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Health & Wellness

The Role of Plastic Surgery in Repairing Addiction

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We all attach great importance to our physical appearance. When plastic surgery is carried out to correct one glaring flaw or disfigurement due to a birth defect or an accident, patients are generally satisfied with the outcome and have no desire to get more work done. However, there are a small number of people for whom the results obtained are never sufficient and who always think they need to improve some aspect or another of their appearance.

This is especially true if they are trying to repair damages due to alcohol or drug addiction. In the case of addicts, they might not like their nose, but neither do they like their breasts, hips, lips, etc. even if they have sometimes already gone through several cosmetic operations on these same parts of the body.

Different Types of Cosmetic Surgery Patients

  • Healthy individuals. These are people who do not appreciate a part of their body and who have decided to have an aesthetic intervention. They know very well what they want, always look for qualified and reputable doctors, take their advice, and inquire in detail about the possible consequences of the surgery.
  • Recovering Addicts. Recovering addicts who have not had a relapse in years and either want to celebrate their sobriety or repair the damage caused by substance abuse with opens in a new window plastic surgery. 
  • Impulsive individuals. These are people who believe they will feel better or solve a problem in their lives (including some recovering addicts) through cosmetic surgery. What they need is psychological therapy or counseling, not breast implants, or a facelift. A reputable doctor will recognize this and recommend that the individual first regain emotional stability.
  • Dependent individuals. These individuals are sometimes called cosmetic surgery addicts because they always want more surgeries to fight the natural aging process or attain some vision of physical perfection. They might have body dysmorphia.

Many surgeons believe there should at least be a psychological assessment before cosmetic surgery, if not therapy and counseling because cosmetic surgery opens in a new window will not solve psychological problems. It could even make them worse. Besides, it can weed out clients who have unrealistic expectations or are having surgery for other people.

What Damage Does Substance Abuse Cause?

Not all the damage caused by substance use disorders can be fixed with a plastic surgeon’s scalpel. For instance, alcohol abuse puts a lot of strain on the liver. Cocaine does damage to the heart. Heroin is hard on the kidneys.

However, cosmetic surgery can help with opens in a new window damage caused to the skin by substance use disorders.

Some of the ways substance abuse can damage the skin include:

  • The drugs themselves
  • Impurities in the drugs
  • Contamination from the paraphernalia
  • Intravenous delivery of the drugs
  • Unhealthy habits caused by drug use (insufficient sleep, inadequate personal hygiene, and poor diet)

Drugs ingested over a long period usually have dermatological effects such as:

  • Dying skin cells
  • Fibrous tissue forming on the skin
  • Cracked hands
  • Skin ulcers
  • Inflamed veins and blood vessels inside the skin
  • Sores caused by skin picking
  • Red spots forming on the skin
  • Skin eruptions.

Having plastic surgery is a personal choice for everyone, not just those who need or have gone through opens in a new windowtreatment for alcohol addiction or drug use. It should never be rushed into or undertaken for the wrong reasons or with unrealistic expectations.

The Role of Plastic Surgery in Repairing Addiction
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The Role of Plastic Surgery in Repairing Addiction
A small number of cosmetic surgery patients find that the results obtained are never sufficient and think they need additional surgeries to be 'fixed.'
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November 12, 2020
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