Plastic surgery allows you to change and improve your appearance, whether you want a facelift, browlift, breast lift, tummy tuck, blepharoplasty or, other cosmetic enhancement. Remember that while plastic surgery can be life-changing, it is permanent. Do your research carefully and be sure to select a surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

1. Why Am I Considering Plastic Surgery?

The motivation behind making facial or bodily changes is different for everyone. So, what is driving your desire for cosmetic surgery? Is it because you’re not happy with your appearance? Perhaps your blouse won’t button because your breasts are too big and you’re considering breast reduction? Maybe your breasts are an issue after pregnancy, and you would benefit from a breast lift? Did your friend have a mommy makeover, and now you feel left out? Or are you eager for a facelift or eyelid surgery to look like you did when you were younger? Whatever your reason for considering plastic surgery, be sure you are doing it for yourself, not for anyone else!

2. Am I Healthy Enough to Undergo the Procedure?

Because the body needs to heal properly, you must be healthy to be an eligible candidate for plastic surgery. You also should be a nonsmoker, at a stable, healthy weight, and not pregnant. Other surgery barriers include high blood pressure, drug addiction, a history of problems with anesthesia, and prior healing issues. Your surgeon will go over your medical history as part of an evaluation. It is essential to disclose any medical conditions you have or medications you’re taking. Your surgeon will decide if plastic surgery is safe for you based on your answers to these questions.

3. What Does the Procedure Involve?

According to Zenn Plastic Surgery, “Cosmetic surgery procedures vary in difficulty, technique, and healing time. A facelift, for example, is a more complex and challenging surgery than, say, liposuction. The method and the surgeon can make a significant difference in the results you want vs. the results you receive.” 

Try and learn more about the specific surgery you’re undergoing, the risks involved, and recovery time when you’re considering plastic surgery. It can take days, weeks, or months to heal, depending on how extensive the surgery is. Knowing what to expect helps you determine if you need to take leave from work. You may also need to arrange for a family member to care for you or your children during recovery. Your plastic surgeon will create and go over post-surgery details in advance. 

4. Is There an Alternative Solution?

When considering plastic surgery, think of non-surgical cosmetic alternatives to the surgery you are planning on. Advancement in aesthetic treatments allows women and men to opt for incision-free options. For example, Botox and dermal fillers offer a non-surgical way to achieve facial rejuvenation. There are also natural alternatives such as improving your diet or exercising to achieve a leaner body and shape. You may decide to try the natural way to enhance your appearance before deciding on the more permanent surgical alternative. 

5. Are My Expectations Realistic?

Realistic expectations are important, so you are not disappointed after your cosmetic surgery. A reputable plastic surgeon will be honest with you and should tell you if your expectations are undeliverable. Remember, cosmetic surgery will not make you “perfect.” However, many patients do feel a lot more confident about their appearance afterward. Plastic surgery cannot fix emotional problems, guarantee improvement of your social or love life, or help you get a job. As such, expecting results beyond your surgeon’s limitations is like setting yourself up for disappointment.

6. What are the Risks Involved?

If you’re considering plastic surgery, it is essential to know what risks and complications you may face. The type of stakes will depend on the surgical procedure. A primary concern of almost everyone considering plastic surgery is the likelihood of visible scars. Other risks include infection, bleeding, and blood clots. If the results are not as expected, you may then need a corrective surgery procedure. This will up the overall cost, and the results are also not guaranteed. It doesn’t mean you should be afraid to go ahead with cosmetic surgery. However, choosing the best plastic surgeon who is experienced and talented in your procedure-of-choice may help reduce the risks involved.

7. Can My Plastic Surgeon Satisfy My Reasonable Expectations?

The expertise of your plastic surgeon may become the most crucial factor when considering plastic surgery. It may sound cliche, but it’s a fact that all plastic surgeons are not created equal. Seek out a plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Suppose they are certified by another board (anything board with the word cosmetic in it!). In that case, chances are they did not complete a plastic surgery residency in the US. Remember, any doctor can call him or herself a cosmetic surgeon – without the many years of training real plastic surgeons undertake. The surgeon should have an accredited clinic and operating room where surgery can be safely performed. At least a decade of experience with reconstruction or revision surgery is a plus. A good surgeon is also compassionate, flexible, and patient-friendly. These professional qualifications and personality traits can be reassuring in terms of achieving the results you expect.