Ethical Issues and Considerations in Cosmetic Surgery


One of the the majority of critical developments in neuro-scientific healthcare tourism is the embrace the number of individuals who seek for health care services that can improve their looks. Therefore, research denotes plenty of advances in plastic and reconstructive surgical treatment.

Also referred to as aesthetic surgical procedure, cosmetic surgery is used to enhance the physical image of the people who are usually suffering from burns, pores and skin cancers, as well since people who suffer from inborn abnormalities. The need for visual surgery keep rising, elevating the question of values and considerations quietly medical plastic surgeons and the particular people seeking for such services.

Among the questions that are requested revolve around the chance of limiting the amount of people who seek out for such services through the process of screening and ascertaining those who else look for such services. Furthermore, there are a great number of health risks of which are associated with this kind of practices on the patients. This raises questions concerning the ethical principles in plastic surgery.

From a broad point of view, the cosmetic surgery industry seems to attract more customers, raising the question of whether there should end up being controls and referrals for people who look for these kinds of medical services or whether people should seek for typically the services at their will certainly. This paper argues that cosmetic surgery presents the lot of risks with regard to the patients.

The other question of which arises at this stage concerns the amount of information that should end up being relayed to the individuals who seek for plastic surgery services, especially the details on the risks and benefits that accrue coming from plastic surgery (Mousavi 38).

More people keep on to spend billions associated with dollars on aesthetic surgical treatment even as others continue to raise questions about the particular ethical stance in plastic-type surgery. Therefore , this document explores a defieicency of the increasing concern about the ethical principles and considerations in cosmetic surgery.

Traditional overview of reconstructive surgery and the shift to cosmetic plastic surgery

It is apparent that reconstructive surgery as a medical training is shifting to aesthetic, also known as visual surgery. A deeper go into the medical practice of reconstructive surgery reveals that that was a part of surgery, which was meant to increase the health of patients who complex medical conditions that will required reconstructive surgical procedures.

The development of complex medical conditions, like cancer, in typically the 20 th century resulted inside the growth in the particular number of complex medical problems requiring intense surgical practices on certain organs regarding individual patients. The results of war in the particular 20 th century saw typically the widening of the scale of reconstructive surgery because of to the increase inside the number of people with intensive injuries that required extreme reconstructive practices.

Therefore, the methods of restoring the wounds that had been disfigured were developed by surgeons like Harold Gillies in addition to Archibald McIndoe through the 20 th century. However, it is important to take note that reconstructive surgery being a practice in the industry of medicine and surgical procedure can be traced back to the 16 th century. During this period, the practice was utilized as a method of reducing injuries and deformity.

Yet , the modern day practice of cosmetic surgical procedure, which is mostly mistaken for reconstructive surgery, is more elective and dwells about the aesthetic reasons instead than the real health care reasons. This is spearheaded from the extreme transformation in the global culture plus the intense emphasis on development of appearance through surgical procedure and medicine (“Reconstructive Surgery” par. 1-4).

Understanding cosmetic surgery

According to Jeff, plastic cosmetic surgery can be identified as, “a subspecialty of drugs and surgery that distinctively restricts itself to typically the enhancement of appearance via surgical and medical techniques” (1).

Plastic-type and reconstructive surgery is a field in typically the medical industry that is gaining prominence, especially within the contemporary society where people value innovation inside almost every industry. Plastic material surgery entails two groupings of customers. The first groupings of people who seek for reconstructive surgery are usually people with health issues in whose conditions can be handled by virtue of going through reconstructive surgery.

According to Panfilov (3), plastic surgery is a great old field in the healthcare and medical business. The practice could be tracked back to the sixth and seventh century inside India. However, plastic surgical treatment is promoting in scope in addition to practice, especially in typically the 19 th century where the majority of people discovered the possibility of changing their physical make through medical help.

Most associated with the ground work regarding the expansion and development regarding cosmetic surgery was put down in the twenty th century where professional groupings in the medical discipline were developed, with most surgeons specializing in specific elements of reconstructive surgery. “The oldest, largest, and a lot well-known national professional associations in the world is the particular American Society for the particular Aesthetic plastic surgery, founded in 1967” (Panfilov 6).

To a hugely, the broadening and intensive commercialization of reconstructive surgery into cosmetic and aesthetic surgery comes from the continued embrace of the particular culture of beauty in the contemporary society (Blum 2). McInnes et ‘s. (163) observed that typically the advancement reconstructive surgery provides set the ground with regard to the development and intensive embrace of cosmetic surgery. This particular reiterates the difference in the scope of plastic surgery.

Cosmetic surgery is largely portrayed as a strong magic that can convert the physical look regarding people. “Most surgeons tell me about the specialized aspects and the reasonable desire to transform your appearance…” (Blum 4).

This is a comment from of the people who have sought for cosmetic service. From the particular statement, it can be concluded that a whole lot of details are not presented to people that seek for such services. Moreover, the rationality that will is often presented by simply the surgeons should not be determined by people who usually are searching for the services.

Also, the individuals who seek for these types of services often close upwards their minds because much of their focus dwells about their hope to boost their physical image (Blum 4). Cosmetic surgery goes behind the aesthetic value and may pose negative anticipations for people who benefit such cosmetic plastic surgical procedure practices such as breasts augmentation. “Women who go through breast augmentation surgery have a very greater incidence of suckling insufficiency” (Michalopoulos 62).

Therefore, there is usually a comprehensive portfolio of practices in typically the contemporary plastic surgery in typically the United States and some other countries around the world. “More as compared to 8. 7 million individuals underwent cosmetic surgery in 2003, up 33 percent from the year before, based to the American Community of Plastic Surgeons” (Shute 52).

The particular high number of individuals who requirement for cosmetic surgery means the wide range of practices and variations inside the services that are wanted for by the populace. This makes it challenging to differentiate between individuals who seek for these kinds of services on medical environment and the ones who purely look for for such services regarding aesthetic purposes.

However, from the trends inside medical tourism, it will be clear that a large number of individuals seek for services on the basis of beauty rather than about the health grounds. Typically the future concerns in the field of plastic surgery revolve around typically the possibility of altering the genetic composition of individuals, besides the physical characteristics. In a similar sense, a significant number of people continue to raise concerns about the sustainability regarding cosmetic surgery, particularly when the particular future of the human being generation is put into picture (Mousavi 39).

It is not necessarily clear whether the costs that are incurred by simply the people in the particular medical surgery can end up being vindicated with the outcomes of plastic surgery when place on the long-term level.

In his research, Scott (8) came to the conclusion that the practice of plastic surgery is bound to become subjected to a whole lot of criticisms soon plus possible resentments which come from the extended social effects of the practice on the individuals and the community in general. Already, presently there are a lot associated with conflicts in the modern times about the nature and generational attributes regarding people where the physical beauty that is gained through cosmetic surgery are unable to be vindicated across years (Scott 8).

The scope of aesthetic surgery in the Combined States

Based to McInnes et ‘s. (163), there is a new change of identity within the specialty of plastic surgery. The change has been necessitated by an enhance in competition and the particular resultant change in the particular reconstructive procedures. The trends in the plastic surgery industry in the usa denote typically the emphasis and concentration regarding the plastic surgeons about cosmetic practices rather than the reconstructive practices since embraced in other countries like Canada. This introduces the truth that plastic surgery is a specialty that is undergoing transformation.

Most of the tips show that the occupation is moving from the intense focus on the particular procedures of reconstruction for the focus on cosmetic or even aesthetic procedures. It could be argued this move is necessitated by a couple of forces. These include the intense marketing of plastic surgical procedure, on the one hand and the increase in the diversity of cases of plastic surgery, upon the other hand. “While the future of cosmetic surgery hinges on both techniques of clinical practice, an optimal workforce balance offers yet to be elucidated” (McInnes et al. 163).

A substantial number of surgeons in america have moved away through the observance of scientific and hospital practices that will are based on reconstructive procedures. They now think on private practices of which focus on rhinoplasty guide with regard to people rather than typically the reconstructive procedures for patients with complex health difficulties.

Several concerns are raised on the adopt of these trends. One of the concerns is the query of standardization of operative practices and the possibility of malpractices in neuro-scientific plastic material surgery due to typically the growth popular for plastic-type surgery among the worldwide population (McInnes et ing. 164). Third, “in several countries physicians who usually are not trained as board-certified cosmetic or plastic surgeons routinely perform aesthetic surgery procedure” (Turner 28).

Turner made this observation out of the intense exploration of the instances where patients who experienced undergone plastic surgery created complexities that led to be able to their deaths. Also, Turner (29) ascertains the problem of determining whether the information that is given to be able to the customers with the plastic material surgeons is adequate adequate to allow them to make a good judgment about the risks plus benefits of plastic cosmetic surgery.

Turner (21) observes that a substantial number of people from the developed plus developing world travel within search for cosmetic surgical treatment services in countries exactly where these services are available. On the other hand, doubts are raised regarding the potential of these kinds of visitors to attain the finest services and care having in mind how sensitive the practice of plastic cosmetic surgery is and the inability of these people to sustain lengthy stays that can improve the duration and quality of care.

The implication here is that patient safety plus the high quality of care are issues of priority so far as the particular better positioning of plastic surgery as a practice in the medical industry is concerned. From the cases presented in his research, it is evident that people travel in search for places where particular services are available. Also, cost is a new factor as denoted by simply the number of individuals who travel from the developed world to typically the developing world looking with regard to surgical services (Turner 25).

Cosmetic surgery in addition to the natural appearance

One of typically the most debated issues when it comes to beauty surgery concerns the usage of cosmetic surgery for aesthetic reasons, which sometimes makes a lot of people to refer to be able to it as aesthetic purposes. There are a great deal of relational and hereditary factors that are frequently bypassed by people who else participate in plastic surgery. Research denotes that a lot of people choose to undergo plastic cosmetic surgery for aesthetic purposes instead of for medical purposes.

The decisions preceding beauty surgery are important due to the fact the resultant change in the natural appearance comes with a lot associated with psychosocial and health problems. “Emerging cosmetic plastic surgical treatments allow us to circumvent our genetic code and cheat our naturally established appearance…” (Scott 1).

The genetic code of human beings is very important in the fecundation, impregnation and continuity of advancement and existence. Nevertheless , as the quote denotes, most of the changes that are embraced in cosmetic surgery live on the physical attributes, while largely ignoring the particular genetic attributes (Scott 1).

In accordance with Scott (1), genetic attributes are usually quite important in typically the recreation and the development of human beings. But as it is in inside surgery, the perceived internal code is overlooked on the expense of the outside flaws. A lot regarding people pay a great deal of awareness of the exterior characteristics when creating choices, although largely forgetting that the continuity of generations will be built on the internal features.

These types of are genetic in characteristics and they are exemplified in the generations that will are procreated from the particular present generation. With this juncture, the question that makes the mind of experts concerns the level from which the unwanted actual physical attributes make people to seek for cosmetic surgery. Inside other words, plastic surgery results in dramatic or irregular presentation of people somewhat than presenting people in accordance to their real genome (Scott 1).

Plastic surgery has recently been intensely commercialized to a good extent that it is seen as an extension of the particular beauty industry. A content analysis of advertisements appearing between 1986 and 2007 in large city publications reveals that, “advertisements place surgery as an implies of boosting sex-esteem, and enhancing one’ s sexual attractiveness…” (Hennink-Kaminski and Reichert 41).

Presently there are many television applications and shows in the United States and typically the entire world dedicated to publicizing advances in plastic surgical treatment. Arguing about the increased commercialization of plastic surgery, Scott notes that, “What we come across on the outdoors is not necessarily whatever we are going to get upon the inside, genetically speaking” (1).

The particular physical makeup of men and women takes on a critical role inside the choice and development associated with relationships within circles associated with connected relationships between persons within the society. A problem is raised on regardless of whether the relationships dependent upon people are affected after they will undergo plastic surgery.

It is a social perspective of the issue of ethics in plastic surgery, which comes from the enhancements made on the physical attributes and the maintenance of these characteristics within the social context regarding the society. The effects here is the use of cosmetic surgery provides been extended and will be more common in typically the developed world, with typically the United States leading inside terms of the number of people who undertake plastic surgery for diverse reasons annually.

The effects of engaging in cosmetic surgery are intense, particularly when it comes to the complexities of keeping the physical picture of individuals.

From your innate perspective, the genetic features of an individual continue to be unaltered in most situations, meaning that these characteristics feature in procreation exactly where greater variations between typically the physical attributes of persons and their genetic make-up come out. Arguing regarding the dangers of cosmetic surgery, De Cuyper (30) observed that, “Risks and complications include infections, allergic responses, scarring, fanning, fading, in addition to dissatisfaction about color in addition to shape. ”

Ethical dilemma in plastic material surgery

According to Cain, Cheryl, Bernard in addition to Owen (169), the quantity of girls that go with regard to plastic surgery is much much higher than the particular number of males. “According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, last season, over 90% associated with cosmetic surgery procedures in the U. S. were carried out on women” (Turner 28).

Borrowing through the earlier observation about the change from constructive surgery and emphasis upon cosmetic surgery, it might be argued that the statement is a true reflection of the particular changing landscape in the field of reconstructive surgery.

The even more women continue to adopt cosmetic surgery, the greater the controversies are raised concerning the entire practice and its impacts on the well-being of ladies in the modern society. The controversies revolve about the issue of rights, ethics, and vulnerability. “It is a source of turmoil and controversy globally because the benefit and harm of offering these processes raise concerns about damaging cultural views, education, in addition to social vulnerability of women with regard to both integrity and human rights” (Cain, Cheryl, Bernard and Owen 169).

The particular developments in the discipline of plastic surgery denote the involvement and accept of the practice by the large number of individuals without the possession of complete advice about the real effects of the practice, each positive and negative. This particular is one of the reasons why a lot of experts of the exercise indicate the need for typically the development of principles which will help guide the practice.

People who assent to these practices go through immense procedures that could result in psychological disorders when adequate care is not really embraced by the practitioners (McInnes 169). Whether this particular kind of care can be achieved remains to be the rhetorical question, especially now that research points to a new higher level of need for cosmetic plastic surgery practices as compared to the number of specialists or surgeons.

Also, the issue regarding the capacity of training plus the development of the doctors in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery come out strongly. You can find only a few opportunities that are introduced for training in this kind of field because of the particular needs for working out for these kinds of practices. This, consequently, signifies the continued vacuum between demand and supply regarding care for people undergoing plastic and reconstructive surgery (McInnes et al. 163).

Shute (52) is usually one of the experts who have brought out the immense dangers regarding cosmetic surgery. Through a new psychosocial stance, Shute shows a number of factors that press visitors to cosmetic surgery without an evaluation of the results of the surgical practices in the long-term. In accordance to her, the amount of people who look for for such services in the United States keeps rising. However, the stage of awareness concerning the risks of cosmetic surgery one of the population has remained constant.

This change is quite critical because beauty surgery has immense effects on individuals. Such surgical practices result in the death plus long term health difficulties in some cases. Through an hunt for media information, Turner (22) documents a new number of cases of medical surgery that resulted in the deaths of typically the respective patients.

The majority of the reported deaths inside the cases result coming from the complexities in this article typically the surgeries. While a lot of people possess positive perceptions about beauty surgery, it is evident that this perceptions are greatly shaped by the recommendations that mostly feature within shows on plastic surgical treatment and extreme makeover. This particular makes people keep trying to find the perfection that is portrayed in the tv shows on extreme makeover.

Yet , it is also important to be able to note that a substantial number of people portray negative perception about cosmetic surgical treatment (Shute 52). “…many also fear that shows just like The Swan can be making people unrealistic, both about what surgery can achieve and about the really real perils of going beneath the knife” (Shute 53). The more the quantity of people who seek with regard to perfection rises, the more the number of people who are negatively impacted by cosmetic surgery.

There are a great number of health risks for individuals who undergo cosmetic plastic surgery. “A 2001 survey of doctors found that the loss of life rate from liposuction by yourself was about 2 per 100, 000 procedures” (Shute 53). However, this statement would not apply to folks who undergo multiple medical procedures.

Regarding such people, the risk of death is more than twice. Furthermore, accidental injuries are quite common inside medical facilities that perform not need qualified providers regarding anesthesia. Contrary to the perceptions of most people, cosmetic surgery is simply surgery, meaning that all dangers that are connected with additional forms of surgery may also be inherent in cosmetic surgery (Shute 52).

As observed earlier, the particular nature of practices inside the field of cosmetic surgery keeps changing. Several of the changes of which are being embraced within the industry is typically the reconstruction through the use of chemical compounds, rather that the real surgery. Invasive surgical methods are being minimized through the embrace of non-invasive techniques, including the use of chemicals (Shute 52).

Protection of sufferers

Can your individuals who demand and go for cosmetic surgery become fully protected. This is the question that may be brought up by most researchers who else are exploring the honest basis in reconstructive plus plastic surgery. One of the most important considerations any time it comes to need and supply for plastic-type and reconstructive surgery solutions is the issue of typically the need for such solutions.

It really is obvious that most people search for plastic surgery not out of need, but out of the desire to boost their self-esteem through the improvement of their own physical looks. Yet , it should not be neglected that there are cases of reconstructive surgery that are necessitated by the health issues influencing the patient. Therefore, typically the diversity prevails in conditions of the views on the particular need to protect typically the people who undergo surgery.

Looking at it from the normal lens, people seeking with regard to plastic cosmetic surgery services because regarding the health problems need protection more than the people who seek for these kinds of services for cosmetic reasons. Again, this necessitates typically the debate about the queries of needs and legal rights, particularly when it will be looked at through the point of view of the contemporary modern society where the value of beauty far much supersedes the considerations of dangers associated with the procedures of attaining the preferred beauty (Turner 29).

In accordance with turner (29), there should be a comprehensive assessment of medical services before a decision to be able to use the facilities will be reached. Almost all of the complexities that are witnessed in neuro-scientific aesthetic surgery come from reduced quality services in the given facilities.

Practitioners in the industry should be put in the particular spotlight as more folks continue to travel inside search for cosmetic surgical procedure services. The reason for this is that the requirement is bound to eclipse the capacity, thereby providing a chance for the plastic cosmetic surgeons to lower the caliber of treatment as they seek to be able to fill our nees and make large profits.

A new substantial number of demise from cosmetic surgery outcome from deficiency of acute proper care for the patients, anything that may as well be far beyond typically the control of the plastic cosmetic surgeons because of the expenditures of such care.

In most cases, patients leave the foreign nations around the world when they have not necessarily fully recovered from typically the injuries, a piece that will cause further complications. Therefore , government participation in the control of medical tourism is essential to provide support to their own citizens inside the foreign locations. However, the support and participation of government is not conclusive.

Most scientists are in the opinion that the support of the authorities should focus on authentic patients seeking for reconstructive surgery rather than typically the people seeking for operative services for aesthetic purposes. According to Opel in addition to Wilfond (19), the issue of choice and choice is also critical within plastic surgery, especially when it comes to kids with cognitive disabilities. “The impact of the surgery within the child’s quality regarding life must be well balanced with the risks regarding the proposed procedure” (Opel and Wilfond 19).


It is evident coming from the information presented within this paper that there is usually a deep division amongst scholars with regards to the issue of cosmetic surgery. Most of the variation within opinions comes from the risks and benefit of cosmetic surgery. Also, there is a wide variation of arguments about the characteristics of controls that really need to be imposed around the field of cosmetic surgical treatment because most people create individual choices when it comes to aesthetic surgical procedure.

Individual choices are rights in their own sense, implying that will the risks that accrue from the acceptance plus engagement in cosmetic surgical procedure are acceptable to most people inside the society. Nevertheless, the developments in typically the field, especially the query of risks and typically the increased need the cosmetic surgery services, point out the desire for control plus considerations, as well as the disbursement of a great deal of information so that will people can make decisions based on knowledge somewhat than desire.

Works Cited

Blum, Virginia L. Flesh Wounds: The particular Culture of Cosmetic Surgical procedure . Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, the year 2003. Print.

Cain, Joanna M., Cheryl Iglesia B., Bernard Dickens, and Owen Montgomery. “ Body Enhancement Through Female Vaginal Cosmetic plastic surgery Creates Ethical Plus Rights Dilemmas. ” International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics 122. 2 (2013): 169-172. Print.

De Cuyper, Christa. “ Permanent Makeup: Indications And Complications. ” Clinics In Dermatology 26. 1 (2008): 30-34. Print.

Hennink-Kaminski, Heidi, and Tom Reichert. “ Using Sex Appeals In Advertising To Sell Cosmetic plastic surgery: A Articles Analysis From 1986 To 2007. ” Sexuality & Culture 15. 1 (2011): 41-55. Print.

McInnes, Colin W., Cynthia G. Verchere, Douglas M. Courtemanche, Kevin Bush and Jugpal S. Arneja. “ Reconstructive Or Cosmetic Plastic Surgery? Factors Influencing The particular Type Of Practice Founded By Canadian Plastic Surgeons. ” Canadian Journal of Cosmetic surgery 20. 3 (2012): 163-168. Print.

Michalopoulos, Kostas. “ The particular Effects Of Breast Enhancement Surgery On Future Ability To Lactate. ” Breast Journal 13. 1 (2007): 62-67. Print.

Mousavi, Sayed Roholla. “ The Ethics of Visual Surgery. ” J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 3. one (2010): 38-40. Print.

Opel, Douglas j, and Benjamin s. Wilfond. “ Cosmetic Surgery Within Children With Cognitive Disabilities: Who Benefits? Who Decides? ” Hastings Center Report 39. 1 (2009): 19-21.

Panfilov, Dimitrije E. Cosmetic Surgery Today. Stuttgart: Thieme Medical Publishers, june 2006. Print.

Reconstructive Surgery. Science Museum. In. d. Web. 18 November 2013, <>.

Scott, Kristi. “ Cheating Darwin: The Hereditary And Ethical Implications Regarding Vanity And Cosmetic Cosmetic surgery. ” Record of Evolution & Technologies 20. a couple of (2009): 1-8. Print.

Shute, Nancy. “ Makeover Nation. (Cover Story). ” U. S. News & Globe Report 136. 19 (2004): 52-63. Printing.

Turner, Leigh. “ News Media Reports Of Patient Deaths Following ‘ Medical Tourism’ Regarding Cosmetic Surgery And Bariatric Surgery. ” Establishing World Bioethics 12. 1 (2012): 21-34. Print.


Related Essay Examples