Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

While I’m sitting at a social gathering or even if I am seeing a patient in my office, I sense that people still consider plastic surgery to be a taboo to a certain extent.

It is not uncommon for my to hear a comment from a patient saying, “Oh Doctor, I never thought I would be considering plastic surgery. I always thought, ‘What’s wrong with people who want to have plastic surgery done? How can they not be happy with themselves?’”

I don’t know why that is the case. Maybe it’s the way the social setup is. In the recent past, due to increasing public awareness, patients are more likely to have plastic surgery done. Still, many people consider it to be extravagant.

But if we just look around, why do we want to wear nice clothes or to dress well or to buy new shoes? What about the billion dollar cosmetic industry? What about the designer clothes? We do all this to feel good, more confident about ourselves and to look attractive.

So the way I look at plastic surgery is that it’s just another extension of these things I just talked about. I occasionally come across mothers that are nervous because their 19 year-old daughters want to have breast augmentations, and Mom is unable to comprehend why she should have the surgery.

I tell the mother just to take a step back and put herself in her daughter’s shoes and to consider the social pressure she is under. She can’t wear a bikini or bathing suit, and she has a hard time finding clothes that she can fit into comfortably. For any young woman, these are serious issues.

The overall self-image for that girl might be quite low. If by performing a carefully planned procedure we can help improve her self-esteem and confidence and help her to do more things that she likes to do, how can there be anything wrong with that?

Let’s look at another example of a young woman in her thirties or forties who has just finished having children. Now she finds herself feeling less confident because of the pregnancies, the child-bearing, and the breast feeding. All this has left her with very small breasts along with stretch marks along the abdominal area that she’s trying very hard to get rid of but she can’t. What possible reason could there be why she shouldn’t have a few hours of surgery to improve upon these conditions and help her self-image and self-esteem?

People function better when they are happy with themselves.

I still remember the big smile on a 70 year-old patient who was once again able to wear the clothes she used to wear in her forties. Her husband was quite opposed to the surgery and said, “You know, she’s at the age in her life when she doesn’t need to get any surgery done and I love her just the way she is.”

However, the patient said, “Yes I do! I need to get this done I can’t stand it anymore!” She was very unhappy with her abdominal fat. So after surgery she was so excited that every time she saw me she gave me a couple of hugs. Not to mention that her husband eventually agreed that she looked great.

So for the people who still have a negative view towards plastic surgery…perhaps they should look at things from a slightly different perspective.