Cosmetic surgery can change the way a person looks by altering, enhancing or augmenting the appearance, shape or size of the treated area. Many patients also decide to have a cosmetic surgery procedure because they are looking to boost their self-esteem and feel better about their overall appearance. There are many people who want to make a change in their appearance because they do not like the appearance of a certain body part or they feel their features do not have the youthful appearance they desire, Cosmetic surgery is able to improve both the self-image and self-confidence of a person. A study conducted in the past few years took a closer look at the reasons patients decide to have cosmetic procedures as well as the types of treatments they had to enhance their appearance.
When conducting the study, researchers polled around 500 adult patients in the United States. The majority of the patients were white women that were 45 years of age or older. All of the patients surveyed had undergone some form of non-invasive cosmetic procedure between 2016 and 2017.
The results of the study showed that nearly 7 out of 10 patients decided to have a procedure to improve their psychological well-being. In addition, more than half of the patients surveyed wanted to have a cosmetic surgery procedure to boost their feeling of confidence in social settings and to also look “professional” in a work setting.
The author of the study, Dr. Murad Alam, vice chair of dermatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said the motivations of patients to get “cosmetic procedures are not trivial. People who get such treatments are sensible, normal people who are not just obsessed with their appearance. They have a range of motivations."
Dr. Alam added cosmetic treatments used to mean “getting traditional plastic surgery, like a face lift or tummy tuck. These required general anesthesia, cutting and sewing the skin, significant risk of scarring, and days to weeks of recovery time. More recently, dermatologists have pioneered non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures, which provide many of the same benefits as traditional plastic surgery without the risk, scars, and downtime."
Procedures that count as “aesthetic services”, and include such choices as liposuction, laser treatments for brown spots and tattoo removal, continue to grow in popularity. The results from the study showed procedures such as these accounted for the majority of the more than 7-million aesthetic services performed on patients in 2016 by dermatologists in the United States.
When discussing the motivations for patients to have cosmetic surgery, Dr. Alam said that "Interestingly and surprisingly, we found that in many cases, patients' reasons for getting something done were different than just improving physical appearance, and more complex.” These reasons included the desire “to feel happier and more confident in themselves, with overall better quality of life. Even spouses did not influence their behavior in this regard, and they did not generally get procedures to please a spouse or significant other.”
Many doctors feel that the results of the surgery serve to reinforce much of the information that plastic surgeons have learned over the years from their patients. They say that better mental and physical well-being are a big motivation when it comes to making the decision to stop, or simply delay, the signs of aging that become evident on people as they continue to get older.
The patients that took part in the surgery revealed that they had undergone a wide range of procedures that are considered to be non-invasive. The procedures they admitted to having included light and laser treatments to reduce wrinkles, hair removal, the removal of scars and the reduction of brown spots and blood vessels. They also had treatments such as chemical peels, non-surgical skin tightening and fat reducing procedures that used ultrasound waves, freezing fat and radiofrequency energy. Patients enjoy these procedures because they are applied to the top of the skin and require very little breaking of the skin.
Anyone that is interested in undergoing cosmetic surgery should schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified doctor that is experienced in performing cosmetic surgery. The doctor can examine the body of the patient to determine if the person is healthy enough to undergo a cosmetic procedure and also share the type of results that the patient can expect to see after the treatment.