There were more than 15 million plastic surgery procedures completed in 2020. For some patients, the goal was to address a functional issue. The majority of people have this type of surgery purely for aesthetic reasons. Plastic surgery can help address a wide range of aesthetic concerns ranging from small breasts to stubborn abdominal fat and facial wrinkles. Whatever your goal, there is a long list of procedures to choose from.
If you are considering (or preparing to have) plastic surgery, this article highlights a few questions to ask yourself.
Are you healthy?
You need to be physically and emotionally healthy before a board-certified will agree to perform this surgery on you. In some cases, you’ll be asked to wait until you are close to your ideal weight before you can undergo aesthetic surgery. Patients who are smokers are asked to quit at least four weeks before the date of the surgery. If you cannot keep with these and other health requirements, then plastic surgery may not be for you.
What issue are you looking to address?
Plastic surgery is highly individualized by nature. The happiest patients tend to be those who are looking to address a specific issue in order to normalize their bodies. For example, if you have a crooked nose, then you’ll need rhinoplasty to enhance the proportionality of your nose to the rest of your face. If you have overly large breasts that cause discomfort, then that’s a good reason to have breast reduction surgery. If you are choosing to have plastic surgery for purely aesthetic reasons, then you need to carefully reassess your decision so you are certain about it before you go in for the procedure.
What are your expectations?
It is not uncommon for patients to undergo cosmetic surgery only to regret this decision and pursue a revision procedure. In some cases, satisfaction from a cosmetic procedure may result from choosing (and working) with an incompetent surgeon. But often, this stems from not having a clear understanding of what you can expect from the surgery. Make sure to clearly convey your expectations to your plastic surgeon so they can create a surgical strategy that will attain those results. If you are not very certain about the improvements you desire to have, then this may not be the time to pursue cosmetic surgery.
Have you tried other alternatives?
In some cases, alternatives exist and plastic surgery should only be used as a measure of last resort. Patients who need to tone their abdomen may benefit from lifestyle adjustments such as diet and exercise. Similarly, those who wish to enhance the appearance of their face could try out minimally invasive treatments such as BOTOX or soft tissue fillers before going for invasive facelift surgery. Knowing what options are available will help you make the most informed decision.
Do you understand the risks?
Like all other surgeries, plastic surgery comes with its own share of risks – some of which could result in devastating outcomes. You could have an infection, excessive bleeding, or blood clots following aesthetic surgery. Scarring is another common side effect resulting from these procedures. While working with a seasoned plastic surgeon and taking care of yourself during the recovery process can help, it is important to be aware of what risks exist with each specific procedure. This will help you evaluate the pros of cons of undergoing the surgery in the first place.
Have you done your homework?
You are not ready for any plastic surgery procedure if you have not done thorough research on it. Start by understanding what the procedure entails and how it is performed. Learn whether the procedure is covered by health insurance and how much you need to pay (out of pocket) if not. Immerse yourself in the recovery process to understand what you can expect (and how to take care of yourself so you can ensure a better outcome). Last but not least, carefully research your area or state to identify the most skilled plastic surgeon for the job.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to figure out whether you need plastic surgery in the first place. Just do your homework and the answers will fall into place!