I recently posted a study demonstrating the significant psychological benefits of
plastic surgery. The study reports positive outcomes across a spectrum of reasons
people may be seeking cosmetic surgery. Having had the privilege to work with
hundreds of patients over the years, I do, however, feel like I should put these
findings in context.
To be clear, I am neither a psychiatrist nor a philosopher; that being said,
there is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to your health and happiness.
Getting plastic surgery won’t make you happy all by itself, and
“general malaise” is not a reason to get plastic surgery. Unfortunately, there are
surgeons out there who are happy to perform unnecessary procedures on patients
who may have other, non-cosmetic issues. This behavior can lead to the sad
extremes we sometimes see in tabloids and exposés.
For otherwise healthy patients, addressing their real cosmetic issues
– whether a patient wants to “look younger,” or improve the appearance of a
particular scar or blemish – successful plastic surgery performed by a board-
certified plastic surgeon usually does lead to a happy outcome. Another article
recently posted by my office addressed the “right time” to get specific procedures.
More accurately, this article discussed at what age certain procedures are
commonly performed. The truth is that the “right time” for a procedure is not only
when it is chronologically appropriate, but also when you are ready for it. Likewise,
just because your aunt, sister or best friend saw great results from a given
combination of procedures doesn’t mean that those procedures are appropriate for
you. Addressing your motivation, the appropriate timing, and talking through which
surgeries are appropriate for you is, first and foremost, a personal matter, and also
something that needs to be discussed with your plastic surgeon during your initial
There is one additional point I emphasize frequently, but it bears repeating: a
healthy lifestyle is essential for your appearance, happiness and general health.
Quick fixes and cookie-cutter solutions are usually insufficient and short-lived.
Procedures can produce remarkable results, but there is no substitute for a healthy
diet, regular exercise, the use of sunscreen, and abstinence from tobacco products.