3 Reasons Why You Should Have Cosmetic Surgery

As a trained plastic and reconstructive surgeon, who has held a substantive post as a consultant in the NHS for many years, I’m always disturbed when I read articles with titles such as the above.

The difference between plastic and cosmetic surgery

First of all, it is important to understand the difference between plastic and cosmetic surgery, as there can be much confusion in both the media and patients’ minds. Plastic surgery is a surgical speciality that corrects congenital abnormalities, treats burns, skin cancer and hand injuries and disease, as well as repairing soft tissue defects from trauma, disease or secondary to surgery.

I would define cosmetic surgery as an elective procedure that aims to improve physical appearance with psychological gain. It can be performed on the face or body and the focus is on aesthetic enhancements and improvements in symmetry and proportion.

There are many reasons why a patient may need plastic and reconstructive surgery. The fact that these procedures are, for the most part, available on the NHS indicates they are important for the mental and physical well-being of the patient.

I would argue that no one ‘needs’ cosmetic surgery: by definition, being neither to relieve severe pain nor to prevent death, it is not essential, however desirable and appropriate it may be. However, that is not to underestimate what a positive and beneficial effect that well considered cosmetic surgery can have, but my philosophy is that it must always be the right patient and the right procedure at the right time.

What do I look for in a cosmetic surgery consultation

The consultations I offer at my Leamington cosmetic surgery practice are necessary for establishing whether cosmetic surgery is right for you. I aim to create a calm and unpressurised period of time where the patient and I can discuss their feelings, concerns and expectations and then both myself and the patient can decide whether going ahead with a procedure is the right decision.

Reasons why you shouldn’t have cosmetic surgery

Timing is often a major factor in whether or not you should proceed with cosmetic surgery. If you’re going through a period of emotional upheaval, such as job loss, divorce, death of someone close to you or immediately after having children. Pressure from a partner or family member is also a no-no.

However, if there has been something that has always concerned you about your appearance and you’ve considered the potential pros and cons, then the best advice is to book a consultation with an experienced and qualified plastic surgeon to discuss your options in more detail.

The Age Old Debate

When it comes to men and women and ageing the stereotypes come thick and fast; mainly that lines and grey hair make a man look distinguished and attractively mature, whereas on a woman they just make her look old.

So, what is the truth about male and female ageing? At my private plastic surgery practice, based in Warwickshire, I spend much of my time analysing lines and wrinkles and I’ve come to some conclusions over the years.

The first thing to note is that there has definitely been a change in recent years. When I first started my cosmetic surgery practice, men were less likely to seek surgical or non-surgical procedures aimed at turning back the clock. Women, on the other hand, have always been bombarded by messages from the beauty business to fight the signs of ageing as part of an all-round beautification process.

Cosmetic surgery choice

Often the first sign of facial ageing is the development of dynamic wrinkles in the upper part of the face. These are caused by the constant contraction of the muscles, causing lines to appear in the overlying skin and they are commonly found across the forehead, between the brows and around the eyes.

Traditionally, men have been less bothered by the formation of these lines as the perception is that it makes them appear more rugged or wise or both, whereas women are much more likely to seek treatment in the form of muscle relaxing injections, which I perform, that temporarily freeze the movement of the muscles thereby smoothing the overlying skin, or a cosmetic surgery procedure that will deal with a wide range of ageing concerns.

Many men arrive for a consultation at my Leamington cosmetic surgery practice, complaining that they look tired and stressed. They often believe this is adversely affecting how they are perceived at work, potentially damaging their careers because they aren’t seen as dynamic and thrusting. When we analyse the problem further it is usually found to be due to ageing of the eye area, so I find a more popular cosmetic surgery procedure for men is a blepharoplasty, a procedure to rejuvenate the upper and/or lower eyelids.

Listening to advice

Whatever your genetic make-up, there are some external factors that have been proved to have a deleterious impact on the skin; namely smoking, excessive sun exposure and poor diet. From the men and women who visit my Leamington cosmetic surgery practice, it seems that women certainly are taking these anti-ageing messages on board and are being proactive in protecting their skin.