Cosmetic Surgery outcomes have been seen to be infectious to many people who witness excellent improvements on faces, breasts and other body parts of friends, colleagues and acquaintances after surgery. They look at themselves in the mirror, feel dissatisfied and wonder if they should go for cosmetic procedures. Yet, fear of surgery and recovery process, inability to take time off and other reasons  hold them back from going ahead.

Now with the advent of social media technologies as well as video conferencing and skype usages in professional work, people are able to see themselves at various angles from front, side, up and below and see these various images which mirrors can not project. It is said that most individuals when they look at their own images tend to focus not on the strengths but on the weaknesses of what they see.

As a result people get more dissatisfied with their appearances and start contemplating about taking up cosmetic surgery procedures. They like to do so primarily to improve what they see on the screen and then on the features which may not be visible in the images but can be seen  physically.

The cosmetic surgery offers many procedures in the facial area, neck, breasts, hands, arms, waists, buttocks and other body parts.

The facial area itself which attracts most attention, offers surgery options on nose, ears, eyes, cheeks, chins, jaw lines, forehead and facial skin and muscle tightening and others; there are minimally invasive cosmetic procedures which are injectibles such as Botox and Dysport for relaxing wrinkles, Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm or Radiesse as fillers which can be molded and sculpted to treat facial volume loss and to lift and fill the face.

With new scientific developments and techniques, the surgeries have become safer and quicker and the recovery time shorter. The Awake Cosmetic procedures, such as Awake Breast Aug, Awake Tummy Tuck, and Awake Liposuction, offer safer procedures with quicker recovery. Laser assisted techniques are also being widely used, including SmartLipo and Smart CO2 laser resufacing. These offer mild skin tightening technologies without having to go under the knife.

People now feel more comfortable in taking up cosmetic surgeries, possibly because of the increased safety that these new technologies offer. In fact, there has been significant increase in the number of cosmetic procedures in 2011 over 2010 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS). A part of this increase has been fuelled by people’s desire to look good on social media technologies.

The success of any cosmetic procedure is primarily judged by its ability to meet the goals set by the patient safely. Whether the images on the electronic screens are motivating people to visit the  cosmetic surgeons or not, all reputed and good surgeons go through physical examinations and  consultations with the patients to determine the real deficiencies in their appearance and true nature or reason of their dissatisfaction and their expectations. They may also assess the health conditions of the patients through laboratory tests and advise patients on the risks, side effects and costs.

There are also some negative effects on people who are being driven by their screen images to the cosmetic procedures.

According to  Dr. Adam Schaffner, a New York City plastic surgeon, the risk of people getting influenced by their own images on daily basis is that “one can become preoccupied with one’s appearance in general.”

Dianna Chillo, LCSW, of Dr. Michele Winchester-Vega & Associates, in New Windsor says “The need for instant gratification and quick fixes are pandemic, so I am not surprised at the increase in corrective surgery.  The real work is building the internal relationship with one’s self that is not defined by one’s outer appearance and the pressures of how they feel viewed by others.”

Yet according to Dr. Schaffner ” social media-motivated surgeries will continue to be popular, especially in a tough job market where people need to look their best and most vibrant to remain competitive.”

[Source: This write up is partly sourced from the article ‘Straw that breaks the camel’s back’ by By Kathy Swanwick for the Times Herald-Record Published: 2:00 AM – 06/26/12]