Cosmetic surgery requires evaluation of human features, consideration of their shape and attractiveness, and incorporation of structural changes for the benefit of the bearer. The appearance of each part, however, is very much dependent not only on its anatomy, but its relationship with surrounding features. For example, a large nose diminishes the size of eyes and lips. Reducing nasal width, length, and projection creates an apparent enlargement of the eyes and lips, without touching the eyes or lips. A narrow waist enlarges the breasts, trimming a full neck increases projection of the chin, and liposuction of the flanks enlarges the buttocks. Relativity, that is, the significance of objects depends on their relationship with other objects around them, is obvious everywhere in our universe.
This “Aesthetic Theory of Relativity” must be appreciated when planning treatment. Before embarking on any cosmetic surgery, the effect on surrounding parts must be considered. For example, cheek implants, while they can add angularity or fullness to cheekbones, often create the undesirable appearance of a lower eyelid hollow where there was none before. By pushing the cheeks out, the adjacent eyelids appear more sunken.
In seeking consultation from your plastic surgeon, it’s reasonable to ask about these secondary and perhaps unintended consequences of many procedures.