Ok, so I worked in surgery for over a decade and have always been a cheerleader for it. Now that I've gone under the knife my ownself for the first time and ended up with a big 'ol non-healing hole in mah boob, I'm getting texts from friends asking if I'm rethinking my position on surgery or if they should.
Here's where I stand: surgery is awesome, is often the only comprehensive solution to a problem in the body, AND it's got to be the last resort. There are risks and it's invasive, and there's always a process of healing, so good surgeons only operate when other less invasive and risky options have been exhausted. As a patient, sometimes that feels frustrating, as you've been through months or years of symptoms and are ready for a final solution instead of ONE more injection or SIX more weeks of physical therapy, or whatever. Still. good surgeons only cut when they have to. Take out the badness, put you back together. Move on.
In my case, I haven't moved on, because my surgical wounds haven't healed. BUT it's still been worth it. I've had years of back/should/neck pain that wasn't fixed with PT, massage, acupuncture, or exercise- it was really messing with my mind and my functional body. Taking the weight of my boobs with a breast reduction was the solution- and it did solve it. I don't have that pain anymore. My outcome was achieved. I'm annoyed at how poorly my incisions are healing, but my outcome for my spine was achieved- I haven't had a headache in eight weeks. That's like a miracle.
So, if you have a body issue that can be solved by not getting cut open- cool, do that, but if you need surgery, do that. Obviously, do your diligence, find a surgeon you trust at a reputable facility, make sure that you fully comprehend what every aspect of the procedure and recovery might look like, be clear that everyone is informed on your health history and on unique risks you might have, and attempt to optimize your health so you recover quickly...but then don't be afraid to undergo surgery just because sometimes (rarely) shit goes sideways.
If you have a tumor that needs to come out, a joint that's causing you to miss out on life, or a hernia or gall bladder or cyst or something that could go bad and put you in a world of hurt, have the surgery to fix it before it does. It's the right call. Me and my gaping boob hole and muscle spasm-free back all agree.
Actual picture of me having my surgery.