Concerns about Cosmetic Surgery: A Detailed Insight

Over the centuries, the entire world has witnessed a sea transformation and it includes the mindset of society regarding beauty standards as well. Be it women or men, the definition of ‘appealing looks’ has experienced a significant change.

The women of Rubens signified a society where females with double chins and childbearing hips were desirable. The Ancient Greeks preferred women with plump and full bodies with accomplished bosoms, thick arms and thighs, and round butts. In the 21st century, the desire to flaunt an appealing look has exceeded expectations.

The trends have changed. Modern-day women prefer a slimmer body, attractive curves, and a photogenic face. Men are not far behind, as they also wish to look appealing and fashionable. This craze to flaunt an out-of-the-world appearance has given way to cosmetic surgeries. Nevertheless, with the fame of cosmetic surgery, several concerns also do the rounds.

The rise of cosmetic surgery

In the quench to attain a desirable body shape, today’s metrosexual people are embracing artificial augmentation. The ideal figure they wish to attain is practically next to impossible through regular exercise and diet alone. This has in turn given rise to the unprecedented popularity of cosmetic surgeries like breast implants, tummy tuck, liposuction, gynecomastia, and so on.

The standards of beauty that once used to be realistic have now become more unrealistic and highly artificial. All these trends to attain the ‘ideal body type’ altogether raise concerns about cosmetic surgery. We will talk more about these concerns regarding cosmetic surgery right here.

Cosmetic surgery concerns

Here is a detailed insight into various concerns related to ethical challenges, patient freedom, and the associated risks regarding cosmetic surgery that often bother the experts in this field.

Ethical Considerations
Various ethical concerns regarding cosmetic surgery keep doing rounds among critics. Where and when to draw the line between body enhancement and therapy, remains a crucial argument.

While some consider cosmetic surgery as a gift to humanity, others think it is an unfortunate submission of society to the superficial obsession for accentuated appearance.

    • Several questions surface out of this discussion, such as:
    • Should the experts leave cosmetic surgery only as a tool to satisfy the whims of the consumers to attain alluring appearances?
    • In the absence of any medical significance, should the doctors remove cosmetic surgery from the field of medicine?
    • Is there any specification for the appropriate and inappropriate uses of cosmetic surgery?
    • If most of the people opting for cosmetic surgery come from the elite section, is it not an injustice for the financially weaker section of society?
    • Should the impoverished give up their goals to look appealing?

With the young ones also opting to go under the knife, shouldn’t there be an age limitation and specific guidelines for cosmetic surgery?

In light of these concerns, it is crucial to chalk out the right definition and application of cosmetic surgery. People who wish to go for the surgery should get permission only if they fulfill the ethical guidelines set by industry experts.

Considerations by Physicians

Those supporting the modification of human appearance emphasize the benefits that people gain in terms of self-esteem, self-confidence, and happiness. Those against the surgery consider it as personal vanity, which is gradually becoming a norm in today’s society. The physicians approached to perform cosmetic surgery should therefore act wisely and abide by certain ethical considerations. For instance:

  • Physicians have an important duty to avoid any damage to the health of the patient.
  • They should also assess the risks involved with the surgery concerning the patient’s requirements. Depending on the outcomes, they should be ready with a beneficial plan for the patients.
  • If the plan does not offer benefit to the patient, it is better to avoid the surgery
  • The physicians should also clarify if the patient’s desire for the surgery is justified at all. If it is not in the interest of the patient, the doctor should sacrifice their personal monetary goals to recommend against the surgery. The health of the patient should be at the top of their priority list.

Consideration by Patients

The term autonomy refers to the freedom to make choices for our own life. Patient autonomy hence indicates the freedom of choices that they can make regarding their bodies. This subsumes the will to make both negative and positive choices.

Freedom from compulsion

Patients have the right to be free from the influence of others when deciding about their bodies. It could be regarding cosmetic surgery or any other aspect.

Freedom for self-expression

The patients reserve the right for decision-making, which goes beyond saying “No” to the things they don’t want. They should be able to choose the things that contribute to their self-expression and self-determination.

Media and cultural considerations

As discussed, beauty has varied norms across varied cultures. Nevertheless, pressure from society and the media may compel people to opt for cosmetic surgery as the last option to adhere to beauty standards. This should not happen

Ethical vs. Legal Consent 

There is a significant difference between the ethical and legal consent for surgery obtained from the patient. Ethical permission sought from the patients depends on full disclosure and mutual respect. The surgeon cares to inform the patients about the treatment and allows them to decide on the surgery after assessing the risks and benefits. There should not be any compulsion to decide in favor of the surgery.

Well-informed patients will feel more prepared for the procedure with minimum anxieties. They will comply with the doctor’s instructions the best way. A legal consent does not include any of these points but marks a total absence of communication or at times, poor communication between the surgeon and the patient.


The urge to look beautiful has been centuries old. The definition of beauty however kept changing with time. The people of modern times wish to look good and appealing through cosmetic surgery to enlighten their personal and professional lives. Often, they have to opt for the surgery due to societal pressure. This raises concerns about whether it has become a mere tool to beautify people or has some medical significance left.

Many prefer surgery to enhance their self-esteem and self-confidence. Those against it consider it a vanity treatment prevalent for the rich and famous only. This definition is however changing in today’s parlance. The moot point is to seek ethical and informed consent from the patient for the surgery. There should be no compulsion from the media, society, or the doctors about it.

If the physician does not find the patient a suitable candidate for the surgery, they should inform the patient immediately. With all these ethical considerations, there will be less fuss about the surgery. People will consider it only when they will need it.

Dr. Sumit Malhotra is the best cosmetic plastic surgeon in Lucknow and is famous for his exceptional techniques used in treating his patients. With 19+ years of experience, Dr. Sumit Malhotra fully understands the human body and applies the appropriate technology needed to treat the patient’s body parts according to their desires. Dr. Sumit Malhotra currently practices in SIPS, Superspeciality Hospital, Lucknow where he has been operating since 2005.

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