What has my job got to do with choosing to have cosmetic treatment?

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Your career prospects are probably the last thing you think of when drawing up that ‘for and against’ list as you consider cosmetic surgery.

Or, more likely, you are thinking how the procedure, whether it’s a smile makeover or breast augmentation, may help to boost both confidence and your job opportunities once the results of the procedure are evident.

However, it is just as important to be aware of the fact that any medical procedure can adversely affect any elements of your job and may prove expensive if it becomes a long-term problem.

Like all medical procedures, cosmetic treatments come with risk, especially if this involves having invasive surgery, and your chosen clinician should advise on all aspects of treatments in relation to you and your health – from pre-op to after care.

As part of your consultation, it is therefore also very important for the clinician to take into account your job – and its perceived value – before any treatment takes place.

Apart from assessing the risk of a particular procedure, a more holistic approach to care dictates that your quality of life, expectations and perceptions must also be considered – and that includes your career and the impact any treatment may have upon it.

Some procedures may carry specific risks for certain jobs – which means that you have a right to know if your lifestyles may be compromised by any side effect of treatment – temporary or permanent.

Delayed healing with boob jobs, for example, will have an impact on those of us with physically demanding jobs.

For the musicians or public speakers among us, teeth straightening can impact on our ability to perform if the braces are not removable.

And if we are to meet the requirements of after care protocols following liposuction, those of us who wear uniforms in our job may need to reconsider timings for surgery or think about how we can best adapt – especially if we do not wish colleagues to know about our surgery!

Any facial aesthetic treatments, likewise, have longer recovery period and we may wish to consider plastic surgery when we have time off from work – such as during the holiday period. Although, this will need to be countered by the need to stay out of the sun after treatment.

Vigorous activity can cause tearing so, if your job involves exercise, then it’s important to realise that your sutures are delicate and time is needed for your body to heal enough so that any jolts and stretches do not cause problems.

The decision to proceed is also not solely yours – and it is not uncommon for reputable surgeons to decline patient their requested procedures if they don’t feel it is the right thing to do in a particular situation.

The outcome of treatment, failure of treatment or avoidable harm can have a general affect or a specific affect.

For example, chronic severe pain, which can arise from some form of nerve disruption, will reduce the quality of life in all patients.

Inflammation can be prolonged and there may be financial loss thanks to an inability to work or do your job satisfactorily.

Therefore, during your initial consultation, your social history should also be noted. This will include details of employment as well as any interests and hobbies that play an important part in your day-to-day life.

The ability to attend for follow up appointments could also affect the success of complex or extensive treatment so you need to thinks seriously about how much time you can dedicate to not only the procedure but to the necessary follow up appointments as well.

There are many jobs in which appearance is important and an altered appearance or, worse still, disfigurement should the procedure go wrong, can either lose a patient a job or severely affect a patient’s confidence in continuing work – particularly if they have to face the public.

More severe are those cases where the outcome of treatment has limited a patient’s functionality in a way that alters their working life e.g. a singer, teacher, model or public speaker.

The vast majority of cases do not impact on a patient’s job but there are occasions when a surgeon needs a clear understanding of your job and its worth and how this may impact on the investigations, treatment planning and the treatment itself.

Remember, no cosmetic treatment should ever be undertaken without you having the opportunity to ask questions, raise any concerns or fears – additionally, it is important that your surgeon understands what your job’s worth and how this may impact on your consent to the procedure, too.
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