Our business is the business of helping people look good, and as a result, feel good. But most of the time it is necessary to take a step back and consider what is motivating a patient to opt for treatment: are they unhappy with their appearance? Do they want a lesion corrected? Is it a simple case of hair reduction? Or is it revenge?

You read correctly: revenge. An interesting new trend among patients seeking aesthetic plastic surgery procedures is the motivation of revenge, particularly among divorcees wanting to ‘get back’ at their ex-partners. It is also common among divorcees who wish to freshen their looks now that they are single, and those who wanted surgery previously but their partner disapproved.

Of course, an aesthetic procedure can certainly boost confidence and give a new lease of life, but the decision to go under the knife should never be entered into lightly.

According to a report by CNN Health (Getting Back At Your Ex—By Getting Surgery), which uncovered this trend for revenge, it is estimated that 20% of female patients in the US have recently undergone a divorce, which may suggest that their reason for undergoing plastic surgery is because they want to show their ex what he was missing.

Similarly, in the UK, the Transform Plastic Surgery Group reported that 26% of their plastic surgery patients are recently-divorced women, and 11% are recently divorced men. Gone, it seems, are the days in which a new hairdo or manicure would suffice.

But when I think about relationships and the modern pampering session, it does make sense that this would become a trend. During a relationship—and certainly when you’re in love— it is common for both partners to pile on the pounds and relax a previously high-maintenance routine, as they are comfortable and happy. So when that changes, it is natural to want to boost one’s confidence and make a change. Ten years ago, that may have been with a trip to a day spa, a new hobby, or a lifestyle change, but now it seems that as aesthetic treatments have become a central part of our culture and more accessible, this is the new haircut.

However, this doesn’t mean that aesthetic practitioners should blindly bow to the patient’s wishes. It is essential to offer a full consultation and dig deep to discover the driving force for a patient’s motivation to undergo treatment—is their decision for themselves, or for someone else?