With the popularity of social media and celebrity culture not showing any signs of abating, it is little wonder that recent studies show the average person is more likely to become self-conscious – and in some cases obsessed with – any imperfections they believe their appearance has. This modern trend has led to a rise in people turning to cosmetic surgery to make aesthetic improvements. But as a clinician, you have an ethical obligation to ensure that the candidate is making an informed choice and opting for surgery for all the right reasons.
In the first instance, you should have the right indication for the procedure you want. So whether you want to reverse the aging process, to regain body shape after pregnancy or weight loss, or to improve on an inherited trait, you should be convinced that you can gain improvement with surgical intervention. One important thing I have learned from experience is that many new patients have come to me as a result of my commitment to denying a procedure or surgery if I think someone doesn’t need that particular procedure.
Another important point to consider is why are you having this surgery? Your decision to undergo plastic surgery should be totally your own. You should not be pushed into it by a spouse, friends, relatives, etc. The principal reason for surgery should be governed by your relationship with yourself. Although peers and relatives support is an important asset, this should not by any means alter your decision in either direction.
Equally, you should be psychologically fit for the surgery. Remember, plastic surgery will just improve on the appearance, it will not change the course of events in someone’s life. For example, if you are facing the prospect of a divorce, you should not expect that undergoing plastic surgery to improve on your appearance will fix conjugal life.
Plastic surgery patients should have a thorough medical check-up to make sure they are completely fit to undergo a surgical procedure. Plastic surgery is an elective procedure that should not be done in haste. If investigations reveal any abnormality, surgery can be easily postponed until any underlying medical condition is treated. No patient should be scheduled for any procedure before clearing all medical conditions if present.