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Dr Rory Dower

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Why women choose to see a plastic surgeon

Women choose to see a plastic surgeon for all sorts of different reasons, some of which are easier for people to understand than others. As a Cape Town Plastic Surgeon, I find it interesting that most women who are choosing to have surgery are not doing it for anyone but themselves. Many of my patient’s husbands would actually prefer their wives not to have cosmetic surgery and sometimes struggle to understand why they would choose to go under the knife. And yet, more and more are choosing to do so.

According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), the number of patients having cosmetic surgery increased by 11% in 2017. The most common procedures being breast augmentation, liposuction, eyelid surgery, breast lift and tummy tuck.

What is the reason?

  1. The “selfie effect” and social media have definitely contributed to the upward trend in cosmetic surgery. People are seeing more photographs of themselves than ever before. This has led to a rise in people seeking treatment for previously unseen imperfections such as frown lines, a double chin etc.
  2. Improved techniques and safety have led to better and more natural results
  3. Social stigma is less of an issue than it was in the past

The truth is, the public’s perception of plastic surgery is very different to reality. This has a lot to do with how the media has sensationalized extreme procedures (usually done badly). As a Cape Town Plastic Surgeon, I see many different types of women at different stages of their lives with many different concerns. Most concerns are quite specific (like sagginess around the jaw or droopy breasts). These women feel that addressing it will help to restore their confidence. You can read more about the most common procedures chosen by women your age by clicking here.

My advice

Don’t think having plastic surgery will suddenly make you love yourself. Experience has shown me that women who are over critical of their looks and generally unhappy with their appearance will still be critical no matter how well the surgery goes. At some point, you have to learn to love yourself, imperfections included.

The patients who are happiest are those who have surgery to address something specific that bothers them, for example, signs of facial ageing, breasts that are very small or very large, prominent ears or body contouring. I enjoy these surgeries because I see the change they bring to a person’s life.

I don’t operate on everyone who comes to see me. Reasons I have for not operating on patients would be

Plastic surgery shouldn’t be an easy decision and there’s a lot you should know before going under the knife. Do your research and be sure to ask a lot of questions.