Yes, I have seen this quite often. It is mainly due to the wrong notions that I have mentioned before. The relatives are usually not as well informed as the person who is searching for a remedy for his or her problem.
As part of our work, a Plastic Surgeon has an obligation to society to create awareness among general public that
- The latter (restoring beauty from abnormal to normal) need is socially & medically justified,
- Corrective surgery can be done safely by using scientific methods, so long as the person's expectations are reasonable.
- Treatment for these problems are accessible & affordable.
- While the former may be medically risky, the latter can usually be done safely by sticking to scientific methods.
I shall give 2 examples to illustrate the difference between cosmetic problems that are medically/socially justified and when they are not.
Consider an adult, male or female, with a deviated nose; at one end is a minor tip deviation/enlargement and the other side is a similar person with gross deviation of the entire nose resulting in difficulty in breathing & nasal blockage. The former problem may not be appreciated by everyone, the latter nobody can deny. Attempt to do the surgery in the former has a higher risk of complications, the latter has lesser risks. Successful surgery and a satisfied patient are very likely in the latter-provided a trained surgeon does the job; in the former case, there is very high chance of post-operative problem and unhappy patient-even in the hands of a qualified surgeon.
Another common issue among ladies is a loose/sagging breast. Loss of a normal condition due to sagging or enlargement is a major psychological blow for a modern lady, which a male partner or even a lady from the older generation may not appreciate. Very often, the breast size problem can be socially embarrassing and even lead to strap marks, shoulder & neck arthritis. (joint problems). Safe, smooth correction of these problems by surgery is extremely gratifying.
Once family members realize this, they are very supportive.