Body Image

Talmage J. Raine, MD
Article by
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

I believe the main issue that defines the concerns that all of my patients bring to the consultation is body image.  Body image is how we perceive ourselves in our mind's eye and the interaction between the mind's eye and the subjective appearance that all perceive in the real world.  This interaction, in the most ideal sense, would be essentially the same.  This never happens.  We heve all seen ourselves in pictures and our immediate response is," Oh my gosh, I don't really look like that.  Do I?".  Yes you do.  But not in your mind's eye.

The best candidates for making a positive change in physical appearance have several attributes which are essential to overall success of the actual surgical procedure.  They are as follows:  1) An issue with physical appearance which can be objectively confirmed in the consultation, 2) A reasonable expectation of a change which will enhance their appearance but maintain their physical identity ( i.e. they will still look like themselves), 3) The understanding that this change in appearance may indeed enhance their life, but mainly in an internal satisfaction that will manifest in more self confidence and overall well being, 4) No unreasonable expectation of a life changing event that will make everything better.

We are blessed with a special relationship with our patients in the field of plastic surgery which also confers a special obligation.  Respecting the mind and it's connection to the body is our biggest challenge and our most prescious resource.

Tal Raine MD