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Cosmetic Surgery Risks and Rewards

Updated on November 19, 2015

Aesthetic Appeal


Many people choose to have various forms of cosmetic surgeries in an effort to become more ‘good-looking,’ and hopefully live a more fulfilled, happy life. However, the decision to surgically change one’s appearance can have just as many negative results as positive ones. Some may love it, others may hate it, but men and women in countries all over the world use many forms of cosmetic surgery to change the way they look, and often how they feel.

Looking Good

In today’s society, there is an overwhelming pressure to be good-looking. Celebrities, musicians, and even politicians spend vast amounts of money trying to be attractive to a mass audience. Magazines and other forms of media perpetually use editing programs to remove flaws from the faces and forms of celebrities. In everyday life, people constantly worry about their appearance, in the workplace, social situations and even whilst at home. Today's society dictates that the way we look to others defines what other people may think about us, and attractive people do tend to get a better response and are more widely liked than less attractive people. Some studies show that attractive people also usually are paid higher salaries and receive better service in public forums than less attractive people. In modern society, it seems that appearance really is everything.

The Benefits of Going Under the Knife: Aka "The Good"

Going under the knife can have number of benefits for patients who believe that altering some aspect of their appearance will make them more appealing. Cosmetic surgery can give the recipient an increased sense of self-confidence, better self-esteem, and a more positive outlook on life. For many people, altering a small part of one's body can make the individual feel that their appearance in general has improved; they become more outgoing once the perceived imperfection is corrected, and feel confident in the way they look.

Other than the more well-known aesthetic reasons for choosing cosmetic surgery, there are also a number of practical reasonsto opt for some procedures.

Many people have found that some of the more simple procedures can have a dramatic impact, such as the way in which an eyelid-lift can dramatically improve one’s vision. Additionally, there are many women undergo cosmetic surgery to make their breasts smaller, which relieves much bodily stress and can improve the overall quality of life for these patients. Arguably, majority of the people who opt for rapid-weight-loss surgeries such as gastric bypass surgery or liposuction, do so not simply for aesthetic reasons, but to help reduce their risk of heart problems, some forms of cancer, and various weight-related health concerns, many of which can be life-threatening.

Get Ready to Go Under the Knife
Get Ready to Go Under the Knife

The Bad

While for many people cosmetic surgery may seem like a cure-all for those who may need a boost of self esteem, the fact is that most of these procedures are still forms of surgery. There are always risks involved with any kind of surgery, cosmetic or otherwise. Some risks include blood clots, hemorrhaging, infections, and many other life-threatening consequences, just to name a few.

Risks of Plastic Surgery

There are several risk factors to take into account when considering plastic surgery. Some of the most common complications are:

  • Hematoma (packet of blood under the skin, resembling a bruise
  • Permanent scarring
  • Nerve damage (both permanent and temporary)
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (Blood clot in the vein, usually leg)
  • Pulmonary Embolism (Blood clot that moves to the lungs)
  • Organ damage
  • Infection, potentially leading to gangrene and permanent disability.

There is a very possible risk of infection, blood clots, and other serious health problems as a result of non-certified practitioners misusing their professional utensils. In most instances, the most common complaint from these non-certified facilities are damage and disfigurement to Often times these facilities are popular because they are generally less expensive than proper ones.

There are also serious concerns in modern day cosmetic surgery regarding the doctors who perform many of these procedures. It has come out in recent decades that there are reportedly a large number of fake physicians practicing as cosmetic surgeons who are not qualified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, or by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, or any other accredited facility. These ‘doctors’ perform certain procedures, usually non-surgical ones such as Botox and liposuction, often without proper practice or knowledge of how to perform the procedures properly.

You can find imperfection everywhere, but it's how you deal with it that counts. #selflove
You can find imperfection everywhere, but it's how you deal with it that counts. #selflove

Your Take On Cosmetic Surgery

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Also, the controversial practice of cosmetic surgery tourism has grown exponentially in popularity in recent years. Men and women looking to have some "work done" travel to other countries in an attempt to save some money, as many cosmetic procedures cost significantly less in other counties. In many countries, particularly in Europe and South America, the surgeries are significantly less expensive, but there is also a very serious risk. The issue of risk arises because majority of these doctors and facilities may not be up to the standards of American or British institutions in terms of hygiene and safety precautions. In 2010, 37% of UK plastic surgeons reported that they have seen patients who wished to correct botched procedures which were preformed abroad. While most of these corrections were made because the patient was simply unhappy with the final result, there were a number of complaints from people who had experienced severe health problems as a result of ‘medical tourism.’


Another cause for this cosmetic tourism lies in the fact that certain areas don't necessarily need to comply with certain standards or use as much discretion. Therefore, patients are able to have certain procedures which doctors would refrain from performing in the US and the UK, especially in cases of high-risk patients.

Cosmetic surgery can also be highly addictive, as seen through celebrities such as the late Michael Jackson and TV hostess Joan Rivers, who has admitted to multiple cosmetic surgeries in her lifetime. There are also countless numbers of women who undergo extreme and complex surgeries in attempts to look like their favorite celebrities or figures, such as Sarah Burge – a UK woman who currently hold the record for most plastic surgeries (100+) to try to look like Mattel’s Barbie.

For More Information on Cosmetic Surgery Abroad, View this Report by Fox News

And The Ugly

Over 10.2 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States in 2009. The procedure most used by women was breast augmentation, while the number one procedure used by men was liposuction. Majority of all procedures were performed on people between the ages of 35-50. The dangers involved with cosmetic surgery do outweigh the risks, in the sense that the majority of all cosmetic surgeries are not performed out of necessity, but rather as a result of the patient’s desire to be more aesthetically pleasing, both in their own minds and perhaps to others. The desire to be visually appealing can sometimes outweigh an individual’s desire to be healthy and avoid potential risk. However, in modern society, inner beauty can only take you so far; therefore, it is up to the individual to decide, is the possibility of living a more successful and fulfilling life worth the health risks? You must decide that for yourself.

The Price of Beauty
The Price of Beauty | Source

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    • Jonas Rodrigo profile image

      Jonas Rodrigo 2 years ago

      Interesting arguments from both sides. Good work.