Life is full of choices, acknowledges Dr. Chris Moss. Some are professional, such as where to work. Some are personal, such as when to get married. Some are intimate and lifelong, like the decision to have children. Plastic surgery is another example of an intimate, lifelong decision.
While most people tend to focus on all that plastic surgery can do, it does have its limitations. It’s important and worthwhile to consider all of your options and possible outcomes before making any final decisions. Here are some important things you should consider before going under the knife.
While cosmetic surgery can change your appearance and self-esteem, giving you a boost of confidence, it’s also something that should be considered through careful planning and upfront research. Here are some important things you should consider before going under the knife.
An article penned by the Mayo Clinic Staff warned people who are considering plastic surgery to “anticipate improvement, not perfection.” In addition, “if you expect cosmetic surgery to turn you into a movie star, you're bound to be disappointed. Don't count on surgery to save a rocky relationship, gain a promotion or improve your social life.”
Dr. Chris Moss agrees: “While a surgical procedure will change your appearance, it won’t necessarily change your life.”
The Melbourne based cosmetic surgeon believes that “If you want your life to change, you have to make steps to do things differently and make different choices. This calls for an action plan, not a surgical procedure.”
When the experts advise caution, it should be taken seriously. The decision to undergo a cosmetic procedure should only be taken with careful deliberation.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) said, “The changes resulting from cosmetic surgery are often dramatic and permanent, it's important that you have a clear understanding of how surgery might make you feel—long before a procedure is scheduled.”
The Office of Women’s Health, a sect of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a helpful resource: an ASPS list of inappropriate candidates for plastic surgery. Among those that ASPS say should not have surgery are patients with unrealistic expectations, those who are obsessed with a very minor defect, or patients who have a mental illness.
Picture Not Always Perfect
Patients desiring cosmetic surgery often have a certain look in mind. That look is often based on a magazine picture depicting a celebrity who is admired for a specific body part.
“A number of patients present with a photograph of a celebrity and request to be made to look like them,” Dr. Chris Moss said. “Surgery may result in the nose like a celebrity of choice, but that nose job won’t make you look like them. Other features, like skin tone and the shape of the face are different. Going into surgery with this sort of mindset can bring a patient post operation disappointment.”
Dr. Millicent Odunze took the precautions further in his own article, listing the “10 Things to Stop Doing If You’re Considering Plastic Surgery.” Dr. Odunze’s advice is insightful and surprisingly blunt.
“Stop comparing yourself to others. Stop being embarrassed. Stop thinking liposuction is a substitute for proper diet and daily exercise,” Odunze said.
Time & Money
Most health insurance plans don’t cover the cost of plastic surgery. The decision to undergo a procedure is one that warrants careful examination of your finances. A cosmetic procedure can cost upwards of several thousands of dollars. This does not include any cost associated with post-operative care or any corrective procedures that may be needed.
It can take days, weeks or even months to recover from a cosmetic procedure. This must be calculated into any decision, as it will affect both your personal and professional lives. The post-operative phase of surgery is more than simple physical recovery.
“Your body needs time to get better, but you also need some time to get used to your new body, your new confidence and the way you feel about any changes that have been made,” Dr. Chris Moss said.
The vast majority of patients are thrilled with their post-surgical appearance. In fact, research by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery found that “87% of patients reported satisfaction with their postoperative outcomes.” Patients also reported “significant improvements in their overall appearance, as well as the appearance of the feature altered by surgery, at each of the postoperative assessment points.”
Despite this high number, some have been affected by a condition known as post-surgical depression sadness. A report on post-operative depression on the medical website Prime reported patients had “difficulty sleeping, appetite loss, and an inability to concentrate after their surgery.”
While post surgical sadness is usually short-lived, advanced preparation is important. Make sure to have a support system in place.
Plastic surgery can improve aspects of your appearance. It can improve your confidence level and self-esteem. However, it has its risks and limitations. For the best possible result, Dr. Chris Moss advises patients to consider their ultimate goal in plastic surgery to be certain the procedure is the appropriate choice.