Dr. Patti Flint

Plastic surgery for the right reasons

As a board-certified plastic surgeon, I must make sure that my patients are seeking plastic surgery for the right reasons.

While aesthetic procedures are becoming more and more popular (approximately 1.7 million procedures in 2015 alone, a staggering 115% increase from 2000), that doesn’t necessarily mean cosmetic surgery is right for everyone.

When a new patient comes to me for a consultation, it is paramount that I understand what their motivation is for wanting to change something on their face or body– permanently.

In most instances, patients coming to me who are “seeking change” are doing so with reasonable expectations— and their desire for surgery is coming from “healthy place.” In many cases, they want to address something that has bothered them for a long period of time, and by doing so; they can often improve their self-esteem significantly. In situations such as this, I can move forward with confidence, knowing that I can rely on my training, board certification and experience to achieve a natural looking and desirable outcome. However, when a prospective patient comes to meet with me at one of my offices, motivated to have cosmetic surgery for other reasons— to please someone else (a parent, spouse, ex or any other person) who is pressuring them to alter their appearance, this sends up a big red flag and often flashing lights and sirens as well.

Reasons to seek cosmetic surgery often include:

● You want to address something about your face or body that has bothered you for a long time

● You feel that the appearance of a particular part of your body hinders your personal or professional life

● You are motivated to do it for yourself, not to please someone else

● You have reasonable expectations about what cosmetic surgery can (and can’t) do for you

● You feel that surgery will make you feel more confident in yourself

● You don’t expect that other issues in your life will “fall into place” or resolve, after having plastic surgery

Here are some “not so good” reasons to seek out cosmetic surgery:

● You are feeling insecure about a relationship

● You have unrealistic expectations for your procedure

● You think you want a change, but haven’t thought very much about it

● You think it will change your life or solve your personal problems

● You feel that problems at work or with your partner will disappear after surgery

● You are feeling pressure from someone in your work or personal life to have surgery

● You are not financially able to afford the cost of having a board certified plastic surgeon perform your surgery, thus seek out “cut rate”, unqualified doctors (or those who may not be doctors at all), to perform your procedure

Once I can discern a prospective patient’s motivations for wanting plastic surgery, I can get a pretty good idea as to if they are candidates for the procedure they desire.

When people choose plastic surgery for the right reasons, they are generally very pleased with the results, are less self-conscious, and happier with their overall appearance.

I can truly say that I have had countless patients whose inner beauty and radiance became more apparent to them and those around them, after surgery. To be able to see my patients after their procedure— with beaming, genuine smiles and newly found confidence—is truly one of the most gratifying things for me.

These are incredible moments for plastic surgeons such as myself.

If you are considering cosmetic surgery, think honestly about your motivation behind it.

Ask yourself:

● Why do I want this?
● Is this what I want or what someone else wants?
● How long have I been thinking about this?
● How will this change my life?

Plastic surgery can be a fulfilling, satisfying, life-changing event. Just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.


Statistically speaking, plastic surgery has very high satisfaction rates among patients who seek it out for the right reasons, and who choose board certified plastic surgeons for their procedure.

In 2017 Statista, reported the following patient satisfaction rates for many cosmetic procedures including:

Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty): 97%
Breast augmentation: 97%
Blepharoplasty (cosmetic eyelid surgery): 93%
Liposuction: 90%
Rhinoplasty (nose job): 89%

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