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Can Changing Your Body Change Your Life?/Men and Cosmetic Surgery

People often ask me, "Should I have this done?" If I think the procedure is reasonable, the risks are modest, and they are realistic about the process, I ask them, "How bad does it make you feel, and how much better would you feel if it were changed?"

The body and the mind work together, and our hope is that helping the body will help the mind. For example, some of our liposuction patients go back to the gym with their new bodies and for the first time are able to work out without shame. Their workouts burn calories, and instead of continuing to spiral down into depression and inaction, they begin to lose weight and feel better. After a laser peel or facelift, a more youthful appearance can generate new confidence and improve spirits. Some people are able to make all kinds of lifestyle changes, such as getting married or divorced, finding a new boyfriend, or taking a major career risk. After a hair transplant, men may feel better on their jobs and feel more attractive to the opposite sex. The combination of improved appearance, new confidence, and the reactions of other people can contribute to positive changes in a patient's life.

But there's another side to the story. For example, if after liposuction you continue lifelong bad eating habits and no exercise, you will gain weight. On the emotional side, a new body image has the potential to force you to face difficult issues, such as changes in sexual relationships or less-than-supportive responses from friends and family. People may treat you differently after the surgery, and there is the occasional family member or friend who will resent you for looking and feeling better. A surgeon's hope is that the improvements will contribute to a better emotional life for the patient.

Men and Cosmetic Surgery

Hair transplants are the most common procedure sought by men, and results have become more natural-looking over the past five years. Something happens at a very basic level when it comes to men and their hair. Some men who are balding feel that they're losing touch with a powerful prime directive, as if their strength and purpose are being compromised. Imagine a male lion without a mane or a male peacock without his beautiful colors. There are some profound masculine insights in the story of Samson and Delilah. It may have to do with sexual drives or fears about aging, but whatever the underlying psychology, it's a powerful force for some men.


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