August 4, 2012

What Joan Rivers Can Teach Us About Cosmetic Surgery

Many people know who comedienne Joan Rivers is. Many people also might agree that Ms. Rivers has had one too many cosmetic surgeries over the years.

According to different celebrity reports, Rivers has had a facelift, Botox injections, facial fillers, and a nose job. Whether you are a fan of Rivers or not, the question begs: How much cosmetic surgery is too much? At what point have you so changed your appearance that you have actually done more harm than good to your body and image?

What Joan Rivers Can Teach Us About Cosmetic Surgery - Beauty and Personal Grooming
While every day, people go in and out for cosmetic procedures, it is oftentimes celebrities that get the most attention for it simply because they are in the spotlight so often.

Think "cosmetic surgery" and celebrity names like Heidi Montag (The Hills), Janice Dickinson (The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency) and Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) come to mind. In Hollywood, plastic surgeons are as important as a five-star restaurant and a posh hotel.

Recession? What Recession?
While we know that many celebrities have the funds to afford cosmetic surgery, what about the average Dick and Jane? According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), despite a troubling U.S. economy in 2011, that did little to stop individuals from seeking out cosmetic surgery.

ASPS reports that Americans had close to 14 million cosmetic procedures in 2011 - spending some $10.1 billion in the process - on collagen and Botox injections, breast implants, buttock lifts, and nose jobs. The biggest increase from previous years was in chin lifts, or mentoplasty, which was up 71% in 2010, with 20,680 procedures being performed throughout the year.

There are many more individuals that would likely have increased those figures if not for one reason or another. Reasons such as money, availability to get time off to recover, and a fear of the dangers that always exist with any surgery likely steered others away.

So, what are the dangers lurking out there when it comes to cosmetic surgery? Can a celebrity or even you be putting your life at risk by having such a procedure?

In the event you have tossed around the idea of cosmetic surgery, here are some things to consider before you make that appointment for a consultation:

1. Can you improve your look without going under the knife? - As people age, their stomachs get a little wider, their wrinkles become a little more noticeable, and their facial features change. While those are facts of life for just about everyone, those life changes do not mean that cosmetic surgery is the only solution. In fact, many doctors will tell you that a balanced diet, exercise, and taking care of your health are much better options than a surgical procedure. Look in the mirror the next time that extra fat bothers you or your face seems to be sagging here and there and think about how YOU can fix such problems without a surgeon.

2. Are you prepared for the expenses? - Along with the financial costs that come with cosmetic surgery, are you prepared for the time off from work, time away from your daily activities, and time invested in follow-up visits? The monetary cost is important; do not automatically assume that your health insurer will cover such a procedure. If you are not able to get any insurance put toward your procedure, think twice about having it in the first place. While you may want cosmetic surgery, trashing your bank account and/or purging your retirement account is not the way to go about it.

3. Is the procedure worth the risk? - Given that cosmetic surgery is oftentimes an elective procedure and not something needed to save your life, are the risks that any surgery brings with it worth it to you? ANY form of surgery is a threat to the body, meaning there is always the possibility for infection and/or an adverse reaction. While you may want that younger-looking face or tighter stomach, is the risk of infection or other negative consequences worth it? If you have to think about that question time and time again, then reconsider why you wanted cosmetic surgery in the first place.

4. Would you be considered someone with a Body Dysmorphic Disorder?  - In these cases, individuals are fascinated with the notion of correcting what is an imagined or small issue with their appearance (think actress Heidi Montag who was mentioned earlier). A patient with this condition will keep on having surgeries to correct what they believe to be an imperfection, never finding satisfaction with what is gained through surgery. Most surgeons will point out that it is not appropriate to perform surgery on this type of individual.

5. Aging impacts even those that have cosmetic surgery - Finally, do not think for one moment that you can entirely escape Father Time. Even those who have had cosmetic surgery and/or plastic surgeons need to be honest in noting that the procedures do not last for the remainder of one's life. As time passes, aging will continue to impact your appearance, as it can also impact the appearance of a plastic surgery procedure itself.

Before you consider going under the knife, take a look at your other options to slow down aging. You may just discover that the answer is right in the mirror.

About the author: With 23 years of experience as a writer, Dave Thomas covers a wide array of topics from home improvements with your gutter to improving your physical well being.

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