Plastic Surgery Is Among the Most Common Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Plastic surgery is among the most common issues where arguments and debates between the pros and cons in society exist. There are those who oppose the practice of plastic surgery while there are those who find its benefits to outweigh the risks and negative effects.

For those who reject the idea of plastic surgery, the risks and negative effects of the practice are the reasons that they hold on to. Similarly, they also hold on the philosophical argument, tied with religious beliefs, regarding the naturalness of the human body and how God has given us the natural characteristics and features of the human body that each of us have. On the other hand, for those who are in favor of plastic surgery finds either vanity or vital medical reasons due to health problems as the main reasons why they support plastic surgery.

Taking on a side, I am in favor of plastic surgery. My main reason for being in favor of the practice are the health benefits that it can provide to individuals who are need of critical treatment due to terminal illnesses that only plastic surgery can offer. One example of which is the breast cancer disease in which breast implants is among the cure to the physical body of the patient as well as the treatment to the psychological problem that breast cancer can cause. To provide further information on why the practice of plastic surgery is beneficial and should not be disputed by the society, the following topics shall be discussed in this paper.

History of Breast Implants and Facelifts

Plastic Surgery Techniques

Risks and Benefits of Plastic Surgery

Women's / Society's Perspectives on Plastic Surgery

This paper discusses two most common plastic surgery operations, breast cancer implant and facelift, to demonstrate how plastic surgery is beneficial and should be accepted as a valid form of medicine.

History of Breast Implants and Facelift

It was in the early 20th century when breast reconstruction started to take place in the field of medicine (Harcourt, Rumsey, 2000). According to Harcourt and Rumsey, the process used to use skin and tissues from the back of a body as materials for the reconstruction of a new breast. Or, the remaining part of the breasts is also used to create a new one.

Breast reconstruction did not succeed much during its early years hence it was not mainly implemented in operations. This is because of the trauma that the many operation processes that breast implants require. One for instance is that the breast skins are sometimes tight that completely creating a new one is difficult. With this problem though, a tissue expander was developed to solve it. Thus, these days, silicone implants is a successful type of breast implant.

On the other hand, the history of facelifts started in 1901 by Hollander when the face of a patient was surgically lifted to treat a skin problem. After this first facelift surgery, several modifications on the process were developed to improve the outcome of facelift surgery. E-Medicine Online indicated this stating that

Throughout the early 1900s, others such as Miller, Kolle, and Lexer made variations and refinements of this original description (Miller, 1906; Kolle, 1911;

Lexer, 1910). Lexer is credited with suggesting that the skin flaps be dissected in a subcutaneous plane, as earlier facelifts consisted mainly of skin excision with primary closure.

Plastic Surgery Procedures and Techniques

Since the birth of plastic surgery, the discipline has developed quite a number of procedures. Miranda Hitti (2005), in her study How Many Young Women Get Plastic Surgery, lists the following most common plastic surgery procedures.

Chemical Peels

Breast Augmentation

Nose reshaping (rhinoplasty)

Breast Reduction


Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty)

Eyelids (belpharoplasty)


Cellulite Treatment

Concerning breast implants, one technique that is done these days is the transfer of tissues from other parts of the body. Harcourt and Rumsey (2000) discussed this process stating the following.

For example, the lat-dorsi procedure involves replacing the original breast skin with skin from the back whilst the muscle of the lat-dorsi flap covesr the implant.

Laser and cosmetic surgery is also a popular process in plastic surgery these days. This was made possible by the advancements that are being developed in today's technology.

In Vancouver, Canada, Dr. Biggs, a plastic surgeon, shares the following techniques in plastic surgery.

There are new ways to elevate the middle third of the face, or cheeks, through an incision of the temporal area, without having to make the incision down in front of the ear.

Dr. Biggs says surgeons in the past would be hesitant to perform a combination liposuction and abdominoplasty procedure. But new research out of Brazil indicates that surgeons can do concomitant liposuction safely by doing an abdominoplasty and preserving the perforator vessels.

The increasing use of fillers stood out in the research. European researchers presented long-term data indicating that the newer fillers, including Restylane, are safe and last for about five months.

Concerning the wounds that after a plastic surgery operation, "skin grafting" is sometimes performed to protect wounds and to prevent the appearance of scars.

There are still many procedures and techniques in the discipline of plastic surgery. The application of which however depends on the preference of the patients and on which technique will be best for them.

Risks and Benefits of Plastic Surgery: Is the Practice Different to Become Unacceptable?

Every operation procedures, whether it is a plastic surgery or any kind of human anatomy surgery, has their own risks and benefits. For instance, a surgery of the brain can cause vegetative state or even death to a patient. But, it is considered a legal practice because its main objective is to provide a cure. Considering this one example, I'd say it has no much difference with the risks and benefits of plastic surgery. That is, plastic surgery can also fail on a patient but its objective is to provide cure to the patient. In view of this, I defy the idea and reasons on why the society should be against the practice of plastic surgery.

One reason why plastic surgery should not be rejected as a part of medicine is the fact that plastic surgery is not an underground clinical practice. It is a legally accepted field of medicine and has undergone a lot of researches, analysis, and tests to be considered an authorized clinical process. Secondly, plastic surgery such as breast implant was proven to offer help to a patient, both clinically and psychologically -- the main reasons why it is an accepted field in medicine and are similarly my reasons why I am in favor of the practice.

Instead of opposing the practice of plastic surgery, the important thing that people must consider when undertaking any operation, such as plastic surgery, is to know and weigh the risks that he or she will take in the operation against the benefits that the process can offer him or her, because in any type of operation there are always advantages and disadvantages. Users online lists the following risks of plastic surgery.

1. Plastic surgery is expensive. In the U.S., a facelift cost from $6,000 to $12,000.

2. Any surgery is potentially dangerous, including plastic surgery. Complications are rare but they do occur, ranging from scarring to fatalities. Plastic surgery may be particularly risky if you have certain health conditions (e.g. diabetes).

3. Everyone is different. Some people do much better than others, even when treated by the same plastic surgeon.

4. It may take several weeks or months before your face fully recovers from plastic surgery.

5. Plastic surgery might adversely affect the physiology of your skin and underlying tissues, speeding up the aging process.

Although the above risks are facts, they are not enough reasons to oppose plastic surgery because the practice itself is not easily granted or performed to anyone who wants to undergo the surgery. Instead, it is prescribed with strict considerations on the questions of who can have it, when it can be given, and how it will be done, as similar to how other types of surgery are first evaluated to a patient before the operation process is carried out. So, why is there a need to oppose the practice? Is it because people sometimes acquire plastic surgery for their luxury and vanity? Or, is it because of the philosophical and religious basis of placing value to what God has given to us and that we should be contented and not change what we are. If it is so, then why don't people also oppose the luxurious jewelries and branded clothings? Or the use of accessories and cosmetics that can make one look better than how he or she looks when he/she don't have them? Aren't they also just for vanity? Isn't the objective that people have why they use them is to change what they are in the eyes of the society? I'd say plastic surgery is no different to all of these, plus the fact that plastic surgery…

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