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Does Plastic Surgery Improve Psychosocial Well-Being?

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Most people indulge in cosmetic surgeries to correct one thing or the other in their bodies. Reports have shown that people often turn to plastic surgery for various reasons, ranging from dissatisfaction with physical appearance to fixing issues caused by illnesses or accidents. Other psychosocial factors like marital problems, loneliness, social integration, and status have also been suggested by different studies. 

More researches are being done by doctors and surgery experts, like Dr Asif Pirani, on the effects of plastic surgery on psychosocial well-being while carrying out these procedures in a safe environment to give clients what they desire. 

But then, even as we know that people have a right to hold certain expectations about what they want from cosmetic procedures, it is true that some of them are unrealistic expectations. Some others are never quite satisfied despite the excellent outcome that can be seen. Many of these people have what is known as body dysmorphic disorder, a mental illness that involves an obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance. This flaw might be real or imagined. If it is imaginary, the individual will get no satisfaction whatsoever, no matter how good the surgery might turn out to be. 

If you have been wondering how plastic surgery can affect a person’s physiological well-being, then this article is for you. We will analyse how the procedure can impact various aspects of human psychology, either positively or otherwise. Read on to discover more. 

Here are some of the benefits of plastic surgery on human psychosocial well-being. 

Self-confidence

A perceived flaw in an individual is likely to cause a drastic reduction in self-esteem, thus diminishing the person’s willingness to participate in social activities or be an integral part of society. For example, if a person thinks that his nose is too big and perceives that people tend to laugh or make jokes about the large nose, his self-esteem is most likely to take a severe beating, and he might end up being ashamed to walk on the streets amid people. 

After plastic surgery, there is bound to be a noticeable change in the outward outlook of the person, which will, in turn, translate to an increase in self-esteem, the need to socialise without fear of being laughed at, and regained social confidence. After all, it is said that when you look good, you feel good. Thus, plastic surgery can affect a person’s confidence level. 

Physical health

As much as it improves how you look, plastic surgery can also improve your physical health. For example, rhinoplasty can either be done to make a person look better or correct structural defects that cause impaired or difficult breathing. Separating abdominal muscles can help strengthen the core, body contouring, and proper body posture. Breast reduction can also reduce pressure on the chest and back. Neck and tummy tucking for women who have been through multiple pregnancies can help correct damages to the abdominal wall. 

Mental health

It is not uncommon to see insecure people talk about how they suffer a breakdown in their mental health because of some physical defects in their bodies. Most times, they go through social anxiety and seasonal depression. 

Thankfully, most of these people notice a change in their general disposition after cosmetic surgery. For instance, they begin to regain confidence, and most people start going about their work and life with renewed energy and dedication. 

Social relationships

In situations where people are not content with the image of themselves and suffer a breakdown in mental health, their relationships, personal or otherwise, begin to suffer too. Rifts occur in homes; breakups occur in romantic relationships, they experience an inability to focus – causing a lay off from work, among many other things. 

But then, when the image of themselves becomes what they want it to be, the change in their physical appearance and health, mental health, and disposition will positively affect their social relationships. Thus, they begin to enjoy healthy relationships again. 

Healthy lifestyle

One of the effects of plastic surgery is that it helps individuals maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, keeping their weight in check. Where a person would have consumed so much, leading to problems like diabetes, he might find it easier to keep the weight down after body contouring. 

Quality of life

An overall positive mental outlook on life can also result from the state of individual physical health. The neurotransmitters released by the body – dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and the likes – are called the human body natural healers and are associated with improved quality of life. They help foster good relationships and form strong connections of loyalty, trust, and communication with family and friends. 

Takeaway

It is no doubt that people’s physical health, appearance, and fitness have a lot of effects on their psychological health. This article has studied some of the effects and how plastic surgery can influence them.


Helen Bradfield did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.

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