The majority of our patients are healthy individuals. From a physical standpoint they try to watch what they eat and exercise regularly. From an emotional standpoint they feel good about themselves but have one or two areas they would like to improve beyond what a healthy lifestyle can do. Some patients may have one or two medical problems for which they take medication.
Let me start by saying that the decision to undergo plastic surgery is not as simple as checking a few boxes on a list and then you are ready to go. After some years of doing this, I have learned that each patient is unique. Weather it is breast augmentation, liposuction or a tummy tuck, each patient has their own reasons for coming to see me as well as their own set of questions, concerns and limitations.
With that said, I would like to provide a short list of five questions that may help guide your decision. There are no universally right answers to these question, they are merely a guide to help your decision.
5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE PLASTIC OR COSMETIC SURGERY:
1) What is my reason or motivation for this surgery?
The # 1 reason to undergo plastic or cosmetic surgery is to improve your self-image, or the way you feel about yourself. It’s very important to be honest with yourself about why you want to correct a certain part of your body. You may be doing it for reconstructive purposes, either because of congenital defect or something that developed as a result of trauma or injury. Or, you may be doing it to slow the aging process.
Cosmetic surgery is a significant investment in time, effort, and emotion. Take a minute to assess why you really want cosmetic surgery, and whether you have realistic expectations. It is unwise to expect that cosmetic surgery can cure a troubled marriage, significantly improve one’s success in the job market, or reinstate one’s youth. Instead, you should set your expectations on the way you feel about yourself and the impact that a physical change could have on that feeling.
2) Do I have any general health problems that need to be discussed?
You may be a poor candidate for plastic surgery if you have any of the following health problems:
- Heart Disease Lung Disease
- Diabetes Obesity
- Hypertension A bleeding disorder
- Severe allergies Elevated cholesterol
- Autoimmune disease Emotional instability
This list is not all inclusive. However, if you should suffer from any of these health problems you could face a higher rate of complications. Some of these complications include infection, improper wound healing, bleeding, and difficulties with anesthesia.
Also, if you smoke or drink alcohol excessively you could also face some of these same risks. For this reason, I insist that smokers quit for four weeks before surgery. They must also remain smoke-free for four weeks after surgery. This allows the body to heal properly.
Prior to your visit, please take the time to fill out the health history form on our website which will help guide us through many of these areas of concern.
3) What is my Lifestyle?
You are a good candidate for plastic surgery if you have a healthy lifestyle, and understand the risks and limitations of cosmetic surgery. This means:
- You’re not overweight
- You get regular exercise
- You don’t smoke
- You’re emotionally stable
- You have family and friends who can provide support
- You can limit your alcohol and caffeine intake
- You accept the disadvantages of cosmetic surgery
– cost, inconvenience, discomfort, and medical risk
4) Am I well informed, do I understand the risks and limitations of surgery?
In this age of the internet, information overload is more of a problem then lack of information. The difficulty for the consumer is to determine what is fact, what is opinion, what is marketing!
Accumulated information from all sources, internet, media and advertisements, is helpful, but also can be confusing. Articles written by “an expert” can be factual, but unfortunately, many slant and distort information to create greater interest and more impact and appeal. Also, many publications exist simply to sell advertising and have editorial policies that allow paid advertisements that appear to be real articles. This type of publication, usually distributed free of charge, provides apparent endorsement of a surgeon, and can mislead, confuse and often promise the impossible.
Here are a few good sources of information that might help you find a few answers.
Again, the best option is to contact us to schedule an appointment with a board certified surgeon to discuss your best options. It often takes more than one visit with your surgeon and several phone calls with our qualified staff to feel comfortable with your decision to undergo cosmetic surgery.
5) Can I afford this Surgery?
With the struggling economy, many people have found that money is tight these days. One of the more common questions we get from patients is whether or not they can afford cosmetic surgery. We do not offer in-house financing, but we do use major loan companies: CareCredit and SurgeryLoans.com to assist you in your financial planning.
After your initial consultation, your nurse will discuss with you a financial plan for your surgery. Included in this plan are facility fees, anesthesia fees, implant and/or garment fees, pre- and post-operative care and a surgeon fee. You still need to be realistic with yourself and your finances. Often there may be a less costly alternative to reach your goals. For instance, liposuction vs tummy tuck or Botox and fillers vs a facelift.
If you’re not sure whether or not you’re a good candidate for a procedure, it never hurts to ask. The best thing you can do is e-mail us to schedule a consultation and talk to an expert.