Professional Recommendations vs. Ethical Limitations: How Many Cosmetic Procedures Are Too Many?
They say that variety is the spice of life, but moderation makes it palatable. We have spent an inordinate number of hours glued to our computers, conferencing into video calls with loved ones, and staring at our own pixelated faces.
News flash: Zoom meetings are not flattering. They allow us to obsess over every wrinkle and imperfection for excruciating durations of time. It is important to step back from the digital mirror and appreciate all of the great facets of your face.
You are attractive, you are independent, and you are unique. Never let your Zoom window tell you otherwise. But if you do want to accentuate your best features or reclaim your youth, please do so with your signature sense of wisdom and individuality.
Cosmetic enhancement is a precise, delicate process. It should never be overdone or underestimated.
FIRST DO NO HARM
The Hippocratic Oath is quite clear. Doctors make a solemn vow to protect the core vitality of their patients and only intervene to improve their health and happiness. If a client seeks excessive amounts of plastic surgery, their physician should intervene. For this reason, and many more, you should only consult with a board-certified physician.
Your doctor is more than just a practitioner of what can happen; he is an arbiter of what should happen. You may have a fantastical vision of various aesthetic enhancements you want to experience, but your skin and your structural limitations must dictate your cosmetic journey. There are limits to every case, and you should work with your trusted doctor to establish those limits before you proceed with any enhancement.
THE FOUR PILLARS OF MEDICAL ETHICS
In 1985, Thomas Beauchamp and James Childress published a book dedicated to medical ethics. In their groundbreaking work, Childress and Beauchamp boil down their theories into four distinct principles to which all physicians should adhere.
- Autonomy – It is the patient’s right to choose his or her own course of care. The doctor must help an individual understand the facts surrounding their case, but must not exert undue will over the patient’s ultimate decision.
- Non-maleficence – This is another way of saying, “first, do no harm.” Medical practitioners must strive to find the least hurtful way to administer care to their clients.
- Beneficence – Going beyond the concept of avoiding harm, doctors need to strategize the best ways to bring about a solution to their patients’ woes. In other words, how can a healer improve upon his ward’s condition?
- Distributed Justice – The doctor must provide care equally, no matter what your gender, age, race, or ethnicity may be.
The four ethical principles outlined above provide valuable guidelines for plastic surgeons to help regulate the number of cosmetic procedures they perform on a given patient. For example: Autonomy. No doctor should pressure a client into receiving a treatment or operation just to make a profit. The decision to proceed with a procedure must be made by the patient.
Non-maleficence is a vitally important concept in plastic surgery ethics. If a cosmetic product could potentially damage a patient’s health, the doctor must not use it. That is why all licensed physicians will insist on a comprehensive consultation with their patients to determine their medical history. Based on this data, the physician can avoid the use of any treatments that may result in allergic reactions or other adverse conclusions.
Beneficence is what cosmetic enhancement is all about. We want to work together to define the best ways to bring about your desired look. It is incumbent upon your doctor to study the latest medical advancements to ensure the most beneficial techniques for your case. If you are particularly lucky, you may actually find a physician who pioneers new methodology himself.
Successful cosmetic enhancement is a balance of art and science. A great plastic surgeon should be able to look at a patient’s face and appreciate its unique structure. Any proposed improvements should embrace the natural symmetry and character of the client while making sure to fulfill their realistic goals.
If a patient requests an excessive amount of procedures, the doctor is responsible for exploring the root cause of these demands. The individual in question may be struggling with a condition called body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). No matter how radiant this person may be, they simply cannot see their own positive attributes.
No physician should take advantage of clients with BDD. The result could be an endless string of procedures that leave the patient chasing after a dream that can never be attained. For example, classic standards of beauty often regard the nose and chin in harmony. When the nose is larger than average, the chin may look like it is receding, and vice versa.
A great doctor will recognize the pursuit of a balanced facial appearance and proceed accordingly. The patient may benefit from a subtle yet striking rhinoplasty procedure. By addressing the size of the nose, it may alleviate any concerns about its relationship with the chin. This is one way to achieve the client’s ideal profile.
Alternately, the patient may benefit from custom facial implants instead. When the chin is given definition and dimension in the form of an implant, the nose looks smaller by comparison. Instead of performing two procedures, the surgeon has satisfied the patient’s goals with one thoughtful approach.
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION
Sometimes, the perfect number of surgical procedures is zero. You may be able to achieve the look of your dreams in a minimally invasive manner. To relieve everything from persistent wrinkles to excessive sweating to migraine pain, consider the wondrous effects of Botox Cosmetic. If you want to add volume to sunken cheeks or withered skin, give dermal fillers a try.
These injectables can be administered in conjunction or by themselves, but you should never exceed your doctor’s recommendations. Enhancement is an elegant journey, and you should never rush the process. Contact Dr. Binder in Beverly Hills to discuss your unique cosmetic needs.