Plastic surgery can be qualified as either a want or a need. In the vast majority of cases, it falls into the former category. And if you find yourself wanting plastic surgery, it’s wise to carefully think through every detail of the process, as well as the ramifications of following through.
6 Tips to Work Through
Plastic surgery is a billion-dollar industry with nearly 2 million procedures performed annually. From breast augmentation and liposuction to nose reshaping and tummy tucks, there’s a procedure for virtually every cosmetic “issue.” But before you go under the knife, here are a few suggestions:
- Explore the Why
Why – specifically – do you want a procedure? Are you trying to balance out features, cover up a scar, or improve your health? Plastic surgery isn’t always a cure for low self-esteem or body confidence. Unless you’re honest with yourself, you might find it difficult to make a smart decision.
- Consider Alternatives
After exploring the “why,” you can then consider alternative options. Plastic surgery is considered the last resort. If you’re thinking about liposuction, for example, you should start by exercising and eating healthy. You might find that losing weight naturally is a better and more sustainable option.
- Think Through the Risks
Not every plastic surgery procedure is a success. While an experienced surgeon will have a very high success rate for basic procedures like breast augmentations and tummy tucks, there’s always the chance for complications.
Research the risks ahead of time and carefully weigh each one. Consider the worst-case scenario and whether the benefits outweigh these possible risks.
- Find the Right Surgeon
There are a lot of plastic surgeons. There are only a few that you should trust with your body. As you explore the possibility of plastic surgery, make a shortlist of surgeons and carefully vet each option. This means studying their education, training, and credentials.
“Following four years of medical school, plastic surgeons should complete at least five years of surgical training. At least two of those years should focus exclusively on plastic surgery,” InMyArea explains. “Plastic surgeons may first complete a residency in another surgical field and then train for several years in plastic surgery, or they may enter a six-year plastic surgery residency after graduating from medical school.”
Confirm that your surgeon has the right education and training requirements. Then you can review some of their past procedures and find testimonials and referrals to vouch for the work they do. If you ever feel uncomfortable, cross the surgeon off your list and find someone else.
- Think Practically
Plastic surgery can sound great in the big picture, but zoom in and look at your schedule. Is this the right season of your life to invest in a procedure?
“Depending on your procedure, you may need days or even weeks to recover,” Dr. Millicent Odunze explains. “You will need the time off to recover after your procedure. And it isn’t just the initial aches, pains, and bruising, that you will experience, but after those have faded you may still have restrictions ordered by your plastic surgeon.”
It may be best to schedule your procedure around a particularly slow part of the year. This will give you room to recover at your own speed.
- Give it Time
Patience will serve you well. To prevent yourself from making a rash decision, put some time in between when you choose to get plastic surgery and when the procedure is performed. A waiting period of at least six to twelve weeks is recommended. This will prevent an emotional decision and provide plenty of space to weigh the pros and cons.
Make a Smart Choice
As flippantly as Hollywood stars discuss it, plastic surgery isn’t something to take lightly. You’re altering your body’s natural appearance and creating what is, for all intents and purposes, a permanent change. Sometimes there’s a need for plastic surgery, while other times there isn’t.
By doing your own research and working through some of the details of your situation, you can be sure you make a smart choice that you’ll be satisfied with for years to come.