Forgiveness in Cosmetic Surgery

Many times I have individuals who come to me who are very depressed about a previous cosmetic surgery procedure that they elected to have done.  I can see that for me to help them with anything new that I would first have to help them overcome their previous relationship with their plastic surgeon and what they perceive as a negative outcome.

Plastic Surgery ForgivenessWhat I focus on is the concept of forgiveness.  Many times these patients have a lack of forgiveness toward their previous plastic surgeon due to a perceived bad outcome and/or a bad relationship.  Either way they can’t get over it.  What is also interesting is that the lack of forgiveness needs mainly to be directed at themselves, i.e., many times individuals are simply sad and angry that they did not do sufficient research on the cosmetic surgery procedure or the surgeon to let them be duped resulting in their untoward outcome.  I typically say to the patient that 25% of their forgiveness needs to be directed at their previous plastic surgeon and 75% needs to be directed at themselves.

Without being able to get over a previously bad relationship, there is almost nothing that I can do to “fix it”.  The reason for this is that a patient’s regret almost always clouds his or her judgment to the point that the defect is perceived to be present regardless of whether in fact it is or it is not still there.  Oftentimes a previous problem cannot be entirely corrected but just improved so therefore it is important to emphasize this, because without doing this the patient will never be fully satisfied.  Offering forgiveness to oneself for making a previous mistake and forgiving one’s previous surgeon are the first steps to healing so that a new relationship and new intervention can properly flourish.

Samuel M. Lam, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon in Dallas, Texas, specializing in facial plastic surgery procedures. For more info, or to schedule a consultation please call 972.312.8188. If you would like to ask Dr Lam a question please visit our Plastic Surgery Forum.