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    The Psychological Risks in Cosmetic Surgery

    Recently, on the Huffington Post Living website, there was an excellent article by Dr. Vivian Diller, a clinical psychologist.  The title was, “A New Face: What are the Psychological Risks?

    Dr. Diller has long been a good student of beauty and self image, so she is well-qualified to comment on what is a very important consideration before a patient should request, and a doctor should agree to, an elective cosmetic procedure.

    As in all diagnostic sessions, Dr. Diller recommends gathering as much information as possible, beginning with the patient’s motivation.  She conducts what she calls, “exploring.”  It is important to know more about the patient’s desire.  Particularly, as Dr. Diller mentions, “Cosmetic changes may seem superficial, but they are permanent, can have far-reaching emotional consequences, and deserve careful examination.”  Amen.

    I will not belabor some of the particular points that she makes.  Please read the article. I think it is well worth reviewing.

    Anyone considering cosmetic surgery has to look at all issues, beginning with what the patient expects the surgery to achieve. And is it affordable?  After all, it is a luxury.

    I should mention Dr. Diller’s book, Face It:  What Women Really Feel as Their Looks Change. I was not aware of the book, but it looks very worthwhile.  I will make it my business to read it and pass on to you what I glean from the book.

    - Robert Kotler, MD, FACS

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