Telling friends and family members about having cosmetic surgery is a very personal decision. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to talking about your surgery experience. There are, however, helpful tips for telling a parent, spouse, friend or colleague that you’re finally having the cosmetic surgery procedure you’ve long been wanting. (If you want to know about the PROS and CONS of telling your colleagues, or if you can use your sick leave to have cosmetic surgery, then click here).
Telling Friends About Having Cosmetic Surgery: Yes or No?
- In the distant past, having plastic surgery – especially a facelift or a Rhinoplasty – was something done in secret.
- Even your closest friends were left out of loop.
- Some people even tried to hide it from their partners.
But it’s different today.
People are more open to reveal they had plastic surgery or cosmetic treatments today.
Most people are confident enough in their decision-making to be:
- open about what they’ve chosen
- willing to discuss the WHYS
- not afraid to show their images on social media (mostly, the after photos)
Plus, with celebrities and top social media “influencers” leading the way in talking about their surgical enhancements, it’s no longer taboo to share what you’ve had done.
There ARE, however, some polarising public opinions you should be aware of. Cultural ideals VARY from person to person about whether or not cosmetic surgery is the best option for certain individuals, or if people are not taking surgery seriously enough.
We are all for patients getting better educated and understanding processes, recovery times and cosmetic surgery risks.
Yet despite varying social acceptance rates of having surgery to improve your looks, cosmetic surgery research suggests that confidence and quality of life – DOES improve for many patients who’ve had plastic surgery.
- Not all patients FEEL a lot better about themselves after surgery, but a large percentage, state they DO.
- The key is a good result from surgery to (a) maintain your ideal weight, (b) have your head in the right space, and (c) stay realistic about what surgery CAN – and CAN’T – accomplish. You’ll also need to ensure (d) that you follow all advice from your surgical team.
But cosmetic surgery results CAN vary. Plus, what you START with, matters. So keep it real!
- Be sure you also WEAR the recommended garments after surgery
- Maintain a stable body weight with a healthy BMI
- Never, ever smoke (anything) or overuse substances
- Follow the post-op healing instructions precisely
All of these items can impact your results, so it pays to get them right.
Does plastic surgery really improve confidence? Yes or No?
- As above, outcomes such as quality of life improvements and satisfaction rates DO vary from patient to patient.
- For many patients, yes, it does. But not for all.
- Unrelated life events, body weight struggles, relationship concerns or emotional issues can leave you feeling less thrilled than you thought you’d be after surgery.
On the other hand, the results of a tummy tuck, skin reduction procedure, breast augmentation or breast lift, eyelid surgery or breast reduction CAN, for some patients, improve confidence, restoring aesthetic body contours or previously lost physiques.
Cosmetic Surgery and Restorative Plastic Surgery can help get individuals back on the road of being able to exercise properly again.
Cases in point: reducing heavy breasts with reduction surgery and liposuction, reducing sagging skin folds after weight loss, restoring the breast nipples/aerolas to where they were before breastfeeding with a breast lift, and repairing split abdominal muscles after pregnancy, not only LOOKS better – BUT often helps a person return to the exercises or sports they love. It is very motivating for many patients who simply couldn’t get rid of bulges, or lift weights or do pilates, due to injuries to the abs.
You can’t do pilates or core ab strengthening exercises properly, if your abs were split from pregnancy! And if your breasts are heavy and pendulous, how can you possibly ever jog or do yoga and other sports you love?
More on Why confidence is potentially improved after having surgery
Confidence appears to increase because people tend to FEEL better about how they look. Many prior surgery patients also feel more competitive in the job market and on dating sites.
- But other people want to keep their surgery a secret, telling only one close friend or a supportive partner – or sometimes, just their Surgeon and post-surgery support team.
It’s very much a personal decision.
Overall, though, we find that a number of people are extremely OPEN telling other people about having elective cosmetic surgery or reconstructive plastic surgery.
Keeping Plastic Surgery a Secret is harder in modern times.
Whether you want to tell no one – or just your closest friends – having smart phones and tables does increase the likelihood of others finding out, anyway.
It’s normal human nature to want to SHARE information with others, even if we temporarily forget we’re supposed to keep it secret.
(So ONLY tell friends you REALLY know can keep it secret, unless you really don’t mind who knows.)
Plus, we live in a digital age where NEWS travels at lightning speeds.
With everyone connected to everyone else thanks to the internet and social media, it may actually be harder to KEEP having plastic surgery a secret, even if you wanted to.
- IF you have facial surgery such as a Nose Job or Facelift
- OR wear something that reveals a surgery incision line (scar)
- THEN it may be harder to keep your surgery a total secret, even if you were so inclined.
The exceptions include some breast surgery, liposuction and Eyelid Lift (Blepharoplasty) surgery, the latter of which – done properly by an eyelid surgery expert such as Dr Benjamin Burt – can leave you looking refreshed and rested, but not ‘over done’ or ‘pulled.’
“Will everyone know I’ve had Cosmetic Surgery, even if I DON’T tell anyone?” is a frequently heard question.
Remember, if you post your story online because your’e happy with your surgery results, everyone might know, even if you later delete your photos. Read the PROS and CONS of posting your cosmetic surgery photos on Instagram or Facebook.
Good surgery looks natural, so not everyone will be able to tell you’ve had plastic surgery of your breasts, body, eyelids or face.
But there may be telltale signs, such as a scar, or a more ample cleavage than you had before, or a smoother jawline if you’ve had a facelift and/or double chin injections to reduce your chin fat.
Good cosmetic & plastic surgery results DO look natural, in our opinion.
You’re Surgeon’s skills are very important in getting a good result.
There are also other factors to consider if you want a more natural looking result, such as a natural looking breast augmentation or breast lift.
- How much skin and fat you have WILL tend to impact what your breast surgery results WILL look like.
There are also scars, although we do offer a Transaxillary (Armpit) Approach to inserting breast implants for first-time breast augmentations.
Sometimes fat grafting or fat transfer to breasts – using liposuction – can increase the naturalness of a breast augmentation procedure.
Some thin people wanting implants may also benefit from extra fat grafting or transfer methods to breasts (using liposuction).
- It’s unlikely everyone will be able to tell you’ve had surgery, but it DOES depend on the procedure, where it is on the body, and what you wear.
- Results also depend on your body fat levels, your skin health, your scar formation tendencies and, for breast augmentation, the breast implant size and natural tissue distribution.
So…can you or can’t you HIDE the fact you’ve had surgery – and which friends should you tell?
There are many factors that lead to visible tell-tale signs of surgery, some you can minimise, and some you can’t.
- It often looks more natural, for example, if you choose the right size implants for your body frame for your breast augmentation, rather than the overly large ‘gold coast’ or ‘bondi’ look style of breast implants.
- But some traces of having surgery are visible and some are less so; and each person can vary on how they heal (or scar).
- And YES, your closest friends or partner may be able to guess, even if you don’t tell them; particularly if they know you – and your body – extremely well.
Again, surgery DOES leave visible incision line marks, especially if you have an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck). Just ask us how we minimise them as we use state of the art technology to minimise your scarring.
Your surgery scars MAY be visible to everyone, especially in swimsuit season – or for facial surgery, eyelid lift surgery and nose surgery. But if you aim for natural, not everyone will know.
Unless, of course, you share EVERYTHING about your cosmetic surgery on social media, or try to use sick leave for cosmetic surgery.
So choose wisely – choose both your SURGEON and your SOCIAL MEDIA PHOTO POSTING habits carefully. And give a lot of thought to WHICH friends you’ll fill in on what you’re having done.
We suggest you AIM for tasteful photos if you DO share your experiences online. Think about the distant future.
Most importantly, DON’T risk revealing a botched cosmetic surgery result by CHOOSING the wrong TYPE of Doctor to operate.
Genuine Plastic Surgeons have extensive training and experience – look for FRACS plus ASPS/ASAPS and ISAPS.
Because your results ARE going to be on display, whether others are aware that you had surgical enhancements or cosmetic injections (or not), DO choose a reputable, highly respected Surgeon and Clinic who takes pride in the quality of their results.
- Choose a Plastic Surgeon who is dedicated to Best Practice Care and custom surgical planning, not a discount one-surgery-size-fits-all ‘production line shop’
- Ask your Specialist if they also include post-op Garments and Scar minimisation treatments, as these improve your results
- For example, there’s Healite II, Dermapen or lasers to reduce the visibility of the incision lines – these can really help reduce your incision line marks or scars.
Choose wisely, because you WON’T want to end up feeling embarrassed about your choice of Surgeon, if you get a very botched result.
- A holiday surgery experience might SOUND good, but it’s very risky for many reasons. Be sure to read our blogs about avoiding botched cosmetic surgery and the dangers of medical tourism.
- Also be wary of falling for misleading advertising promoted by discounted breast surgery doctors who perform ‘breast augmentation‘ or liposuction, but who DO NOT actually have the right qualifications to be recognised as a Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
- Many are just GPs or Skin Doctors, not FRACS (they haven’t necessarily undertaken the rigorous training or surgical exams of a genuine Plastic Surgeon).
We have GENUINE FRACS specialists at our Melbourne Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery practice.
We also have a leading eyelid reduction surgeon for brows and eyelid rejuvenation, Dr Benjamin Burt (FRANZCO/FACS).
So DO aim to choose a genuine, APHRA recognised Specialist Plastic Surgeon, who genuinely has FRACS (Plastic) status and hospital operating rights. You can check with AHPRA; they should also, ideally, hold current memberships with ASAPS/ISAPS and/or ASPS (or FACS).
- A FRACS (Plastic) Surgeon will often have more advanced training and experience than your average GP or Dermatologist (skin doctor) who didn’t study or qualify as a Specialist in Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery.
- The term Cosmetic Surgeon is NOT protected, and can mean just about anything.
Remember, Cosmetic Surgeons and Plastic Surgeons are not the same.
- Because most consumers are confused about the different types of doctors who perform surgery, Australian governments and Medical boards are trying to help warn patients to overcome confusion that exists about different types of doctors who perform ‘cosmetic surgery’ – particularly those who call themselves a ‘cosmetic surgeon’ but who are NOT Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgeons.
- Many doctors offering Cosmetic Surgery or discount breast augmentation procedures are actually NOT genuine Plastic Surgeons.
- Many also do NOT hold operating privileges in Australian hospitals (they can typically ONLY perform back room surgery, often under Twilight Anaesthesia – ‘awake’ surgery…but how frightening for something as extensive as Liposuction or a Breast Reduction?!).
The term Plastic Surgeon can only used by people who have passed rigorous examinations after approximately 14 years of training. This type of Surgeon has often made cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery their life’s work. They didn’t just get a basic medical degree or study something else, and then start operating.
Find out more by requesting our GUIDES to Cosmetic Surgery including how to conduct research into cosmetic plastic surgery OR phone our Patient Care Teams on (03) 8849 1444.
So…should I tell my colleagues about having plastic surgery? My friends? My Instagram followers?
There is NO one best answer.
Everyone needs to make their own decision. It’s entirely up to YOU who you tell and who you don’t. However, we’re going to point out a few PROS and CONS of telling others about having surgery.
- We also suggest you make the decision a considered one, rather than a spontaneous one.
- And feel free to leave a comment about your OWN experiences telling others about having plastic surgery.
Social norms have changed drastically about sharing surgery experiences, online. Talking about having cosmetic surgery is increasingly common, with many individuals adding their personal stories to online forums or digital reviews.
Before telling others about having cosmetic surgery, recognise there are essentially 3 different ways to do so, if you’re so inclined.
- GOING GLOBAL: announcing it to the world using social media platforms and photo sharing, such as Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook
- Unless you really are happy for everyone in the world to know, consider the potential consequences of your surgery results coming up in a search by a future employer – we suggest being very tasteful in what you post.
- Even if you have a FRIENDS ONLY privacy setting on your social media accounts, recognise that anything you post COULD be downloadable or shareable, and that posts can stay online for an indefinite period of time, even if you delete them;
- You could discuss your experiences online in a forum using an ALIAS to hide your identity, but even so, privacy might not be guaranteed in digital spaces.
Who tends to post everything online, including BEFORE and AFTER photos:
Social Media Influencers, Celebrities with stories, and individuals who are extremely body proud after having surgery and who want the world to know. For some, it’s like a status symbol, for others, a way to get attention; and for many, it’s how they choose to share their results so that others have greater insight into which Surgeon they might choose.
- TELLING FRIENDS & FAMILY ONLY: telling your closest friends, your partner and/or spouse
- You could tell your friends or partner, verbally and in person, without sending before or after photos or other texts which could be shared, always a risk if a friend becomes a ‘frenemy’;
- If you’re suddenly out of action for a few weeks while you heal, or can’t attend gym class for six weeks, friends are also likely to wonder why – and ask you directly – anyway.
- Friends can also be a huge support during your healing and recovery period, if they are on board with your decision making and supportive.
- SHARING WITH COLLEAGUES: telling your work colleagues and/or your Manager WHY you’re taking time away from work
- You will need to let your manager know that you need time off, in advance (this usually requires a LEAVE form).
- If you’re having functional surgery, rather than purely cosmetic (e.g., Eyelid surgery to reduce ptotic eyelids that interfere with vision, OR repair of torn ABS after pregnancy), you MAY be able to ask for SICK LEAVE – as well as ANNUAL LEAVE if needed
- But for cosmetic surgery, your SICK LEAVE is usually not applicable – check your Organisational Policy or ask your Manager.
- Plus – if you use a SICK LEAVE form, although it doesn’t say the Clinic Name or what surgery you’ve had, someone at the office could – theoretically – recognise the type of Surgeon (or look it up), but if they then tell others, it’s a major breach of privacy.
- Read our blog on sick leave forms and cosmetic surgery.
Of course, if some of your work mates are also connected with you on your Facebook, Instagram or YouTube account, OR are Friends of Friends, they could STILL find out you’ve had cosmetic plastic surgery.
And if you tell ONE person in your office, or ONE friend who has a wider circle, recognise the news is likely going to get out across your social networks anyway. Often, the news travels inadvertently, when a friend asks another friend of theirs if they know a good Breast Surgeon or Facelift and Eyelid Surgeon.
It just happens.
And of course, if you’re discussing your experiences on the phone while commuting on a public train, tram or bus – well, who KNOWS who will hear you and what they’ll discover – or who they might know?
Remember…it’s a small world.
Small world, big surgery sharing radius.
Here is why surgery sharing trends about cosmetic procedures HAVE risen in recent years:
- Celebrity Trends – we don’t even need to say the “K” word
- Online Forums – patients want to hear from OTHER patients, not Doctors
- Phones – it’s too easy to take and upload PHOTOS & VIDEOS these days – who can resist a selfie?
And there’s no holds barred, from talking about a labiaplasty, vaginal laser treatment or a tummy tuck, to fully revealing ones new upper body curves after a breast augmentation, reduction or breast lift.
But again, talking about Surgery really a PERSONAL choice, and a PERSONAL decision.
So in summary, it really is a very PERSONAL DECISION as to who you tell, and what you share, when you’re having surgery.
Although there HAS been a marked increase in people openly discussing their cosmetic surgery experiences AND sharing their photos and their thoughts, that doesn’t mean you need to follow suit.
Do what’s right for you.