I often get asked on a regular basis what do I think about people getting plastic surgery? And more pointedly what do I think about teen’s getting surgery? I always try to be open and I actually welcome people sharing with me, their thoughts and feelings on all of these sometimes emotional topics! It seems more and more we are reading and hearing about plastic surgery. The good, the bad and the ugly (literally – we see the ugly and bad results)!

In a recent team building meeting with the staff at Banis Plastic Surgery – we discussed trends in plastic surgery and the ASAPS (American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) has reported that Americans as a whole are reacting and supporting more favorably towards plastic surgery than ever before in history.

A simple question that I ask you is, when you hear the term Plastic Surgery, what do you think? Does your mind immediately go to a Hollywood star trying to delay the effects of aging or making the bodies/faces as close to perfect as possible? Does your mind go to the many cases that we have all seen when someone has gone completely overboard, having multiple procedures and not even looking better, let alone natural? But you know, to many of us that work in the plastic field, those are almost unimaginable, because that is not we see in our practices. I immediately wonder about the ethos of the physician performing these surgeries and instability of the patient searching for something that seems – unreal.

The word plastic isn’t taken from the synthetic substance but from the Greek word “plastikos” which means to form or mold. Plastic surgery is basically divided into two categories. Reconstructive surgery helps repair significant defects or problems. These include birth defects, traumatic injuries or the aftermath of disease treatment like rebuilding a breast following breast cancer or repairing facial defects from skin cancer. Cosmetic surgery alters a part of the body that a person finds dissatisfying such as their breasts, abdomen, nose, ears, etc.

For me, when I think about teens and plastic surgery I think about a lesion or birthmark being removed from a face, a reshaping of a prominent nose that effects the way a young girl socializes at school because of years of teasing and psychological emotional upset. I think about the young man who doesn’t want to take his shirt off at the pool with his friends because he can’t shrug off one more comment or joke his buddies make about his “man boobs”. I listen to these teens who have so much courage to face these issues, so real to them every day. And I watch their parents who only want the best for their children – so yes, when I hear “plastic surgery” I guess my response may be different than many.

As with everything, there are right and wrong reasons to have surgery. Anyone who knows Dr.Banis knows that he spends quality time with every single one of his patients no matter their age. All patients need to be looking to surgical options for the right reasons, they must be emotionally mature enough to handle the surgery itself, realistic in their goals, emotionally/mentally sound (not showing signs of Dismorphic Disorder) and have the support of family and friends to help them in all aspects of the surgical process.

At Banis Plastic Surgery, we give the highest level of care to all of our patients; every surgery has risks as well as benefits. We recognize the physician – patient relationship as one of shared decision-making. Part of our decision-making process is reviewing the “informed consent” with all of our patients, discussing details of the surgery, benefits, possible consequences and side effects.

I always tell patients it starts off with your plastic surgeon of course. Make sure they are Board Certified they will be held up to the highest standards of care. It must feel right in all aspects of the practice and you should feel support from the moment you call the office right through until you have completed your first year of recovery from surgery. Choose plastic surgery for the right reasons … for your reasons and your experience will be everything that you hoped it would be.

Abbey Helton BSN, RN C, CPSN