Plastic Surgery, or Cosmetic Surgery, is surgery that is unnecessary from a medical perspective, but is carried out to improve appearance. Cosmetic surgery is initiated by an individual who wants to change the physical appearance of a feature. Although in many cases their physical appearance is normal, they may wish to change the size of their breasts or the shape of their nose. An individual may also use cosmetic surgery to change disfigured body parts and give them a smoother appearance.
Plastic surgery has been, and will continue to be a controversial subject in many ways some people will agree with plastic surgery and some people won’t agree with plastic surgery. Plastic surgery has become increasingly common today for a variety of reasons and countless individuals are consulting plastic surgeons with the hopes of looking the way they have always dreamed of looking. Whether plastic surgery is the right choice is a question that requires some serious searching and personal examination both by the person interesting in plastic surgery and the doctor who is performing the surgery.
There are multiple types of plastic surgery procedures that can be performed for cosmetic or corrective reasons. Plastic surgery can range from minor enhancements to major body overhauls depending in the needs of the person requesting this life changing surgery. While the benefits of plastic surgery are widely accepted, patients should consider the positive and negative aspects of plastic surgery before undergoing any treatments. This debate considers only cosmetic surgery carried out purely to improve appearance, and does not address plastic surgery for medical reasons, for example post-disfigurement reconstruction or remedial surgery.
II. Definition of Terms
- Surgery – the branch of medicine that treats diseases, injuries, and deformities by manual or operative methods.
- Cosmetic – involving or relating to treatment intended to restore or improve a person’s appearance.
- Cosmetic Surgery – surgery that modifies or improves the appearance of a physical feature, irregularity, or defect.
- Anaesthesia – medicine that can cause total or partial loss of sensation.
- Appearance – the way that someone, or something, looks.
- Disfiguration – to mar or spoil the appearance or shape of; deform.
a. The benefits of cosmetic surgery are fantastic – both physically and emotionally. Patients are no longer self conscious about their physical defects. Many cosmetic surgery patients discover that they are more outgoing, more personable, and more confident. They can focus on living their lives instead of worrying about the way others are looking at them. And given that the reality is that we’re judged on our appearance all the time, it’s perfectly rational to want to look good.
b. We should not restrict freedom of choice. Certainly there’s an element of danger involved. But why shouldn’t we let people undertake dangers in the pursuit of beauty, and higher self esteem? As humans, we are in charge of our bodies and should have the right to decide what we want to do with it.
c. Cosmetic surgery can turn a profit for hospitals that is put towards more general medical areas. And doctors receive training and practice in difficult techniques which can then be used to help patients in genuine need.
d. The vast majority of people who have cosmetic surgery have one procedure and never look back. They’re made happier and more secure in themselves because of it. It’s fine to oppose cosmetic surgery, but don’t falsely portray those that have it as being mentally unstable.
IV. Counter Arguments
a. Cosmetic surgery is a harmful influence on people. As time changes so do the standards of beauty. People follow the trends whenever they change. People ask surgeons to make them look like the latest famous star. Doing this ignores the natural beauty and diversity that our culture is made of. We should promote the idea that appearance is not as important as character. People should be content with themselves and not be so hung up on their looks.
b. We agree that sometimes we must accept those dangers, as they come in the course of necessary medical procedures. But with elective surgery – procedures people don’t need, but rather merely want – the risks can’t be justified. Pain is a significant drawback to plastic surgery, and recovery times can be as long as six months in some cases. Some patients may be at risk for severe reactions to anesthesia or may develop health problems such as hemorrhaging as a result of their surgery.
c. Doctors should heal, not waste their talent on appearance. Precious talent and resources are spent on this frivolous activity. Surgeons should do medical operations that are needed, not cosmetic procedures that are desired.
d. Cosmetic surgery is addictive. The compulsion to change one’s body is often a symptom of a deeper mental instability. It should be treated as a problem, not indulged and encouraged with surgery. It’s only a plaster patched over a much deeper problem.
a. It is not necessarily true that people undergo cosmetic surgery for the sake of looking as perfect as famous stars. Majority of those people do it to improve how they look physically, or to fix physical deformities that they think are unattractive to others. Though they do change their outward appearance, it does not mean that they are ignoring diversity and culture. And in the type of world we live in today, looks do matter in some instances. Let’s say, for example, two people are being interviewed for a potential job, and one candidate is completely put together and gorgeous, and the second candidate is not so attractive and looks quite disheveled. Who do you think would make the best first impression?
b. Cosmetic surgery is becoming safer and safer. It is increasingly strictly policed and sky-high legal pay-outs by bad surgeons have ensured that practitioners take more and more care. Technology in surgery and in implants and so forth is forever improving.
- Sheen, Jack H. “Closed versus Open Rhinoplasty-And the Debate Goes On.” Plastic and reconstructive surgery 99.3 (1997): 859-862
- Davison, Steven Paul, et al. “Prevention of venous thromboembolism in the plastic surgery patient.” Plastic and reconstructive surgery 114.3 (2004): 43e-51e.
- Matarasso, Alan, Richard W. Swift, and Marlene Rankin. “Abdominoplasty and abdominal contour surgery: a national plastic surgery survey.” Plastic and reconstructive surgery117.6 (2006): 1797-1808.
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Cosmetic surgery: the magic potion?
Cosmetic surgery: the magic potion?
A study by Psychology Today magazine shows that many people are not satisfied with their looks: 60,000,000 do not like their noses; 30,000,000 do not like their chins; 6,000,000 do not like their ears and 6,000,000 do not like their eyes. Unfortunately, science has achieved so far to try to meet our society's unhealthy level of ‘perfect body'. (rephrase and be specific) Cosmetic surgery: the hype of the moment (inappropriate wording). But is it the magic potion (odd to compare surgeries to something you can drink)? Certainly not.
To begin with, there is no point in cutting into a healthy body. How small the operation might be, there is always a chance something goes wrong. The numbers are very alarming: in 20% of surgical operations, the patient has to recover from the damage he experienced. Although serious risks such as blindness and heavy lung problems are rather rare, less serious risks may not be concealed: chronic pain, allergic reaction, delayed or prolonged healing, ... In any case, cosmetic surgery is far from pain free.
And what is more: a number of surgeries have already failed. ‘The magic potion' caused many people to die because of operations that were far from needed. To take one example: the 36-year old housewife, Lorraine Batt, mother of three young children, came to an untimely death as the result of surgery that would make her belly more pretty to look at (You need to elaborate). Such tragic events are a strong warning that our society has to move into a less appearance-focused one.
In addition, the long-term consequences are often not taken into account. In fact, it is useless to go through a facelift. The cosmetic surgery may make you look younger for a few years, but life goes on and the wrinkles come back. It is as unnatural to try to possess eternal youth, as it is to oppose the ageing process. Siliconeimplants have to be replaced within fifteen years. That seems to be a long time, but the fact that this implies a new surgery is often forgotten.
Moreover, is it right to change the body you are given and transform it into ‘something' you are not? Every single person is unique and that is what makes life so special. The outside appearance is the representation of the inner-self. Therefore, drastically redesigning your looks causes strange effects, take for instance Michael Jackson. If your personality is lacking, your appearance will also lack. Thisgoes hand in hand, cosmetic surgery does not make you a different person.
A common ground to go through this procedure is to make oneself more confident, comfortable and stronger than others. Some youngster see plastic surgery as a quick fix for their physicaland their emotional problems. On the contrary, cosmetic surgery cannot produce miracles, and if teenagers keep thinking that way, our society is facing an unhealthy future. Cosmetic surgery should not be the option, and it can definitely not be taken lightly. It will change the patient's life, and in ways they may not have expected.
As wonderful as this piece of modern medical technology may sound, that cosmetic surgery is not all that advantageous. That is why the ideal body image has to be thrown away, and has to be replaced by the idea that everyone is a special human being.