The Downside of Plastic Surgery


Plastic surgery is a medical procedure which focuses on the restoration or correction of function and form. While aesthetic or cosmetic surgery is the well-known type of surgery, plastic surgery per se is not necessarily cosmetic, and includes a lot of types of microsurgery, hand surgery, craniofacial surgery, reconstructive surgery, and the treatment of burns.

The term “plastic” means reshaping or sculpting. It was derived from the Greek term “plastike” which means the “art of modeling.” It was in 1839 when the surgical connotation of “plastic” first appeared. It was in the Edwin Smith Papyrus when the treatments for the plastic reconstruction of a broken nose were first mentioned.

For some individuals, plastic surgery is a means to restore a normal appearance following an accident. For some individuals, it is a means to correct cosmetic flaws. No matter what the reasons are for plastic surgery, there are some serious downsides of this procedure that should be taken into account before proceeding with the surgery or treatment.

Medical Risks

Like any other types of surgical procedures, plastic surgery usually carries a host of serious medical complications, including death. Following are some of the most usual risks related with plastic surgeries:

  • Hematoma or bruising in the area
  • Seroma or fluid accumulating around the site
  • Necrosis or tissue death
  • Nerve damage that may result in numbness
  • Severe bleeding
  • Infection

Negative Impact On One’s Physical Appearance

One potential downside of plastic surgery is unsightly scarring. These scars are commonly referred to as hypertrophic scars and are red and thick. They typically do not diminish naturally like majority of surgical scars. Swelling and bruising for a certain period of time following a surgical procedure is usually hard to conceal, particularly when the procedure was performed in the facial area. Other possible downsides of surgical procedures include ptosis or sagging and drooping on the surgical site. In addition, some patients find that the outcome of the surgical procedure were not what they wanted or expected.



A lot of plastic surgeries are very expensive. Per information from the American Society for Aesthetic Surgery (ASAS), as of 2008, the least expensive surgical procedure was microdermabrasion. The procedure costs about $140 per session. The most expensive surgical procedure listed was a lower body lift, with a cost of $7,970. These prices are only the base cost of the surgical procedure. Anesthesia fees, hospital fees, surgeon fees, along with lost wages, after-care expenses, and medication costs should be taken into account when considering the total price of plastic surgeries.


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Possible Addiction

There are some individuals who tend to become addicted with surgeries. Some of the common factors that may contribute to an addiction to plastic surgeries include body dysmorphic illness, low self-esteem, and ease of access to plastic surgeons. An individual addicted to surgeries is usually willing to have any recognized flaw in his or her physical appearance corrected by a plastic surgeon even at such short notice, and even if it implies spending money that was previously allotted for other expenses such as payment for utilities or rent.