Plastic surgery can have the most positive effect on self-esteem and confidence when done for the right reasons. And don’t be fooled. There are right and wrong reasons for going under the knife to alter one’s appearance.

The healthiest reason to have a cosmetic surgical procedure is the result of an authentic desire to look and feel your best. There are two surgeries that are typically known to immediately make women happier and enhance self-confidence. They are breast reduction and breast enhancement surgeries.

The unhealthiest reasons to have any surgical procedure are pressure from others and/or revenge. Revenge plastic surgery, a disturbing trend that has become common in recent years. This is when jilted lovers want to change their look to get back at an ex who left them for a younger person.

In a 2013 European study, researchers from Ruhr Universität and the University of Basel examined the psychological effects of plastic surgery on nearly 550 patients.

According to results in the journal Clinical Psychological Science as reported in an article in The New York Daily News, the researchers, “checked a group of first-time plastic surgery patients at regular intervals after their surgery, and found they had higher self-confidence overall.” In addition the researchers compared the group of first-time surgery patients with two other groups: 264 people who had previously wanted plastic surgery and then decided against it and 1,000 people from the general population who said they had never been interested in such operations.”


In the European study, “Only 12% seemed to have unrealistic expectations for how surgery would transform their lives.” That 12% represent respondents who expected the plastic surgery to “do the impossible” – for instance, solve their problems or to transform them into a new person. Patient’s expectations generally have an effect on their overall happiness with surgical procedures. If their expectations are unrealistic or if their reasons for having the surgery in the first place are not authentic, their happiness will be affected.

As part of the study the psychologists tested the patients before surgery, as well as three, six and 12 months afterwards. The researchers wrote that, “Compared to those who had chosen not to have plastic surgery, the patients who opted for surgery felt healthier, were less anxious, had developed more self-esteem and found the operated body feature in particular, but also their body as a whole, more attractive.”

Before you make a final decision to have a cosmetic procedure, know your true motivation for moving forward. Consulting with a reputable board-certified plastic surgeon will clarify your reasons and will help to make certain your expectations are reasonable. Contemporary visual imaging equipment will show you the most probable end results, which goes a long way to prevent patients from expecting the impossible.

Anything that one can do to develop greater self-confidence is a step in the right direction. The role that plastic surgery has played in boosting the self-confidence of millions is tried and true. And as procedures become more acceptable to the mainstream population, more and more people will be able to enjoy the happiness that everyone deserves.



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