How to decide Part 3

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Resolve Inner Conflict

Many people want cosmetic surgery in order to look and feel better, but they are reluctant to accept the medical risk. They want assurance that surgery will be complication-free and that their cosmetic result will be ideal. No plastic surgeons would make such guarantees, and this may create inner conflict for patients. If you find yourself in this situation, do not proceed with surgery until you are able to fully accept the risks.

Another possible source of inner conflict is guilt. Some people have focused their lives on their families, putting their own interests last. This pattern of placing others first becomes ingrained over a lifetime. They may be uneasy about cosmetic surgery, which they perceive as a selfish pursuit. They may feel guilty about spending money on themselves and requiring the attention and patience of family members as they recover. This can be true even when family members are supportive.

Guilt is a common cause of temporary mild depression following cosmetic surgery. If you have a sense of guilt about cosmetic surgery, it is best to address and resolve it before proceeding.

A final source of conflict is the well-meaning spouse or significant other. Some partners think they are being supportive by making comments such as, "You look great to me the way you are." These people are completely unaware that such comments are falsely supportive and only compound inner conflict. The message that the woman/man hears is, "Surgery is completely unnecessary," invalidating her/his desire to change her/his appearance. In contrast, a truly supportive comment sounds more like this, "It's your decision. Whatever you decide, I'll back you all the way."

Formula for Success

  • Are you seeking cosmetic surgery for yourself rather than to please another?
  • Do you have realistic expectations of what the procedure can accomplish?
  • Do you fully appreciate the drawbacks, such as medical risk, physical discomfort, recovery, and expense?
  • Have you addressed and resolved inner conflicts?
  • Does your plastic surgeon understand your goals and agree they are realistic?

To sum up, if any one ingredient is lacking in the "Formula for Success," then disappointment is likely. But if you can answer "yes" confidently to all the questions listed, then you are likely to be satisfied after cosmetic surgery.
Article by
Fresno Plastic Surgeon