The Psychological Impacts of Plastic Surgery

Environmental Science

Plastic surgery is a cosmetic procedure that aims to improve a person's physical appearance. Despite the fact that it has gained wide acceptance over the years and has become readily available to the masses, there are still many debates about its psychological impacts on the people who elect to undergo it. While plastic surgery procedures may have physical benefits, the psychological implications may be far-reaching and complex.

The decision to have plastic surgery is a deeply personal one, and it’s driven by many different factors. For some, it may stem from feelings of low self-esteem, body dysmorphia, or the desire to meet societal beauty standards. People may also elect to undergo plastic surgery after experiencing significant weight loss or following an injury that resulted in physical scarring.

The outcomes of plastic surgery procedures are often public and visible, making it challenging to disconnect it from social feedback. Society’s pressure to look a certain way can often lead to a dangerous cycle of wanting more surgeries to look a certain way. Many people are even willing to suffer through pain, risk complications, and spend large amounts of money in pursuit of the perfect body. However, what they are not always prepared for is the psychological impact of the surgery.

Plastic surgery may alter an individual's physical features, but its effects often extend beyond that. It can change the way people see themselves, how they interact with others, their level of satisfaction with their lives, and ultimately impact their mental health. One of the most significant concerns is post-surgery depression. Plastic surgery can be a more significant emotional load on those who have elected to undergo the procedure. Indeed, many people feel overwhelmed and distressed after their surgery and may face emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress.

Deciding to undergo plastic surgery can also result in the emergence of more self-doubt. When people assume that their low-self esteem will go away post the surgery, they may be setting themselves up for disappointment. While plastic surgery can be helpful in some cases, it doesn't always address underlying psychological issues. In some cases, the person might find the changes to be insufficient or may feel the need to continue undergoing more surgery to feel better about their physical appearance.

The psychological effects of plastic surgery can be significant even after a successful procedure. There may be a sense of regret when reality fails to meet the set expectations. In some cases, people may experience 'body dysmorphic disorder' after surgery. It's a condition where people fixate on minor blemishes or think they need more surgery. It could cause them to spend large amounts of money and time chasing the elusive 'perfect look' and may end up becoming a never-ending cycle.


The psychological implications of plastic surgery are often not given enough attention. While the physical results can be significant and boost one's confidence and self-esteem, the psychological effects of plastic surgery can be life-altering. People must thoughtfully consider why they want the surgery, seek professional advice, and be aware of the potential risks and the likelihood of realizing those expectations.

It's essential to address underlying psychological issues before deciding to have plastic surgery. People should also be aware that it can take more than a surgical procedure to improve their mental well-being. Therapy or counseling is an excellent way to explore psychological issues and learn ways to manage and address them.

In conclusion, plastic surgery can have both physical and psychological effects on an individual. People should think critically about why they desire the surgery, look for professional guidance, and consider the potential risks and benefits of the procedure. Ultimately, the key to success is to approach all procedures with a broader picture in mind.