Aesthetic plastic surgery is uniquely different from reconstructive surgery and every other medical condition because it treats physical issues that cause few if any functional problems. This wide collection of aesthetic concerns that span the head to the toes causes emotional and psychological distress and can be treated with elective surgery that changes the appearance of the concern. What then constitutes a legitimate need for aesthetic surgery? That is determined completely by the patient as their interpretation of the concern makes the diagnosis.
It is common to see patients in consultation who express their concern that no one around them understands why they want to have aesthetic surgery. They say that everyone tells them they look just fine and don’t understand why they would want to have surgery. This could be from their spouse, friends or co-workers. Herein lies the nature of aesthetic surgery, it treats what the patient sees. Just because it doesn’t bother someone else doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother the patient. One person may be bothered by something that someone else sees as completely irrelevant. Thus when patients tell me their isolationism about wanting to have aesthetic surgery, I remind them that…
‘When you don’t have the problem, you don’t understand the need’
Dr. Barry Eppley