ZocdocAnswersWhat are the psychological effects of plastic surgery?

Question

What are the psychological effects of plastic surgery?

Do people regret it afterward? I want to have a nose job but most say my nose is fine the way it is.

Answer

The decision to undergo plastic surgery is a major one, and one that should not be undertaken lightly. As you have correctly identified, one major potential complication of plastic surgery is regret of an undesirable cosmetic outcome. Other risks include bleeding, infection, risk of general anesthesia, and poor wound healing. In order to make the decision to undergo plastic surgery, you should seek a consultation with your primary care doctor. They will be able to help understand how much your appearance affects your life and function. They will also be able to help you to consider other diagnoses that might be responsible for poor self esteem or poor self image such as depression (which is often treated best with medication) and body dysmorphic disorder (in which individuals are chronically unsatisfied with their appearance, which is often treated best with cognitive behavioral therapy). If you do decide to undergo plastic surgery, you should seek a referral to an experienced, well-reputed surgeon who specializes in the procedure you plan to undergo, as well as being aware of the possibility of the aforementioned complications. Plastic surgery can make a very profound and positive impact on people's lives in the right circumstances, but only a thorough conversation between you, a primary care doctor you trust, and an excellent plastic surgery can help you decide if it is right for you.

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