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Cosmetic Surgery Addiction

Woman covered in bandaged after multiple cosmetic surgeries to alter her appearance due to a possible plastic surgery addiction

There are no shortages of articles on the Internet or exposés on TV that discuss patients who take cosmetic surgery to the next level, either employing extreme surgeries to change their look or having so many surgeries that they look completely different from their prior selves. But is addiction to cosmetic surgery a real thing? While one can debate whether cosmetic surgery itself is the source of the unhealthy obsession, there is certainly a mental illness known as body dysmorphic disorder which can lead to the overuse of cosmetic surgery, and generally being unhappy with the results of the surgery, thereby leading to more and more (sometimes extreme) surgeries.

On the flip side, having more than one cosmetic surgery does not constitute an addiction in of itself. An addiction is a mental illness, not a choice to strategically improve certain aesthetic features of your face or body. Further, you may achieve your best aesthetic results by spacing out your cosmetic procedures over months or even years, rather than having several cosmetic procedures in a short period of time or having extensive surgery in one shot.

Where should you draw the line?

An important discussion you need to have is with your cosmetic or plastic surgeon. For example, during your consultations with Dr. Szymanski, you will discuss the benefits and risks to each procedure as well as the expected outcomes. Dr. S will be very forthcoming with what you should expect from the procedure and whether she believes that it is the right procedure to enhance your aesthetic. She may also suggest another procedure that is better suited to you. She may even recommend non-surgical techniques to improve your skin, or injections such as strategically using Botox or fillers as a stop gap option before turning to surgery.

What if I can’t stop obsessing over my looks?

We all think about our looks, especially as we get older. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, if you find yourself looking at social media channels and reality shows wishing you could look like the people on TV, it’s important to first remember that they are being followed by a team of estheticians. They likely spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars to get that perfect shot. It simply isn’t reasonable to think that you can do so daily, unless it were your job, like it is theirs. However, if you are unable to separate yourself from these thoughts, it is important that you speak to a qualified mental health professional to understand the root of your concerns. There is absolutely nothing wrong in speaking to someone for a little bit of help. Further, prioritizing your mental health has never been more important, especially with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the meantime, Dr. S and the team at KDS Aesthetics are here to help you navigate the ins and outs of cosmetic and plastic surgery. We look forward to having an honest conversation with you about whether the surgery you are looking to have offers the best and safest way to achieve your aesthetic goals.

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