aging heroine, chiselled cheekbones, cosmetic surgery, diction, Doctor’s Ramble, Dr Mirza Shehab Afzal Beg, dysmorphic syndrome, eye lift, facelift, failures, false perceptions, good figure, grooming, listen to patients, Nip and Tuck, nonexistent flaws, nose job, patients, plastic surgery, poor speech, pouty lips, professional help, show business, skewed self image, social pressure, speech therapy, tummy tuck, understand problems, unnecessary surgery
The words plastic surgery usually conjure images of chiselled cheekbones, pouty lips and a good figure. However, there is more to our genre of surgery – I have to admit that as a plastic surgeon I do a fair share of surgeries of the ‘nip and tuck’ variety, but contrary to popular belief, we have to turn down quite a few surgeries.
In fact, on several occasions I have discouraged patients from going under the knife to ‘correct’ nonexistent flaws. I often encourage them to seek professional help especially when false perceptions of how they look and social pressure are the main motivators behind requesting surgery.
A lot of my patients are in show business and if an aging heroine wants a facelift or a tummy tuck in a bid to refresh her career I tend to oblige. However, a pretty, young girl once came to my office because she thought plastic surgery – a nose job and eye lift to be exact – were the key to kick starting her elusive acting career.
However facial features were not the problem; she in fact had poor speech and diction. With a fair bit of effort I convinced her to opt for painless speech therapy and some grooming lessons.
The young actress was one of many patients suffering from dysmorphic syndrome, a condition where patients have a skewed self-image and attribute all life’s failures to the way they look.
Cosmetic surgery is of course not always the answer to their ‘flawed’ body parts; it is very important to listen to patients, understand their problems and if need be dissuade them from unnecessary surgery.
A few months later the young actress sent me a thank you card – she had finally landed a good role.
– Dr Mirza Shehab Afzal Beg
The writer is Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Liaquat National Hospital.
First published in the Health Advertiser of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on October 14, 2012.