of having plastic surgery.
Cosmetic surgery can be classified into two main categories based on the effect it is desired to have. These are constructive cosmetic surgery and elective cosmetic surgery. Constructive cosmetic surgery is the kind of surgery that is aimed at repairing body organs and/or tissues that are damaged. It is the kind of surgery that existed long before the twentieth century.
Some of the conditions that warrant reconstructive surgery include deformed body parts like the lip, permanent scars on critical body parts like the face, burns in exposed body parts, severe skin diseases that damage the tone of the skin, etc. Evidently, reconstructive cosmetic surgery is productive since it is used to correct abnormalities of the body that, otherwise, make the patient’s life challenging (Sullivan 1).
The other category of cosmetic surgery is an elective cosmetic surgery that emerged after the world wars. This kind of cosmetic surgery is aimed at enhancing a body which is normal without plastic surgery. Elective cosmetic surgery is different from reconstructive since it lacks the corrective motive, which is the primary motivation of reconstructive cosmetic surgery.
People who are very normal carry out this kind of cosmetic surgery in a bid to achieve a certain body shape that matches their ideas about beauty. From this discussion, it is evident that people with Body Dysmorphic Disorder are likely to carry out this kind of surgery. This is a disorder in which a person either magnifies a minor flaw in his/her appearance or he/she imagines having a certain flaw in appearance that he/she, in actual sense, does not have.
It is, therefore, logical for people with this disorder to look for measures that can help them get rid of their preoccupied flaw, and this way, they find themselves in cosmetic surgery (Maughan 1).
Such people are also never satisfied with their appearance, and thus they find themselves performing several surgeries to improve their appearance. Some of the elective surgeries that people carry out include eyelid surgery, liposuction, breast augmentations, etc.
As much as plastic surgery has been helpful in the improvement of certain specific conditions, it is a practice that has a lot of dangers. First of all, and as stated earlier, plastic surgery starts just as a desire to make a little correction to a certain feature of one’s body.
It, however, develops to become an addiction, and somebody who was intending to flatten her tummy may find herself going for facelifts, rhinoplasty, etc. This behavior is common among celebrities who go for plastic surgery until they completely damage their bodies. An example of such celebrities is Jocelyn Wildenstein, who, after finding her husband cheating on her with a teenager Russian model, divorced him and got a lot of money from the divorce.
She then started an addiction in cosmetic surgery aimed at improving her appearance to look more like a cat in order to please her ex-husband. This made her undergo all kinds of elective surgeries available, including facelifts, liposuctions, breast implants, etc.
Today, her body is totally disfigured, and she actually looks as though she is wearing a scary mask in a horror movie. The price of this mask that she permanently stuck in her face through plastic surgery is suspected to be in the tunes of four million USD (“Jocelyn Wildenstein” 1).
Cosmetic surgery has a lot of dangers and disadvantages attached to it. First of all, it is an activity that involves the alteration of anatomical structures that are, more or less, normal. This is done without consideration of the fact that the healing process of cosmetic surgery is a complex process that may be disrupted by things like infections resulting in disfigured and denatured appearances.
This overlooking of the risks that cosmetic surgery exposes a person to have made a lot of people make surgical mistakes that have left the world complaining about their folly. It is also not catered for by health insurance since it is taken as a process that is unrelated to the physical health of the patient, and it is also elective. Cosmetic surgery affects the normal functioning of the body.
A person who has done a facelift will most probably have difficulties in using facial expressions in communication, while people who have done a rhinoplasty may lose their smell sense. Surgery performed on other critical organs in the face like the eye may also affect one’s sight.
Carrying out cosmetic surgeries is also very expensive, and the financial burden is compounded by the fact that the surgeries mostly fail to have the desired effect on the appearance of the person carrying out the surgery (Blum 1).
As stated, the process has a lot of post-surgical complications like allergic reactions, infections, etc. Once a person encounters such complications, the surgery will most probably make the person have an appearance that is worse than their original appearance.
With the mistakes that a lot of people have made related to plastic surgery, contemporary society should be very careful in carrying out cosmetic surgeries. Elective cosmetic surgeries should be completely avoided because, as expensive as they may be, they have more damaging than the constructive effect on the bodies of people on whom they are carried out.
Before a restructuring surgery is carried out, the dangers involved and all the possible problems should be considered and a wise decision made. People intending to carry out elective cosmetic surgeries like breast implants, liposuction, etc. (Bora 1). should be suspected to be having the Body Dysmorphic Disorder and taken for counseling accordingly.
If one is strongly convinced that having plastic surgery is the only choice he/she has, he/she should ensure that he/she gets a well-qualified surgeon and minimize the number of alterations he/she makes. This kind of remedy will be very useful in ensuring that addictions to surgery, that, normally make people disfigure their bodies in their quest for beauty, are minimized.
Plastic surgery has been helpful in a couple of cases where its use is inevitable. Such cases include the aforementioned reconstruction of body parts and tissues that are damaged in one way or another and the shaping of deformed body parts.
It can also help the person who undergoes it to be comfortable psychologically. This could be due to high self-esteem achieved after breast enlargement, or self-esteem boosted after a man gets extra size through surgery, etc. At the same time, cosmetic surgery has been used erroneously as a reaction to psychological conditions, especially the Body Dysmorphic Disorder (Cohen 1).
This has made some people who have such psychological disorders find refuge in surgery, with some of them making mistakes that have shocked the whole world (“Jocelyn WIlderstein 1”). All in all, the bad side of cosmetic surgery overweighs its goodness. It is, therefore, important for people to avoid cosmetic surgery and identify people who have Body Dysmorphic Disorder for counseling.
Blum, Virginia. Flesh Wounds. U.K. McMillan Publishers, 2004. Print.
Bora, Clandramita. “Bad Effects of Plastic Surgery.” 2009.
Cohen, Jeff. “Psychological Effects of Cosmetic Surgery.” 2009.
Maughan, Jennifer. “A Brief History of Cosmetic Surgery.” 2010.
. “Jocelyn Wildenstein.” YouTube.
Sullivan, Deborah. Cosmetic Surgery. New York. Barnes & Noble, 2001. Print.
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