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Ten Considerations Before Cosmetic Surgery

The need for cosmetic surgery is skyrocketing. Both men and women are having surgery to remove cottage cheese thighs, crow’s feet, and jowls that are drooping. Combination stomach tucks and breast lifts, also known as “mommy makeovers,” are more popular than ever, and not just among Hollywood’s A-listers. According to Donna Tepper, A plastic surgeon at Henry Ford Health, “unfortunately, the increased demand has been matched with a notable spike in botched surgeries attributed to incompetent practitioners.” Your first and most crucial step is to find a qualified, experienced surgeon, but it’s not the only one.

Here is Dr. Tepper’s 10-point checklist for prospective patients considering cosmetic surgery:

1. Set reasonable expectations

While cosmetic surgery can improve your looks and give you greater self-confidence, it won’t help you find a better partner, a better-paid career, or a more fulfilling life. However, if your objective is to fix a hooked nose, tighten a sagging chin, or lift post-nursing breasts, you’ll probably be happy with the outcomes, provided you do your research first.

2. Check the credentials of surgeons

Cosmetic treatments are being performed by an increasing number of OB/GYNs, internal medicine physicians, and even cardiologists. Keep looking if the surgeon you’ve chosen isn’t board-certified in plastic surgery or the operation you want to be done. In order to keep their knowledge current, plastic surgeons must complete 50 hours of CME annually. They must also pass recurrent performance tests and keep track of patient outcomes in order to keep their certifications.

3. Analyze the building

Make sure the procedure is carried out in an accredited institution, such as a hospital or medical center, in addition to verifying your doctor’s credentials. A house party for cosmetic surgery is not a cosmetic surgery house party and is not a strip mall, office complex, or private residence.

4. Think about the timing

If you’re not having a face operation (such as a rhinoplasty, or nose job), think about delaying surgery until after you’ve had all of your children. Your body changes drastically when you have children—and when you nurse them! Wait until after you’ve completed nursing your last child before nipping, tucking, and lifting areas that droop and pooch during pregnancy for the best results.

5. Saving for the cost

Elective plastic surgery is not covered by insurance and has a cost. Health insurance normally doesn’t cover issues that can result from cosmetic operations either unless you buy separate coverage. Even flexible spending monies cannot be used to pay for the procedure. But even if you have to wait another year or two to save the money you need for surgery, it’s not an area where you should skimp or look for bargain basement prices.

6. Don’t downplay the risk

Despite being an elective practice, plastic surgery carries some hazards. Whether general anesthesia is required for your treatment or local sedation (a combination of medications and gasses that puts you to sleep), each step has its own dangers that you will discuss with your doctor before proceeding. Additionally, there is a chance of surgical problems such as infection, wound separation, and failure to provide the intended outcome.

7. Be patient as you heal

After surgery, don’t expect to look photo-ready. Be patient with the outcomes. The skin may take weeks or months to adjust to a new form, and it takes time for swelling and bruising to go away. If required, you should also plan ahead for time away from work and family obligations. Discuss your post-procedure expectations with your surgeon.

8. Consider alternatives to surgery

Even if noninvasive techniques have certain hazards as well, you might want to think about a temporary fix before choosing a long-term fix. However, short-term solutions, like fillers, can end up costing more in the long run than a single visit to the operating room.

9. Inquire About “Stacked” Processes

Plastic surgeons may have the ability to complete a number of procedures in the same visit to the operating room. A typical example is a “mommy makeover,” which combines a tummy tuck, breast lift, and liposuction. The warning: Downtime, or time spent away from your job and family, will increase as you tackle multiple problems at once. Additionally, prolonged operating durations can lead to an increased risk of infection and blood loss.

10. Plan ahead

It makes sense to think that you might require further treatments five or ten years from now because our bodies change so rapidly. Having said that, avoid getting mired in a loop of attempting to appear “perfect.”

Tepper asserts that having cosmetic surgery is something you do for yourself and not for a spouse, partner, or parent. Your body lasts a lifetime. Treat it with respect. Your comfort level with the surgeon of your choice is more crucial than virtually any other aspect. Cosmetic surgery is an art, not a science, and it takes collaboration between the patient and the surgeon to produce the desired results.

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