This piece was written by Dr Anh Nguyen, a Nedlands, Perth based Plastic Surgeon. You can contact Dr Anh Nguyen on (08) 6555 3480 or visit her website here.
It is not uncommon that women come to see me requesting a procedure for the benefit of someone else. A woman came to me hoping that having breast implants would improve her sex life. (A recent study does offer some support to this statement but a breast augmentation cannot guarantee this!) Another lady wanted a labioplasty because she was concerned her partner would be repulsed by her private parts. One patient believed her nose was the reason she could not find a partner and that having a rhinoplasty would enable her to find a husband. A young, slim, beautiful girl wanted her thighs reduced so they did not meet when she stood with her legs together. The reason for this request was to increase her attractiveness to her soon-to-be husband when he sees her nude for the first time.
My response to all of these requests is an honest, personal and professional opinion – cosmetic surgery should not be performed with unrealistic expectations. A breast enlargement may not necessarily improve your sex life. The appearance of your labia will not necessarily change your partner’s sexual attraction to you. A rhinoplasty will not guarantee a husband. A thigh reduction will not necessarily change how your partner will view you or improve your relationship. It may improve the appearance and perhaps function of an intimate part of your body and may help you feel better but it needs to be considered for the right reasons. Undergoing cosmetic surgery for the wrong reasons will lead to disappointment.
Cosmetic surgery is invasive and is not without risks and potential complications. These risks have to be outweighed by the perceived benefits, and the benefits should be for the patient – a cosmetic improvement, functional gain, a better quality of life, a confidence and self-esteem boost and so on. Having cosmetic surgery to please someone else is fraught with danger as the person you are having surgery for, may not notice a difference, may not understand why you are having surgery and sadly but occasionally true, may not even care.
There are lots of fine details that may go unnoticed to many men. We may come home with a new hair-cut and colour and the children notice before our husband. We may go to extraordinary lengths to dress up for a date and wear a new dress and our partners look dumbfounded when we ask them if they notice anything new or different. Sound familiar?
I do not believe that men notice our slight imperfections or variations of normality, to the same degree that we do and may be fixated on. Most men certainly do not often sit and analyse every body part of their partners in as much detail as we do. Men who love us and are attracted to us still adore us and find us sexy because of who we are as a woman – our warmth, charm, ability to laugh at their jokes, our smile, the attention we give them (and the kids), our confidence, rather than as a body with certain physical features. Sure, men want us to look good, but they do not tend to obsess anywhere near as much as we do.
Next time you feel like your nose could be more shapely or your tummy could be flatter or your breasts could be perkier, consider the possibilities of how these changes can improve YOUR life, self-esteem and body confidence – because that it is far more important than what someone else thinks.
Dr Anh Nguyen is a leading female plastic surgeon in Nedlands, Perth, and qualified to perform a range of female cosmetic surgery procedures in Perth - including rhinoplasty, breast enlargement and breast reduction. To find out more about these treatments and how much time you'll need to take off work following surgery, call 08 6555 3480.