Plastic Surgery Reality Check: Cosmetic Surgery is Just Not That Much Fun
Although television shows such as The Swan and Extreme Makeovers make cosmetic plastic surgery look exciting and glamorous, this so-called “reality” couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Cosmetic surgery remains popular because it makes people look and feel better. But make no mistake: it is real surgery with real risks and downsides. In my 15 years operating on patients from Dallas, Plano, Frisco, Richardson, McKinney, Carrollton, Irving, Southlake, and Lewisville, I have learned the realities of cosmetic surgery firsthand.
Virtually every surgical procedure is associated with the following negative factors:
1. Scars: Like it or not, any time you cut the skin, your body generates a scar. Part of my job is to make the scar look as inconspicuous as possible—but there’s still a scar. This is a necessary trade-off for the desired improvement in contour.
2. Pain: Surgery hurts. There is no such thing as a painless surgical procedure. You will require pain medicine (from anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks), and you may wonder what you were thinking the first couple days after surgery. Fortunately, pain is temporary and generally well-controlled by medication. But it is unavoidable.
3. Time off work: You may be tough, but the combination of surgery, anesthesia, and pain medication will result in some time lost from work. If you have a desk job, you will likely be back to work very soon. If your job requires significant lifting, you may have to modify your work activities for several weeks.
4. Time off athletic activities: For most breast and body contouring procedures, you will require 4 to 6 weeks off heavy lifting, pushing, and pulling. (This includes strenuous workouts and lifting your children.) It’s inconvenient but very necessary.
5. Risks: Infection, bleeding, need for further surgery, unsatisfactory cosmetic results (to name a few). The good news: 90 to 95% of patients are happy with their surgical results. The bad news: 5 to 10% are not.
I feel privileged to be able to make a living doing something I really enjoy. But cosmetic surgery is more fun for me than it is for you. Make sure that your plastic surgeon takes the time to thoroughly educate you before you undergo any procedure.
Our cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery patients come from Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Richardson, Garland, Sherman, Denison, Prosper, Celina, Wichita Falls, Parker, Highland Village, Denton, Arlington, Irving, Southlake, Carrollton, Lewisville, Colleyville, and Trophy Club. For cosmetic surgery before and after photos, please visit www.plasticsurgerydallas.com .
Ronald M. Friedman, M.D.
Director, West Plano Plastic Surgery Center
Former Chief of Plastic Surgery, Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas